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

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego

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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, 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.


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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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.

To remove Insta virus, follow these steps:

Remove Insta using Safe Mode with Networking

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

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    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 Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    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 Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove Insta

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete Insta removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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