Best Ransomware File Decryptors

Ransomware attacks traditionally function by infecting targets with malware that denies victims access to their files by encrypting them and then demanding a ransom to unlock or decrypt the files

If the victim refuses to pay the ransom, they will be permanently denied access to their files. As is the case with most ransomware attacks, there is no guarantee that attackers will keep to their words if you agree to pay the ransom. Over the past few years, ransomware attacks have intensified. There are now more than 50 variants of ransomware in circulation, and more are springing up and coming up with new modus operandi, new features, and better encryption. This is not something anyone should overlook. So what should you do in situations like this?

Here’s our list of the best Ransomware File Decryptors:

  1. Kaspersky EDITOR’S CHOICE This leading cybersecurity brand offers a number of tools to decrypt files that have been encrypted by ransomware. Each tool was produced to tackle a particular ransomware attack campaign. Access the free tools online.
  2. AVG Provides a range of free ransomware decryption tools that can help decrypt ransomware-encrypted files.
  3. Emsisoft One of the top-rated ransomware decryption software that one can have on a Windows PC.
  4. Trend Micro Ransomware File Decryptor Designed to decrypt files that have been encrypted by 27 families of known ransomware.
  5. Avast Provides ransomware decryption tools for some of the most popular types of ransomware out there.
  6. Quick Heal Ransomware Decryption Tool Can decrypt files encrypted by 17 variants of ransomware.
  7. McAfee Ransomware Recover (Mr2) A framework that supports the decryption of files that various variants of ransomware have encrypted.
  8. No More Ransom A project by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky, and McAfee to help ransomware victims retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.

The best option is to focus on preventive measures. Conduct simulation attacks and penetration tests, and ensure that any existing security holes are patched as soon as possible so that attackers won’t be able to exploit those vulnerabilities. Provide regular security awareness training to your workforce, and ensure that security best practices such as the principles of least privilege and multi-factor authentication have been implemented across all systems and users.

How to Decrypt the Encrypted Files Without Paying Ransom?

If for whatever reason, you still get infected by ransomware, there are several tools you can use to decrypt your files depending on the variant of ransomware you are dealing with. Firstly, note that no single tool out there can decrypt all types of ransomware variants. Instead, every decryption tool is designed to deal with a particular variant specifically. Therefore you need to determine what ransomware variant encrypted your files by looking at the warning message presented by the ransomware. Once identified, you can use the decryption tool specifically designed to deal with that ransomware. Secondly, before going ahead with the decryption, be sure to remove or quarantine the ransomware infection from your system. Failure to do this will result in your files being encrypted all over again.

Most decryption tools can decrypt files encrypted by popular variants of ransomware such as Wannacry, Petya, NotPetya, TeslaCrypt, DarkSide, REvil, Alcatraz Locker, Apocalypse, BadBlock, Bart, BTCWare, EncrypTile, FindZip, Globe, Jigsaw, LambdaLocker, Legion, NoobCrypt, Stampado, among others. Ransomware developers are quick to respond when a new decryptor is released. They do this by modifying their malware to make it resilient to the decryptor. In turn, the developers of ransomware decryptors also have to update and adapt their software in what seems like an arms race to ensure its effectiveness. This is why most decryptors do not come with guarantees. This article will review the best ransomware decryption tools to help you unlock encrypted files.

The Best Ransomware File Decryptor Tools

Our methodology for selecting ransomware file decryptors

We reviewed the market for ransomware file decryptors and analyzed tools based on the following criteria:

  • A package that can decrypt a specific ransomware type
  • A way to identify which ransomware-encrypted files
  • Instructions on how to use the decryptor
  • Options to decrypt individual files or an entire disk
  • Systems to decrypt database background files
  • Preferably, a tool that is free, if not, one with a free trial
  • A tool that won’t fail and leave the decrypted file in a worse state

With these selection criteria in mind, we looked for a range of tools from respected cybersecurity brands that will recover files that have been locked by ransomware.

1. Kaspersky Anti-ransomware Tools

Kaspersky Anti-ransomware Tools
Figure 1.0 | Screenshot showing Kaspersky descriptor home page

Kaspersky provides several tools you can use to decrypt ransomware-encrypted files without paying any ransom. However, the tools are targeted at specific ransomware infections. As such, you must identify the ransomware infection you are dealing with before selecting the ideal tool to decrypt files.

Key Features

  • Tailored solutions for specific ransomware infections
  • The Shade Decryptor tool tackles all versions of Shade ransomware
  • Rakhni Decryptor is effective against a broad range of ransomware including Rotor and Bitman
  • Rannoh Decryptor for combating the Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Rannoh variants

Why do we recommend it?

Kaspersky’s ransomware decryptors are highly recommended due to their targeted approach to various specific ransomware infections. The availability of different tools for different ransomware types, such as Shade, Rakhni, and CoinVault, makes them a versatile and essential resource for ransomware victims.

Below are the various ransomware file decryptors from Kaspersky:

  • Shade Decryptor The Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Shade ransomware attempts to encrypt files on a victim’s computer and makes them inaccessible. The Kaspersky Shade Decryptor tool decrypts files infected by all versions of Shade ransomware. ShadeDecryptor works by searching for the decryption key in its database. If the key is found in the files is decrypted. Otherwise, a request will be sent to the Kaspersky server for additional keys which require internet access. Shade Decryptor is available for download free of charge.
  • Rakhni Decryptor The Kaspersky Rakhni Decryptor tool decrypts files infected by all versions of Rakhni ransomware, including Agent.iih, Aura, Autoit, Pletor, Rotor, Lamer, Cryptokluchen, Lortok, Democry, Bitman, and many more. Rakhni Decryptor is available for download free of charge.
  • Rannoh Decryptor Rannoh Decryptor decrypts files affected by all versions of Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Rannoh (Rannoh ransomware) includes those with AutoIt, Cryakl, Crybola, Polyglot, and Fury file extension. The tool is available for download free of charge.
  • CoinVault Decryptor CoinVault Decryptor decrypts files affected by all versions of Trojan-Ransom.MSIL.CoinVault. CoinVault decryptor Is available for free.
  • Wildfire Decryptor Decrypts files affected by Wildfire locker or files with the WFLX extension. Wildfire Decryptor is freely available for download at no cost.
  • Xorist Decryptor Decrypts files affected by ransomware of the family Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Xorist and Trojan-Ransom.Win32.Vandev (Xorist and Vandev). The tool is also freely available for download at no cost.

Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tools Decryptors

Who is it recommended for?

These tools are ideally suited for individuals or organizations that are victims of ransomware attacks. They are particularly useful for those dealing with specific ransomware types like Shade, Rakhni, Rannoh, CoinVault, Wildfire, and Xorist, offering a specialized and effective solution for file decryption without paying a ransom.

Pros:

  • Targeted decryption tools for a variety of ransomware types.
  • The Shade Decryptor’s ability to request additional keys from Kaspersky servers enhances its effectiveness.
  • Comprehensive coverage by Rakhni Decryptor, including a wide array of ransomware families.
  • Rannoh Decryptor’s versatility in dealing with different file extensions affected by Rannoh ransomware.

Cons:

  • The effectiveness is dependent on matching the specific ransomware type with the correct tool.

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Kaspersky Anti-ransomware Tools is an online utility library that is our first port of call when ransomware hits. Although this isn’t one universal utility for all ransomware types, this Web page. Specific ransomware strains come and go and some of them come back again. Kaspersky is sometimes the first to spot a new ransomware virus and names it. The company adds to a library of free decryptors rather than trying to pretend that it is possible to create in advance a tool that will always be able to decrypt any ransomware encryption.

Official Site: https://noransom.kaspersky.com/

OS: Windows Server

2. AVG Anti-ransomware Tools

AVG Anti-ransomware Tools
Figure 2.0 | Screenshot showing AVG ransomware descriptor home page

AVG has a range of free ransomware decryption tools that can help decrypt ransomware-encrypted files.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive range of tools for specific ransomware families: Apocalypse, Bart, BadBlock, Crypt888, Legion, SZFLocker, TeslaCrypt
  • Built-in ransomware protection in AVG Internet Security
  • Prevention of ransomware attacks by blocking file modification, deletion, and encryption
  • Tools available free of charge
  • Particularly effective in endpoint device protection

Why do we recommend it?

AVG’s anti-ransomware tools are recommended for their comprehensive approach to dealing with a variety of ransomware types. The inclusion of built-in ransomware protection in AVG Internet Security products offers proactive defence against ransomware attacks, ensuring enhanced security for endpoint devices.

AVG Anti-Ransomware Tools Decryptors

Who is it recommended for?

These tools are ideal for users seeking robust protection against ransomware threats, especially those vulnerable to specific ransomware types like Apocalypse, Bart, BadBlock, and others. AVG’s solutions are also well-suited for businesses and individuals looking to safeguard endpoint devices from ransomware attacks.

Pros:

  • Offers a wide range of decryption tools for various ransomware types
  • Integrated ransomware protection feature in AVG Internet Security enhances overall security
  • Free access to ransomware decryption tools
  • Real-time protection against file modification, deletion, and encryption caused by ransomware
  • Tailored solutions for ransomware like Bart, BadBlock, and TeslaCrypt.

Cons:

  • May require technical knowledge to match the correct tool with the specific ransomware type.

The tools are specifically designed to deal with the following family of ransomware: Apocalypse, Bart, BadBlock, Crypt888, Legion, SZFLocker, TeslaCrypt ransomware tools. Furthermore, AVG also has a built-in ransomware protection feature in its endpoint security products, such as AVG Internet Security. This helps protect files in endpoint devices and prevent ransomware attacks by blocking file modification, deletion, and encryption.

3. Emsisoft Ransomware Decryption Tools

Emsisoft Ransomware Decryption Tools
Figure 3.0 | Screenshot showing Emsisoft ransomware decryptor home page

Emsisoft is one of the top-rated ransomware decryption software that one can have on a Windows PC. In addition, Emsisoft has a long list of free specialized tools for decrypting various strains of ransomware such as PClock, CryptoDefense, CrypBoss, DMA Locker, Xorist, Apocalypse, WannaCryFake, Cyborg, and many others.

Key Features

  • Top-rated ransomware decryption software for Windows PCs
  • Extensive list of free tools for a variety of ransomware strains: PClock, CryptoDefense, CrypBoss, DMA Locker, Xorist, Apocalypse, WannaCryFake, Cyborg, and more
  • Offers decryption without guaranteeing the integrity of decrypted files
  • Option to retain encrypted files post-decryption, useful for limited storage situations

Emsissoft Decryption

Why do we recommend it?

Emsisoft’s ransomware decryption software is recommended for its comprehensive coverage and effectiveness against a wide array of ransomware strains. Its position as a top-rated tool in the industry makes it a reliable choice for users seeking to decrypt files affected by various ransomware attacks.

Who is it recommended for?

This software is ideal for Windows PC users who are dealing with ransomware infections, particularly those affected by strains such as PClock, CryptoDefense, CrypBoss, and others. It’s well-suited for both individual users and organizations seeking to recover their encrypted data.

Pros:

  • Wide range of decryption tools covering numerous ransomware variants.
  • Free access to specialized decryption tools.
  • Recognized as a top-rated software in the ransomware decryption category.
  • Flexibility in handling decrypted files, suitable for users with limited storage.

Cons:

  • No guarantee on the integrity of decrypted files, which may be a concern for critical data.
  • Some technical knowledge may be required to identify and use the appropriate tool for specific ransomware types.

Emsisoft ransomware decryption software is among the top-rated in the industry. However, Emsisoft tools do not provide any guarantees about the integrity of the decrypted files. Therefore, the decryptor will not remove any encrypted files after they have been decrypted unless this option is specifically disabled, mainly if you have limited storage space.

4. Trend Micro Ransomware Tool

Trend Micro Ransomware Tool
Figure 4.0 | Screenshot showing Trend Micro Ransomware decryptor home page

Trend Micro ransomware file decryptor is designed to decrypt files that have been encrypted by 27 families of known ransomware, including popular strains such as WannaCry, Petya, TeleCrypt, Jigsaw, CryptXXX, and TeslaCrypt(Version 1, 2 3, 4). Just like others, Trend Micro ransomware file decryptor is not a universal one-size-fits-all software. Instead, it requires you to identify the ransomware family you are infected with or the ransomware file extension name before selecting the ideal tool to decrypt files.

Key Features

  • Decrypts files affected by 27 known ransomware families including WannaCry, Petya, and TeslaCrypt
  • Capability to automatically analyze files and identify ransomware based on file signatures
  • Allows selection of specific files or folders for decryption operations

Why do we recommend it?

Trend Micro’s ransomware file decryptor is recommended for its ability to tackle a wide range of ransomware families. The tool’s functionality to automatically analyze and identify ransomware types makes it a valuable asset for users unsure of the specific ransomware affecting their files.

Who is it recommended for?

This tool is particularly beneficial for individuals and organizations facing ransomware attacks from known strains like WannaCry or Petya. It’s also suitable for those who may not have the technical expertise to identify the ransomware type, as the tool provides assistance in this area.

Pros:

  • Supports decryption for a wide array of ransomware families.
  • Automatic ransomware identification feature for users unsure of the ransomware type.
  • User-friendly interface with options for selecting specific files or folders.
  • Useful for a variety of ransomware strains, increasing its utility.

Cons:

  • No universal decryption capability; effectiveness is limited to known ransomware families.
  • No guarantee regarding the effectiveness of decryption or the integrity of decrypted files.
  • May require some technical knowledge for optimal use, especially in identifying ransomware types.

Suppose you don’t know the ransomware name or file extension. In that case, the tool may automatically analyze the file and identify the ransomware based on the file signature or ask you to provide additional information about the files; otherwise, select the “I don’t know the ransomware name” option. You will also be prompted to select a target file or a folder on your computer to perform the decryption operation. However, the tool is efficient enough to identify various ransomware file types and decrypt them. Of course, there is no 100% guarantee about its effectiveness all the time or the integrity of the translated files. Trend Micro provides details about the limitations of the tool for your information.

5. Avast Anti-ransomware Tools

Avast Anti-ransomware Tools
Figure 5.0 | Screenshot showing Avast ransomware descriptor home page

Avast provides ransomware decryption tools for some of the most popular types of ransomware out there. Avast ransomware decryption tools are designed to decrypt files that 27 families of known ransomware have encrypted. Before using this tool, Avast recommends that you ensure all traces of the ransomware infection have been removed from your computer.

Key Features

  • Capable of decrypting files encrypted by 27 known ransomware families
  • User-friendly: easy installation and operation without special configuration
  • Utilizes known file formats to verify successful decryption
  • Offers a free tool for preventing ransomware attacks and other threats

Why do we recommend it?

Avast’s ransomware decryption tools are recommended for their ease of use and the ability to tackle a wide range of ransomware types. Their user-friendly interface and the capability to scan different locations make them accessible and efficient for a broad spectrum of users.

The Avast anti-ransomware tools are easy to install and use and don’t require any special configuration. Simply download the zip file, unzip it, and launch the application (as an administrator) via their associated executable files. It can be set to scan any location on the disk where you suspect the encrypted files to be, such as local or network drives as well as custom folders. In addition, the Avast decryptor relies on a known file format to verify that the file was successfully decrypted during the decryption process.

avast ransomware decryption tools

Who is it recommended for?

These tools are ideal for users, both individuals and businesses, who need to decrypt files affected by common ransomware families. They are especially useful for those who prefer a straightforward, no-fuss approach to ransomware decryption.

Pros:

  • Supports decryption for a broad spectrum of ransomware families.
  • Simple installation and usage, suitable for users with varying levels of technical expertise.
  • Flexible scanning options to locate encrypted files in different storage areas.
  • Complements decryption with a free anti-ransomware prevention tool.

Cons:

  • No guarantee of successful or effective decryption.
  • Users are advised to back up encrypted files, indicating potential risks in the decryption process.
  • Limited to decrypting known ransomware types, may not be effective against newer or unknown variants.

However, just like others, Avast does not guarantee that the decryption will be successful or effective. Avast recommends backing up encrypted files in case something goes wrong during the decryption process. In addition, Avast provides a free anti-ransomware tool that helps to prevent ransomware attacks and other types of threats.

6. Quick Heal Ransomware Decryption Tool

Quick Heal Ransomware Decryption Tool
Figure 6.0 | Screenshot showing Quick Heal ransomware descriptor home page

Quick Heal ransomware decryption tool can decrypt files encrypted by 17 variants of ransomware. The application automatically scans your infected device for supported encrypted files and then attempts to decrypt them, replacing the encrypted files with the decrypted ones. Follow the steps below to decrypt a file using this tool:

  • Click Download Tool, save and extract the zip file on the system having the encrypted files.
  • Right-click on the extracted file and select “Run as administrator” to view the Decryption Window.
  • Press Y to start the scan. The tool will automatically scan the entire system for supported encrypted files. When an encrypted file is found, the tool will decrypt the file in its respective folder while keeping a copy of the encrypted file simultaneously.
  • After the scan is complete, the decryption tool will show the final status displaying the number of encrypted files found and how many were successfully decrypted. The detailed information about the decryption status of each file can be obtained from the ‘Decryption.log’ generated in the same folder of the tool.
  • After that, you can open the decrypted files and verify if they are accessible/readable again.

Key Features

  • Automated scanning and decryption process
  • Retains a copy of the encrypted file during decryption
  • Provides detailed decryption logs for tracking and verification
  • In-built active protection against ransomware from removable storage devices

Why do we recommend it?

Quick Heal’s ransomware decryption tool is recommended for its ability to automatically identify and decrypt a wide range of ransomware-infected files. Its user-friendly process and additional security features make it a reliable choice for users seeking to recover their data.

Who is it recommended for?

This tool is suitable for individuals and organizations that need an effective solution against ransomware, especially those who may not have extensive technical expertise. It’s particularly beneficial for those who need to decrypt files affected by one of the 17 ransomware variants it supports.

Pros:

  • Supports 17 different ransomware types, offering a broad scope of decryption.
  • Automated scanning simplifies the decryption process.
  • Maintains a backup of the original encrypted file as a safety measure.
  • Active protection mechanism enhances security against ransomware.

Cons:

  • Limited to 17 variants, may not be effective against newer or unknown ransomware types.
  • Users must ensure the ransomware variant matches one of the supported types for successful decryption.

Quick Heal also has an in-built active protection mechanism that mitigates ransomware attacks by preventing malware from automatically executing when introduced via removable storage devices.

7. McAfee Ransomware Recover

McAfee Ransomware Recover
Figure 7.0 | Screenshot showing McAfee ransomware descriptor home page

McAfee Ransomware Recover (Mr2) is a framework that supports the decryption of files that various variants of ransomware have encrypted.

Key Features

  • Supports a wide range of ransomware variants for decryption
  • Regularly updated with new decryption keys and logic
  • Specific guidance for preparation before using the tool, such as ensuring network connectivity and updating antimalware signatures

Why do we recommend it?

McAfee Ransomware Recover is recommended for its comprehensive approach to decrypting files across various ransomware types. Its frequent updates make it a reliable option for tackling even the latest ransomware strains.

The tool can unlock user files, applications, databases, applets, and other objects infected with ransomware. The good thing about this tool is that it is regularly updated as the keys and decryption logic required to decrypt files held for ransom by criminals become available. Before using this tool, McAfee recommends you do the following:

  • Make sure your machine has network connectivity.
  • Terminate and quarantine existing ransomware on your system by updating your antimalware product’s latest signature before running a specific decryption tool.
  • On Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008, make sure you have the patch or update for this Microsoft security advisory installed on your system.

Who is it recommended for?

This tool is ideal for users who need a versatile solution capable of dealing with multiple ransomware variants. It’s particularly useful for those managing diverse file types and applications that might be affected by ransomware.

Pros:

  • Broad range of ransomware decryption capabilities.
  • Regular updates ensure effectiveness against evolving ransomware threats.
  • Versatile in decrypting different types of files and applications.
  • Provides clear guidance for users to prepare their systems before decryption.

Cons:

  • Requires users to perform specific preparatory steps, which might be challenging for less technical users.
  • Effectiveness is contingent on the tool being updated with the latest decryption keys, which may not always be available for newer ransomware types.

8. No More Ransom

No More Ransom
Figure 8.0 | Screenshot showing McAfee ransomware descriptor home page

The No More Ransom project is an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky, and McAfee to help ransomware victims retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals. The project also aims to educate users about how ransomware works and what countermeasures can effectively prevent infection.

Key Features

  • A collaborative initiative by major cybersecurity entities and law enforcement
  • Extensive collection of decryptor tools and keys for over 100 ransomware strains
  • An online tool that identifies ransomware based on uploaded sample files
  • Educational resources about ransomware and effective countermeasures

Why do we recommend it?

The No More Ransom project is highly recommended for its extensive database of decryption tools and its unique ability to identify ransomware strains based on user-uploaded samples. This collaborative effort provides a valuable, free resource for victims of ransomware worldwide.

Who is it recommended for?

This initiative is ideal for individuals and organizations that are uncertain about the type of ransomware they are dealing with. It’s also a great educational resource for anyone looking to understand more about ransomware and how to prevent it.

Pros:

  • Largest collection of ransomware decryption tools and keys, covering over 100 strains.
  • User-friendly interface for identifying ransomware types.
  • Free access to all tools and resources.
  • Collaborative effort backed by leading cybersecurity and law enforcement agencies.

Cons:

  • Dependence on the availability of decryption keys and tools for specific ransomware types.
  • Identification of ransomware relies on the user’s ability to provide sample files, which may not always be feasible or safe for all users.

No More Ransom has the most extensive collection of decryptor tools and a repository of keys that can decrypt over 100 ransomware strains out there.  If you don’t know which ransomware attacked your system, simply upload two sample files from your PC. Once you upload them, the website will identify the ransomware and provide you with the necessary decryption tool, if available.