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KEYHolder virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Ransomware

2016: What is new regarding KEYHolder virus?

KEYHolder virus is a seriously dangerous ransomware, which is capable of encrypting personal people’s files. It spreads around with the help of spam, fake alert messages and other means of distribution. No matter that KeyHolder ransomware virus was released more than one year ago, it is still capable of infecting only Windows OS. Of course, if you are using other OS, you should also be careful because you can never know what updates can hackers release in a very near future. If KEYHolder ransomware gets inside its target PC system, it immediately encrypts predetermined documents, videos and files that are or might be important for the victim. The encryption process is initiated for trying to push him/her into paying a certain ransom, which is supposed to help the victim get a special decrypt key. Nevertheless, we do NOT recommend you to pay for KeyHolder decrypt tool as there is no guarantee that it will help you recover the connection to your files. In most of the cases, people are left with nothing because this virus belongs to scammers who can’t be trusted. It might be that you will lose your money without receiving a code, which is needed for a decryption of encrypted files.

Just like many other similar ransomware-type viruses, the owners of KEYHolder virus are using Tor browser for hiding themselves from governmental authorities. If you are infected, you will be asked to download this web browser for visiting a specific website where you are supposed to pay a ransom of $500 or more. Besides, you can also be disconnected from the Internet, redirected to malicious websites and lead to other dangerous activities. For avoiding additional problems on your computer, you should take care of KeyHolder virus removal. The easiest way to do that is to run a full system scan with Reimage. However, Spyhunter, just like any other anti-spyware software, should not be considered a tool that is ready to restore files after KeyHolder virus infiltration. In this case, you should try to restore your data from a backup or use any of these programs: R-studio and Photorec.

The picture showing KEYHolder ransomware virus

How can KEYHolder virus infect my computer?

KEYHolder virus is spread using typical methods of distribution that have been used when spreading previously-released ransomware. The most of them rely on fake alerts that have become very popular in 2015. These alerts typically report about missing updates of such well-known programs like Flash Player, FLV Player, download manager, any of web browsers, etc. If you are following our page, you will remember that we have been continuing for ages that you should stay away from such ads and use official websites of programs if you want to update them. Also, we should mention about fake emails that can also be involved in KEYHolder virus distribution. In most of the cases, these mails report about various payments, purchases or problems that are supposedly related to the government. Please, do NOT fall for such misleading messages and always double check every statement for avoiding installation of an infected email attachment. One thing is clear – if this ransomware manages to infiltrate its target PC system, it starts showing you a huge warning message on PC’s screen. This message will inform you about the encryption of your important files and will also offer to decrypt them by following specific commands. Please, do NOT pay any ransom to decrypt files of KeyHolder virus! Otherwise, you can be left with no files and no money! As we have already said, KeyHolder virus recovery can be made with the help of updated anti-spyware. More information about this process is provided on the second page. Here, you will find a detailed guide explaining how can you remove KeyHolder virus from your computer.

KEYHolder virus fix:

To prevent the appearance of KEYHolder virus, you should ignore all suspiciously-looking mails and ignore every ad that offers you to update your Flash, Java, and similar programs. Also, make sure you scan your PC with a reputable anti-spyware if your PC is already affected by this ransomware. For that you can use Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. If you can’t launch any of these programs, follow these steps that are given here or that are listed down below:

  1. Reboot you infected PC to ‘Safe mode with command prompt’ to disable virus (this should be working with all versions of this threat)
  2. Run Regedit
  3. Search for WinLogon Entries and write down all the files that are not explorer.exe or blank. Replace them with explorer.exe.
  4. Search the registry for these files you have written down and delete the registry keys referencing the files.
  5. Reboot and run a full system scan with updated anti-spyware.

In the end, we highly recommend thinking about the prevention of such infections. For that, you can use removable drives, network shares, DropBox, etc. Besides, don’t forget to think about the immunity of your files and backup. If you have been making backups, you should be capable of recovering your files. You can also use file recovery software. At the moment of writing, we could recommend R-studio and Photorec.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall KEYHolder virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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To remove KEYHolder virus, follow these steps:

Remove KEYHolder using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 KEYHolder

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

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

Remove KEYHolder using 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 KEYHolder. 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 and make sure that KEYHolder removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from KEYHolder and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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