Remove Insta ransomware (Virus Removal Guide) - Decryption Methods Included

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

Insta virus Removal Guide

What is Insta ransomware?

Insta ransomware – a dangerous file-encrypting virus

Insta ransomware

Insta ransomware is a new version of Stroman[1] virus that emerged earlier in 2018. It uses an unbreakable AES-256 encryption algorithm and appends .insta file extensions to all targeted files. When all files become useless, the virus generates a ransom note. In the “filesinfo.txt” file, victims are asked to contact crooks via BitMessage platform in order to learn their data recovery possibilities.

Name Insta or .insta
Type Ransomware


Ransom file name


Danger level High. File encryption without restoring opportunity, can change PC settings.
Decryption Not available.
Elimination Best removal tool is ReimageIntego.

Insta ransomware virus usually gets into the device when a user opens an obfuscated email attachment.[1] In this way, malware executable is dropped to the system. Immediately, it starts system changes and scans device looking for files to decrypt. However, it also creates a new file that can be opened by victims.

This new file is a ransom note which is placed on every existing folder. The “filesinfo.txt” file contains details about encryption and other relevant information:

Your data set are encrypted.

All files with .insta extension are encrypted.

We can help decrypted files.

You will get decrypt soft + personal key(for your personal id) + manual.

For you to be sure, that we can decrypt your files

You can send us 1-2 encrypted files and we will send back it in a decrypt format FREE.

For download files use only dropmefiles[.]com not more then 10 Mb

This should be the only way for getting your files restored, but it is not. Any contact with the virus developers can lead to a possible threat. This sample file decryption is the way for extortionists to convince you to pay the money they want. However, once they get your Bitcoins (usually they ask to pay in this cryptocurrency), they might disappear and do not provide the decryptor.

There are many cases when victims of ransomware paid the ransom, and hackers left them with nothing. Hence, you should not risk. You should remove Insta ransomware fromthe system instead of risking to increase your damage. Sadly, virus elimination won't bring back files. But you will be able to try additional recovery options or use data backups.

Specialists at[2] warn that it's important to get rid of the crypto-virus first and only then think about recovery possibilities. While malware resides on Windows OS, the device is vulnerable and sluggish. Also, if you manage to restore files, they might be encrypted again after a system reboot. Hence, it's just a waste of time.

Insta ransomware removal requires proper attention and professional tools. Indeed, to clean your device, you will need to use an additional anti-malware software. We highly suggest using ReimageIntego. This professional tool can not only delete malware-related components, but also fix the damage that may have been caused to the system. Hence, it's a complex tool to make your PC smooth after virus elimination.

Insta ransomware virusInsta ransomware - malware that affects your files and makes them useless.

You can avoid cyber infections by deleting spam emails

Ransomware-type cyber threats spread via malicious spam emails that contain attachments. Therefore, the first sign of the potentially dangerous email is that it arrived in the spam folder. Hence, it's better to delete them without even opening. Of course, the virus cannot strike as soon as you open the email. The biggest dangers are in the attachments or links/buttons included in them.

These phishing[3] emails can look like sent from legitimate organizations or companies, and urge to open the document or access specific website to check important details. However, you should never rush to do that. Always make sure whether you were supposed to get this email and if the sender can be trusted.

If you notice grammar mistakes, suspicious email address or lack of credentials in the “official” email, delete it without checking what is in the attached document. Most likely it's malware.

Insta ransomware elimination needs to be done now

We do not recommend manual Insta ransomware removal. It is a dangerous cyber threat that is nearly impossible to delete without professional help. The malicious program can install a dozen of different files or hide under the legit system names. So, it's easy to delete wrong entries and leave malware-related files. This may lead to irreparable damage to the device.

You can remove Insta virus using professional tools like ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. If ransomware blocks security tools, you have to take additional steps. The guide below will explain to you how to disable the virus and run automatic elimination. Once your device is virus-free, you can try alternative recovery methods or copy needed files from backups.

do it now!
Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Insta virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Try to reboot your computer in Safe Mode with Networking in order to delete ransomware

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Insta using System Restore

If the previous method did not work use System Restore

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Insta. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with ReimageIntego and make sure that Insta removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove Insta from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by security experts.

If your files are encrypted by Insta, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro can help after ransomware attack

This is a tool designed for people who need to restore their files after encryption or accidentally deleting them. Follow these steps:

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by Insta ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Use Windows Previous Versions feature to restore individual files encrypted by Insta ransomware

If System Restore was enabled before ransomware attack, follow these steps to recover the most important files:

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

Recover your files with ShadowExplorer

If you are lucky and Insta ransomware has not removed Shadow Volume Copies of encrypted files you can use ShadowExplorer for this recovery.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Decryption tool is not available.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Insta and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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