Erqw Virus

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*Erqw is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.


Erqw is a ransomware-based threat created to encrypt the files found on a user’s computer. The ultimate goal of Erqw is to prevent the owner of the files from opening or using them unless he/she pays a ransom.

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The Erqw virus will leave _readme.txt file with instructions

In case that Erqw has prevented you from accessing your files, it is very important to remain cool and to not let the fear and frustration take over you. Indeed, such a ransomware virus can restrict access to some very important files which may be vital for your work or studies, or may simply be of great sentimental value to you, but this doesn’t mean that you should respond emotionally and immediately pay the hackers what they want. Our removal guide here offers an alternative solution that is focused on how to remove the virus and how to potentially recover your data from backups or by using specialized decryptor tools. So, stay with us if you want to learn more and clean up your computer from Erqw and its traces.

The Erqw virus

The Erqw virus is a very malicious ransomware infection specialized in file encryption and money extortion. The Erqw virus can target a variety of user files and encrypt them one by one with a complex code which is decryptable only with a special decryption key.

If you are about to deal with Erqw, you should be careful because this is one of the most dangerous forms of malware out there. Besides, ransomware works very differently from viruses, Trojans, and other pieces of malware. Therefore, it can enter your computer and lock your data without getting detected even by the most advanced security software. This is because viruses such as Erqw, Assm, Mztu are not necessarily identified as threats to the system since the file encryption they use is not a malicious process. In reality, the file encryption is used to keep data safe from unauthorized access by locking it up and making it unavailable without the application of a special decryption key. In the even of a ransomware attack, however, the decryption key is stored in the hacker’s servers and the latter demand a payment in order to provide the victim with the matching decryption key.

For the most part, without the corresponding key, even specialists in the field of cryptography are unable to crack the encryption code that is applied to the targeted files. Therefore, many victims usually see no other option but to pay the ransom and hope that the hackers will send them the decryption key needed for their data’s release.

The .Erqw file encryption

The .Erqw file encryption is a secret process that takes place in the background of the system and renders user files unavailable without the application of a decryption key. The .Erqw file encryption process typically has no visible symptoms and remains under the radar of most security programs.

Erqw File

Clearly, it is up to you to choose whether or not to transfer the money to the offenders behind Erqw. However, we would suggest that you DO NOT to sponsor this blackmail scheme by giving in to it. For one, the hackers may never send you a decryption key as promised and, even if you obtain such a key, there is no guarantee that it will work. There might be an error in the code and, in such a case, your files will still remain unavailable, but your money will be gone for good. That is why we suggest that you save your money and try some free-file recovery methods, such as those in the removal guide below. If you manage to remove Erqw from your computer, you can safely connect any external hard drives or access your cloud storage and recover files from there in case you have been backing up your data.


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*Erqw is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

Remove Erqw Ransomware


Ransomware threats like Erqw may infect various system locations and inject malicious code in them without any visible sign. That’s why if you want to completely remove Erqw, you will need to manually go to several system locations where dangerous entries might be found and restart the system as necessary.

For your convenience, we recommend that you bookmark the page with these removal instructions so you can easily get back to them or simply open the guide on another device and follow the instructions from there.

After you ensure that you can refer back to this page, it is necessary that you reboot the system in Safe Mode. This will restrict the number of running processes and apps only to the most essential ones and will eventually make it faster for you to spot the ransomware-related activity and the dangerous files and processes associated to it.



*Erqw is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

As we said in the beginning, there could be one or more malicious processes that may be operating in the background of your computer in order to support the ransomware threat. That’s why, your next task after you restart the computer in Safe Mode, is to open the Task Manager (in the Start menu search field, type Task Manager and press Enter) and click the Processes Tab from the top. In this tab, you can easily see all the processes that are currently running on your system.

Keep in mind that Erqw may use a random name or the name of a real process in order to deceive you. So, if you don’t know which processes are harmful, you’ll need to search for additional red flags (such excessive CPU and Memory use), or you can right-click on the suspicious process, choose Open File Location, and then scan the files located there with the powerful free virus scanner that you will find below:


Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
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Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
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    Wait for the scan to finish, and if any harmful files are detected, don’t hesitate to immediately end the process related to them and remove the dangerous files from their File Location folder.

    If you’re concerned that there are more potentially harmful processes that are running in the Task Manager, you may use the scanner provided here to scan all of them.


    Check your hosts file and your list of startup items for entries linked to Erqw in the following step.

    First, click on the Start menu button in the bottom left corner of the screen, and then type the following line in the search box:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    Then, hit Enter, and your computer’s Hosts file will open.

    You should find Localhost in the file by scrolling down and look at the IP addresses listed under it. Let us know if you see any IPs that look out of place, such as the ones shown in the sample picture below, by commenting in the end of this guide.

    hosts_opt (1)


    Next, search for “msconfig” by typing it into the Start Menu search field and pressing Enter:



    Select the Startup tab to see the list of apps that are set to start when your computer starts. It’s a good idea to check online any startup items that you think don’t belong to any of your usual applications, or if they have an “Unknown” Manufacturer or a strange name, and uncheck their checkbox if you find out they are harmful.


    *Erqw is a variant of Stop/DJVU. Source of claim SH can remove it.

    Viruses and other malware often add their dangerous files in the registry, which is a critical system location. Therefore, in order to fully eliminate Erqw from your computer, the registry must be searched for ransomware-related items that need to be deleted. 

    Attention! Inexperienced users should avoid making registry modifications or removing data stored there. We suggest that you use the professional removal program listed on this page to prevent any incorrect deletions and alterations that may damage the OS and the applications installed on it. 

    If you still prefer to go the manual way, here is what you need to do:

    Enter Regedit in the Start menu search field and press Enter from the keyboard.

    Next, use the CTRL and F key combination to open a Find window inside the Registry Editor. Enter the ransomware’s name in the search field and press the Find Next button. Carefully delete the entries that you are sure represent a danger. Please, do not remove files and folders that are not connected to the ransomware.

    Next, exit the Registry Editor and type each of the following lines in the Start menu search field one by one, and then press Enter to open it:

    1. %AppData%
    2. %LocalAppData%
    3. %ProgramData%
    4. %WinDir%
    5. %Temp%

    Delete any files or folders that you suspect are connected to Erqw or were added around the time of the infection. At the end, select everything in Temp and then delete it.

    Please write to us in the comments if you have any issues, and we’ll try our best to assist you.

    How to Decrypt .Erqw files

    To decrypt Erqw files, we recommend using a free decryptor program that can reverse-engineer the decryption code, so that you won’t have to pay a ransom. To decrypt Erqw files using the decryptor tool,  you will need pairs of encrypted and original files.

    Before you go any further, however, we need to remind you to make sure that the Ransomware threat is truly gone from your system, or else all your efforts towards recovering your files through this method could be in vain because the virus may encrypt them again and this time the decryptor tool may not be able to help you.

    Once you’ve cleaned your computer and are certain that it is malware-free, you will need to find at least one (but preferably more than one) pair of files, in which one of the files is encrypted and the other is an original and accessible version of that same file. Try searching for the original versions in other devices, on external hard drives, flash memory sticks, cloud storages, and even in your email accounts. The only requirement is for the files to be larger than 150 KB. Once you’ve found such a pair or (better yet) pairs of files, it is time to begin:

    1. Visit this webpage, select the first of the Choose File buttons, navigate to an encrypted file for which you have access to its original and unencrypted version, select it, and click Open.
    2. Next, using the second Choose File button, find the original/accessible file from that same pair, select it, and click Open.
    3. Now click on Submit to begin searching for a decryption code and wait patiently. If the tool fails to find the code, use another pair of files and try again.
    4. If a key is found for your files, open this link and from it download the decryptor tool for Erqw.
    5. Right-click on the icon of the downloaded tool and select the Run as Administrator button from the context menu.
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    6. Click Yes when you are asked for your Admin permission to run the program.
    7. Next, Agree to the terms of use to be allowed to use the tool and click OK in the next window.
    8. In the decryptor window, select a disk or navigate to a specific folder with encrypted files stored in it and click on the Decrypt button to start the process in unlocking the encrypted files. In case any of the files get skipped during the decryption process, that would indicate that the code required to unlock them is different. In such cases, you can try again with another pair of files, but it’s also possible that the needed code is simply unknown to the decryptor program.
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    About the author


    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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