PyteHole ransomware / virus (Bonus: Decryption Steps) - Virus Removal Instructions

PyteHole virus Removal Guide

What is PyteHole ransomware virus?

PyteHole ransomware virus – another threat to personal files

PyteHole ransomware is a new crypto-malware that has been recently spotted on the web. Ransomware hasn’t started active distribution campaign; however, cyber security experts warns about the damage that this cyber threat might cause. The virus might arrive at the computer with an obfuscated pyte-hole.exe file. Once it is executed, it starts data encryption[1] procedure using a strong encoding algorithm. To all targeted files malware appends .adr file extension and makes them useless. This file extension prevents users from opening or using their records. Just like the majority of file-encrypting viruses, this one also aims at the widely used file types, such as MS Word, OpenOffice, various image, audio, video or text files, databases, and more. In this way, authors of the ransomware increase their chances to receive demanded ransom for the possibility to restore data. Indeed, data recovery is only possible with specific decryption key; however, obtaining it from the cyber criminals is not recommended. After ransomware attack, you should focus on your computer’s security and protection of the private information.[2] Thus, you need to initiate automatic PyteHole removal with the help of FortectIntego or another security tool.

The image of PyteHole ransomware virus

PyteHole ransomware virus is nothing more than a blackmailing tool.[3] Cyber criminals might use various threatening tactics and psychologic terror to convince victims to pay the ransom. However, transferring the demanded sum of Bitcoins is not recommended for few reasons. First, you may not receive promised software. Second, you might receive infected decryptor and install additional malware. Third, crooks might ask even more money.[4] Bear in mind that hackers are not obliged to help you restore encrypted files. It’s the matter of their conscience, which is not very clean. Thus, remove PyteHole from the computer and try alternative data recovery methods. Numerous tools might help you to restore at least some of the files. Our team has offered three options for your as well. You will find them below the article.

Distribution methods of the ransomware

PyteHole ransomware might be spreading using multiple distribution strategies: malicious spam email attachments, malvertising, drive-by downloads, exploit kits, etc. Currently, the most popular and successful malware dissemination way is malicious emails. Cyber criminals create numerous phishing emails that pretend to be sent from official institutions and reliable companies. These messages inform about various issues, for instance, missing details in statement or delivery issues of the parcel. For this reason, users are asked to click on provided link or open an attached file in order to get more information. Once people do that, ransomware executable is installed on the system immediately. Furthermore, crooks also take advantage of malvertising. Thus, PyteHole virus might infect the computer as soon as victim clicks on a malicious ad. It’s important to mention that malware-laden ads might be placed even on legitimate websites,[5] so online ads became extremely dangerous. In order to avoid ransomware, it’s also crucial to find safe sources to download a software and other files. Installing programs from file-sharing sites, Torrents, and P2P networks might lead to malware attack. Lastly, all programs installed on the computers should be updated regularly. It helps to protect a device from exploit kits that are trying to use security flaws to hijack the device.

The illustration of PyteHole ransomwarePyteHole ransomware encrypts various types of files on the affected computer.

PyteHole removal plan

PyteHole removal is performed automatically, using reputable security tools. Ransomware-type viruses are complex and nearly impossible to delete manually. Malware might inject malicious codes into legitimate system processes or rename its files like safe-looking files. Thus, finding and eliminating ransomware components is hard because you might accidentally delete wrong files and leave malicious ones. Meanwhile, malware removal programs are designed to locate malevolent files and remove them without causing damage to computer. If you are looking for a tool to remove PyteHole from the device, we suggest using FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. These professional programs not only cleans the computer from viruses but also protects it from other cyber threats in the future. If you cannot download or run a security program, you need to reboot your device to the Safe Mode with Networking. In order to do that, follow the instructions below.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect 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 Fortect, 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 PyteHole virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Automatic malware removal might require rebooting the computer to Safe Mode with Networking. Follow the steps below to disable the virus and run antivirus software.

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 PyteHole using System Restore

System Restore method also helps to disable the virus. Once you do that, install or update malware removal program and run a full system scan.

  • 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 PyteHole. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that PyteHole removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

After PyteHole removal you can recover your files from data backups. If you do not have them, please try alternative recovery methods presented below. Hopefully, they will help you to rescue at least the most important files.

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

Data Recovery Pro – automatic way to restore encrypted files

Data Recovery Pro has already helped numerous ransomware victims to restore data. This tool is designed to restore deleted, corrupted and some of the encrypted files. Thus, it should help you as well.

  • 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 PyteHole ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature allows copying previously saved copies of encrypted files

If System Restore function has been enabled on your device before the PyteHole attack, you can take advantage of Windows Previous Versions feature. This function allows traveling back in computer’s time and copying previously saved versions of encrypted files. Bear in mind that if System Restore hasn’t been activated, this method is not helpful for you.

  • 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”.

ShadowExplorer can help restore files encrypted by PyteHole ransomware virus

If ransomware left Shadow Volume Copies of the targeted files on the computers and did not delete them, ShadowExplorer might be helpful in data recovery. Thus, follow the steps to use this tool and get back your files:

  • 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.

PyteHole decryptor has not been released yet.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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