ZCryptor ransomware / virus (Free Instructions)

ZCryptor virus Removal Guide

What is ZCryptor ransomware virus?

ZCryptor virus replicates itself and infects removable drives

Cyber security researchers have recently detected a new type of ransomware, which acts as a worm. In the past, ransomware-type viruses were able to infect only one computer and ask its owners to pay a ransom. However, it seems that ZCryptor ransomware virus steps up the cybercrime game to a whole new level because this malware can replicate itself and infect all removable drives by placing autorun.inf and System.exe files onto them and sets them to Hidden mode. As a result, if an infected drive gets plugged to another computer, that computer is going to be infected again, as the malware executes itself immediately.

When ZCryptor cryptoworm sneaks inside the computer system, it shows an error message saying, “There is no disk in the drive. Please insert a disk into drive D:”. In the meantime, it runs malicious executive file that encrypts all personal victim’s files and then opens a message that tells the victim that the ransom payment must be made within 4 days; otherwise, the price of the decryption key will increase. The initial ransom price is 1.2 Bitcoins, which is equal to 700 USD. When the given time passes, the ransom cost increases to 5 Bitcoins, which is approximately 3000 USD! The victim is also warned not to remove ZCryptor, or the decryption key will be destroyed, and personal data will be lost forever.

The message from cyber criminals warns that if the victim doesn’t pay in 7 days, the decryption key will be destroyed. All this information is also left in ransom notes (called How to decrypt files.html), which can be found in every folder that contains at least a few encrypted files. ZCryptor ransomworm, just like most other ransom-demanding virus adds file extensions to encrypted data. This particular threat appends .zcrypt file extension.

ZCryptor ransomware leaves a ransom note

Distribution methods

Reportedly, this ransomware does not spread via spam or exploit kits, but it can get inside victim’s computer while pretending to be a safe file, for example, Word file or a well-known program or an update of it (for example, Adobe Flash Player). It can also be downloaded to your PC by a Trojan horse. Therefore, we suggest you to stay away from untrustworthy Internet sites, not to click on pushy pop-up ads and banners, and never agree to install software from questionable websites. To protect your computer from viruses, we strongly recommend you to install a trustworthy anti-malware software, for example, FortectIntego. This program also can be used to complete ZCryptor removal. If you do not have such security software, and if you want to install it, we suggest you to follow instructions given on page 2.

How to remove ZCryptor ransomware and restore your files?

It is recommended not to pay the ransom and remove ZCryptor virus from the computer system immediately and clean infected drives as well. The easiest way to eliminate the virus from removable drives is to format them. We do not recommend you to try to implement ZCryptor removal by yourself unless you are an IT expert. This virus is extremely dangerous, and it tends to hide its components busing various techniques, so if you can easily confuse virus files with safe system files and corrupt your computer system by deleting necessary records. To remove this malware in a right way and avoid losing relevant files, we suggest you to follow instructions provided below this post.

To recover your files, you can try to restore previous file versions or use Shadow Copies. However, if this virus has removed them from your computer, the only possible way to retrieve your files is to import them from a backup. Make sure you do it only after removing the malware from the compromised PC.

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 ZCryptor virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

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 ZCryptor 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 ZCryptor. 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 ZCryptor removal is performed successfully.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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