Extended Guide to Recovering Crytowall Encrypted Files

This article provides a detailed exploration of strategies for recovering crytowall encrypted files. It introduces the concept of crytowall ransomware, discusses various recovery methods.


By Lori / Updated on February 5, 2024

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The digital age has brought with it a new form of criminal: the cyber extortionist. Victims of crytowall ransomware find their files encrypted, inaccessible, and held for ransom. This guide aims to arm you with the knowledge to fight back and reclaim your encrypted data without giving in to the demands of cybercriminals.


Understanding Crytowall Encrypted Files

Crytowall ransomware encrypts files with robust algorithms, making them inaccessible. The ransomware seeks to exploit financial gains from victims in exchange for the decryption key. This section explains the mechanics behind crytowall encryption and its impact on your files.

Comprehensive Recovery Methods

Recovering files encrypted by crytowall involves several potential methods. The effectiveness of each method can vary based on the specific ransomware variant and the state of your system.

1. Leveraging Shadow Copies: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shadow Copies, also known as Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), can be a lifesaver, allowing you to revert to previous versions of your files before they were encrypted.

Detailed Steps:

Accessing VSS: Right-click on the 'This PC' or 'My Computer' icon and select 'Properties'. Navigate to the 'System Protection' tab to see if system protection is on and which drives are protected.

Using Shadow Explorer: Download and install Shadow Explorer. Upon launching, the tool will display all available shadow copy snapshots. Select the date before the ransomware infection from the drop-down menu.

Recovering Files: Navigate through the directory structure. Right-click the file or folder you want to restore, and click 'Export'. Choose an export destination that's safe and not potentially compromised by malware.

2. Decryption Tools: Finding and Using the Right Key

Not all ransomware variants are without their Achilles' heel; some decryption keys have been discovered or leaked, leading to the creation of specific decryption tools.

Detailed Steps:

Identifying the Ransomware: Look for identifiers in the ransom note, file extensions, or use online tools like ID Ransomware to upload a sample encrypted file or ransom note for identification.

Finding a Decryption Tool: Once identified, search reputable sources like the No More Ransom Project for a decryption tool. Ensure the tool matches your ransomware variant to avoid further damage.

Running the Decryption Tool: Follow the instructions specific to the decryption tool. This usually involves selecting encrypted files or folders and allowing the tool to attempt decryption. Keep your expectations realistic; success may vary.

3. Data Recovery Software: Unearthing Lost Data

Data recovery software scans your drive to find bits and pieces of deleted files, a side effect of some ransomware's encryption process.

Detailed Steps:

Selecting a Tool: Choose a reputable data recovery tool. Look for ones with high success rates like Recuva or EaseUS.

Scanning Your Drive: Install and run the software. Perform a deep scan on the affected drive. Be patient; this can take time.

Restoring Files: Review the list of potentially recoverable files. Select those you wish to recover, and save them to a different drive to prevent overwriting any data that could still be recovered.

4. MyRecover: A Closer Look at Recovery Steps

MyRecover offers a tailored approach to tackling specific ransomware encryption, making it a powerful ally.

Detailed Steps:

Installation and Analysis: After downloading MyRecover, install it on a secure system. Start the program and select the encrypted files for analysis. MyRecover will evaluate the encryption to determine the best recovery strategy.

Recovery Process: Follow MyRecover's guided process, which may involve selecting particular files for sample decryption. This initial step is crucial for assessing the feasibility of full recovery.

Decryption Execution: If MyRecover successfully decrypts the sample, proceed with the full decryption process. This involves selecting all affected files and directories for decryption. MyRecover will provide a progress report, detailing successes and any files it cannot decrypt.

Prevention and Maintenance: Building a Digital Fortress

Preventing future ransomware attacks is paramount. Engage in regular software updates, implement robust antivirus solutions, and educate yourself and others on the dangers of phishing emails and malicious websites.

Regular Backups: Implement a 3-2-1 backup strategy—three total copies of your data, two on different media, and one off-site (like cloud storage).

Software Updates: Keep your operating system, applications, and any installed software up to date to patch vulnerabilities.

Security Awareness: Learn to identify suspicious emails and websites. Use advanced email filters and avoid clicking on unknown links or downloading unverified attachments.


The journey to recover Crytowall encrypted files can be complex and uncertain, but with the right tools and strategies, it's possible to regain access to your data. Beyond recovery, focus on prevention and education to protect yourself against future threats. Remember, in the digital world, knowledge and preparedness are your best defenses.


What's the success rate of decryption tools?

Success varies greatly depending on the ransomware variant and the availability of a decryption key. Some tools have high success rates for specific variants, while others may offer no guarantee.

Can I use multiple data recovery tools simultaneously?

It's best to use them sequentially rather than simultaneously. Using multiple tools at once can interfere with the recovery process and potentially overwrite recoverable data.

How can I verify the safety of a decryption tool?

Only download tools from reputable sources. Look for endorsements from well-known cybersecurity firms or community feedback on forums like BleepingComputer.

What should I do if a decryption tool damages my files further?

Unfortunately, this risk exists. Always backup encrypted files before attempting decryption. If file damage occurs, professional data recovery services might be the last resort.

How often do new decryption tools become available?

The availability of new tools depends on breakthroughs in cybersecurity research or when law enforcement agencies successfully dismantle ransomware operations and release decryption keys. Stay informed by following cybersecurity news and forums.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.