ZXZ ransomware / virus (Removal Instructions) - Recovery Instructions Included

ZXZ virus Removal Guide

What is ZXZ ransomware virus?

What do we know about ZXZ virus so far?

ZXZ virus is a typical ransomware that attacks computers, encrypts their files with a military-grade algorithm [1] and demands the victims to pay Bitcoins for the data decryption key. Of course, the hackers may not be planning on handing this key in at all. They may simply vanish with the money and use the collected profit to improve their malicious creations and infect even more computers. To be sure they make the best of the attack, the extortionists have programmed ZXZ ransomware virus to encrypt Word, Excel, Txt documents and other files located on servers and localhosts [2] that are connected to these servers. After the encryption, the owners of infected servers find all of the virus-affected documents appended with .zXz extensions [3]. Luckily, the virus does not mess up file names leaves the documents in their original folders. This is especially helpful for the users who haven’t got any backup copies of their files and are ready to wait until the free ransomware decrypter [4] is invented. In the meanwhile, we suggest transferring the infected files to some separate archive of storage drive and execute a thorough cleanup of your computer to remove ZXZ virus to the last piece of its malicious files. Do not put this burden all on yourself, though. Instead, employ automatic software such as FortectIntego and run a scan of your hard drive and the entire system.

Image of the ZXZ ransomware virusZXZ ransomware virus encrypts computer files using complex algorithm and appends .zXz extensions to each of the affected files.

ZXZ malware is still relatively new, so there is not a lot that we know about it. It is yet unknown what ransom note does this virus use or whether it creates any additional documents on the infected computer. However, from the regular ransomware practices [5], we know that this category of cyber infections is very vocal and will speak to the users either through the ransom notes or even out loud like Cerber virus does, for instance. We can also presume that ZXZ extortionists will demand a ransom based on the amount and importance of the encrypted information. Nevertheless, regardless of whether this sum is way beyond your price range or seems completely affordable, we do not recommend transferring money to the hackers. It is better to cut the network connection of your device right after you notice the firsts signs of ransomware infection. Then, it comes the time to banish the virus from your computer, because you can only attempt data recovery after you put ZXZ removal aside. When you are done with the elimination, go to the end of this article where you will find free data recovery instructions which may help you recover some of your encrypted files.

How does ransomware occupy computers?

While ZXZ victims are looking for the virus elimination advice, the users who have not been infected with this malware should be devoting their time to the protection of their computers. Unfortunately, quite a large number of regular computer users are not overly concerned with the security of their devices and are unaware of the basic strategies malware creators use for the distribution of their malicious products. We should warn such users that ransomware is a tricky parasite which may use numerous techniques to delude the potential victims and make them unknowingly download the virus on their computers. For instance, the cyber criminals may trick you into thinking that you are downloading a legitimate software update but in reality deploy ZXZ virus payload on your computer. Besides, a Trojan that carries this infection can easily infiltrate computer through torrent downloads or installation of some unreputable software. It goes without saying that in order to avoid such unexpected attacks it is necessary to be cautious while browsing the web and always double-check what you agree to install on your computer.

Are there some ZXZ virus removal tricks I should know about?

Generally, there are no secrets to the ZXZ removal. The virus can be easily eliminated from the infected systems using anti-malware software. Nevertheless, some tricks might help carry out the removal more smoothly. For instance, it is always beneficial to update your security software to the latest version before launching the system scan. Also, we highly recommend disconnecting the computer from the network when carrying out the removal — this will ensure that the most aggressive of the virus functionalities are tamed. Finally, if ZXZ virus does not allow you to enable the antivirus and prevents its elimination, follow the instructions we provide at the end of the article to disable this malicious function. After these steps are completed, you should be able to remove ZXZ malware without difficulty.

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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 ZXZ virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

To disable the antivirus blocking, follow the guidelines our experts have prepared below.

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 ZXZ using System Restore

In case you cannot launch your antivirus, complete the following steps and then try scanning your computer again.

  • 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 ZXZ. 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 ZXZ removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove ZXZ from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

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

Retrieve your files encrypted by ZXZ malware using Data Recovery Pro 

A recommended way to start your data decryption is by employing Data Recovery Pro software. You will learn all about how to use this tool by following the instructions below.

  • 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 ZXZ ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Check out the data recovery options offered by Windows Previous Versions feature

Windows Previous Versions feature is a useful data recovery option in case the System Restore function has been enabled before ransomware attack. Precise instructions explaining how to activate Windows Previous Versions feature are given below.

  • 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 files using ShadowExplorer software

In case the ransomware attack did not destroy Volume Shadow Copies of the encrypted files, you may use ShadowExplorer to recover your important documents. You may do that following the instructions below:

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • 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.

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

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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