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How to remove HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES (Virus Removal)

HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES is a ransom note associated with different variants of ransomware

HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES.txt is a note file that contains a ransom note. The file is associated with different variants of new ransomware including WanaCry and xData. HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES ransomware uses AES encryption algorithm to encrypt files and appends a new extension to the files it encrypts such as .~xdata~. Once this has been complete, a file named test.png will become test.png.~xdata~. Different variants of ransomware will use other extensions like .wcry, .wcryt, .wncry, or .wncrrytt.


Depending on the variant of the ransomware it may or may not use an interface( or UI) which is common for most ransomware. The UI is usually used to lock screens and restrict access to the machine in order to display a ransom note. Some variants of ransomware will download a ransom note in each file it encrypted files in or display a note file instead of a UI named HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES.txt. The note file explains what happens and how to purcahse a private key and special tool to decrypt files the way the malware authors want victims to.

The ransom note usually says that in order to obtain a private key and special tool you must find a PC key file in a certain location on your PC. The note further explains that the key must be sent to one of the email addresses listed on the ransom note. Here’s an example of the ransom note displayed by xData ransomware:

Your IMPORTANT FILES WERE ENCRYPTED on this computer: documents, databases, photos, videos, etc.

Encryption was produced using unique public key for this computer.
To decrypt files, you need to obtain private key and special tool.

To retrieve the private key and tool find your pc key file with ‘.key.~xdata~’ extension.
Depending on your operation system version and personal settings, you can find it in:
‘C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data’,
‘Your Desktop’
folders (eg. ‘C:/PC-TTT54M#45CD.key.~xdata~’).

Then send it to one of following email addresses:


Your ID: [NAME]#[ID]

Do not worry if you did not find key file, anyway contact for support.

The HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES virus is very popular and is spreading very fast throughout the world.  In the past hours, ransomware that uses this ransom note have been on one of the most active malware campaigns.

The ransomware is suspected to use a trojan to drop an exploit on the computer it infects. The most recent variants of similar ransomware have been distributed via a specific region and that is suspected here as well. Once the ransomware infects the targeted computer it creates a random folder in C:\ProgramData. The folder created by the ransomware contains executable files named mssql.exe, msdns.exe, mscomrpc.exe,  and msdcom.exe.

The instructions on this page will help you remove HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES ransomware, viruses, malware, and decrypt encrypted files with the ~xdata~ extension. Follow each step below to remove this infection and secure your computer from malicious threats. On the bottom of this guide you will also find recovery and decryption software for various ransomware infections.

1. Remove HOW_CAN_I_DECRYPT_MY_FILES with Malwarebytes


  1. Open your browser window and download Malwarebytes 3.0 Premium or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
  2. Open the executable file (mb3-setup.exe) to begin installing Malwarebytes.
  3. Select your language, click Next, then select “I accept the agreement,” click the Next button several times, and then click the Install button to install Malwarebytes. Click Finish once the install process is complete.
  4. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button on the Dashboard to begin scanning your computer.
  5. Click the Quarantine Selected button once the scan is finished.
  6. If Malwarebytes says “All selected items have been removed successfully. A log file has been saved to the logs folder. Your computer needs to be restarted to complete the removal process. Would you like to restart now?” click the Yes button to restart your computer.

2. Remove trace files with HitmanPro


  1. Open your browser window and download HitmanPro.
  2. Open the executable file (hitmanpro_x64.exe or hitmanpro_x32.exe) to begin installing HitmanPro.
  3. Click the Next button, check “I accept the terms of the license agreement,” and click the Next button again.
  4. On the Setup page select “Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended)” and add your email address to the registration fields to begin the free trial.
  5. Click Next to begin scanning your computer.
  6. Once the Scan results are displayed click the Next button and click the Next button again on the Removal results page.

3. Clean up and repair issues with CCleaner


  1. Open your browser window and download CCleaner Professional or CCleaner Free.
  2. Open the executable file (ccsetup.exe or other) to begin installing CCleaner.
  3. Click the Install button to begin stalling the program.
  4. Click Run CCleaner to open the program when installation is complete.
  5. Select the Cleaner tab and click the Analyze button.
  6. When the Analyze process is complete click the Run Cleaner button to clean all files.
  7. Next, select the Registry tab and click the Scan for Issues button to scan for issues in your registry.
  8. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected Issues button and Fix All Selected Issues button to fix the issues.
  9. Next, select the Tools tab and click Startup. Examine each area, search for suspicious entries, and delete any suspicious startup entries by selecting the entry and clicking the Delete button.
  10. Next, click Browser Plugins and search each internet browser for unwanted browser add-ons and extensions. Click the extension you want to delete and click the Delete button to remove it.

Decryption Software

Shadow Explorer Restores lost or damaged files from Shadow Copies Download (Free)
Photorec Recovers lost files Download (Free)
Recuva Recovers lost files Download (Free) | Buy

Lead Editor

Jared Harrison is an accomplished tech author and entrepreneur, bringing forth over 20 years of extensive expertise in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and various other tech domains. He has made significant contributions to the industry and has been featured in multiple esteemed publications. Jared is widely recognized for his keen intellect and innovative insights, earning him a reputation as a respected figure in the tech community.

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