Merl Virus

This page aims to help you remove Merl for free. Our instructions also cover how any Merl file can be recovered.


Merl is a ransomware infection created for blackmailing web users into paying a ransom for access to their own data. What Merl does is, it first encrypts a variety of user files and then places a ransom note on the screens of the victims.

Merl Virus

Once the Merl Virus has encrypted your files it will leave a _readme.txt file behind.

Ransomware infections like this one have become some of the internet’s most dangerous types of viruses. In general, what is specific about these viruses is that they can stealthily encrypt the most sensitive files on the computer and then try to extort money from the owner. If you are in a similar situation now, know that we created the current article and the accompanying removal guide in order to help Ransomware victims such as yourself. The article and the guide contain important information about the way Merl and the viruses of its kind operate, as well as instructions on how to remove the ransomware from a computer. In addition, the removal guide will also provide some alternative steps that may potentially help you recover the files that Merl has encrypted without paying a ransom. So, stay with us and check out the details in the next lines.

The Merl virus

The Merl virus is a ransomware cryptovirus specialized in extorting money from regular web users by blocking access to their files. The Merl virus typically sneaks in the system without visible symptoms and encrypts a list of target file types.

Typically, ransomware infections like Merl, Hets and Gesd can be found in shady and illegal websites, so try to restrict your access to such web locations as much as possible. Nevertheless, opening spam emails is still one of the most common ways the majority of web users get infected. That’s why, if a message clearly does not come from a legitimate sender, or if it contains questionable attached files, it is better not to open it at all. The same applies to sketchy online advertisements, odd on-screen alerts, and popups which prompt you to click on random links or download shady installers.

The Merl file

The Merl file is a file that has been encrypted by the Merl ransomware and has therefore become inaccessible. The Merl file may have its original extension replaced with another one that cannot be recognized by any program.

Decrypting the Merl files and restoring access to the encrypted information is not guaranteed no matter what you decide to do. If you pay the ransom, you may get a decryption key or you may not. If you get a key, it may work or it may not. Therefore, searching for other solutions which don’t involve risking your money is highly advisable.

Here, we are offering you instructions on how to remove Merl from your device. After you eliminate the malware, you can try our free file-recovery suggestions. The steps are described in the removal guide below and are aimed at detecting the malware and recovering files from system backups. Since every case of infection with ransomware is different, however, we cannot promise that our steps will work for everyone. Therefore, other alternatives we can suggest involve getting in touch with specialists who deal specifically with ransomware and seek their assistance. You can also try to find a free decryptor tool to crack the Merl code and free up your data. We’ve published a list of such tools on our website and we’re constantly adding new decryptors to it. Ideally, you would find copies of your files on personal backups which may allow you to bring back your most valuable pieces of data.


Name Merl
Type Ransomware
Danger Level High (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)
Symptoms Very few and unnoticeable ones before the ransom notification comes up.
Distribution Method From fake ads and fake system requests to spam emails and contagious web pages.
Data Recovery Tool [banner_table_recovery]
Detection Tool

Merl Ransomware Removal

Merl Virus

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Merl Virus


Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

Merl Virus

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
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.
Merl Virus
Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
Merl Virus
Analyzing 0 s
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
    This scanner is based on VirusTotal's API. By submitting data to it, you agree to their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and to the sharing of your sample submission with the security community. Please do not submit files with personal information if you do not want them to be shared.

    After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

    Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections.

    Merl Virus

    Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

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

    A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

    Merl Virus

    If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

    Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

    Merl Virus

    Go in Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

    • Please note that ransomware may even include a fake Manufacturer name to its process. Make sure you check out every process here is legitimate.

    Merl Virus

    Type Regedit in the windows search field and press EnterOnce inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name. 

    Search for the ransomware  in your registries and delete the entries. Be extremely careful –  you can damage your system if you delete entries not related to the ransomware.

    Type each of the following in the Windows Search Field:

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

    Delete everything in Temp. The rest just check out for anything recently added. Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!

    Merl Virus 

    How to Decrypt Merl files

    We have a comprehensive (and daily updated) guide on how to decrypt your files. Check it out here.

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


    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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