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

WininiCrypt virus Removal Guide

What is WininiCrypt ransomware virus?

WininiCrypt – recently emerged ransomware virus

The picture of WininiCrypt

WininiCrypt is a file-encrypting virus that appends .[] file extension to the target files. Once all the data is locked with a sophisticated algorithm, malware delivers a ransom note in HOW_TO_BACK_FILES.html file.

Typically WininiCrypt virus spreads as an obfuscated file in the emails. As soon as a user opens it, malware enters the system. Then it creates a new process in the %WINDIR%\System32\cmd.exe directory and drops an executable file called sdelete.exe.

WininiCrypt ransomware might also modify proxy settings, queries sensitive IE security settings, install suspicious files, and alters or creates new Windows Registry entries. When it strengthens its presence, crypto-malware starts scanning the system looking for the targeted data for the encryption.

Apart from encrypting the files, the virus also deletes Shadow Volume Copies[1] by executing the command:

vssadmin Delete Shadows /All /Quiet

Thus, it means that data recovery after ransomware attack might be nearly impossible without specific decryption tool. Undoubtedly, hackers offer to obtain it from them. However, paying the ransom and hoping that cyber criminals will keep their word is naive.

After ransomware attack, you should focus on your computer’s state and remove WininiCrypt together with its malicious components. Virus elimination won’t help to restore your files, but you will be able to use backups, extract valuable data from emails and use alternative recovery methods.

WininiCrypt removal is performed with professional malware removal software, such as FortectIntego. However, this crypto-virus might prevent from installing or running security program. For this reason, you may need to reboot your PC to the Safe Mode with Networking (instructions below).

The image of WininiCrypt ransomware virusWininiCrypt ransomware encrypts various files on the affected device and demands to pay the ransom.

Precautions to take against ransomware

We are talking about a brand new cyber threat that hasn’t started spreading actively. Therefore, you should take some precautions to avoid ransomware attack.

  1. Do not open suspicious spam emails, and especially links or attachments included in them.[2]
  2. Do not download illegal programs, movies or other files.
  3. Do not click on an aggressive or “too good to be true” ads.
  4. Avoid visiting high-risk websites, such as gaming or adult-themed.
  5. Create backups.
  6. Install reputable antivirus.
  7. Keep all your programs updated.

Termination guidelines of the WininiCrypt malware

Manual WininiCrypt removal is not recommended for home computer users. Ransomware is a complex cyber infection that must be eliminated properly. According to malware analysts from Bedynet,[3] attempts to remove file-encrypting viruses usually end up with irreparable damage to the system.

Thus, we highly recommend choosing FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner for cleaning your computer. The instructions below will explain how to disable the virus and remove WininiCrypt automatically.

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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 WininiCrypt virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Follow the steps below to disable the virus and run automatic elimination:

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 WininiCrypt using System Restore

This method might also help to initiate automatic ransomware removal:

  • 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 WininiCrypt. 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 WininiCrypt removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

Data Recovery Pro – useful tool after ransomware attack

This tool has helped people to restore their files after system wreckage and ransomware attacks. So, follow the steps and give it a try:

  • 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 WininiCrypt ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Windows Previous Versions feature might help to recover individual files after the WininiCrypt attack

If System Restore has been enabled before ransomware attack, you might be able to copy individual files by following these steps:

  • 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”.

WininiCrypt decryptor is not available yet.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from WininiCrypt 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
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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