Qowd Virus

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


Qowd is a virus program that blocks the files of its victims and demands a payment in order to unblock them. Viruses like Qowd are known as Ransomware and they are among the most common threats that users encounter on the Internet.

The Qowd ransomware will leave a _readme.txt file with instructions

The attack from Ransomware such as Qowd can be quite devastating if you haven’t made sure to periodically back up the important files that you keep stored on your computer. Once the virus infects the machine of its victim, it launches a file encryption process that quickly makes all affected data inaccessible by locking it with an advanced algorithm. During the encryption, the virus generates a unique private key that can restore access to the locked data. That key is saved on the computer of the hackers and they are the only ones who initially have it. The purpose of the whole malware attack is to get you to pay for that key, which is oftentimes the only thing that can make your files usable again. Of course, if no important data has been locked, you won’t need to pay the ransom and your only concern would be to get the virus removed from the computer (for which you do not need the access key). However, most victims of Ransomware do lose access to some rather important files and they really need to get those files back. If you are among those users, stay with us in order to learn about your options and what the pros and cons of each of them are.

The Qowd virus

The Qowd virus is a malware program that will “kidnap” every important file on your computer and harass you with a ransom message. The Qowd virus will display the message once the files are locked, informing you about the ransom that must be paid.

You might be tempted to try your luck with the ransom payment if you have the needed money but we should warn you that this is probably not a risk you’d like to take. The chances of retrieving your data after you pay aren’t that high as the criminals behind the Ransomware could easily decide to keep the access key for themselves and never provide you with the means to get back your files. At the very least, you should first try the other options that may be available and only then consider the ransom payment a second time.

The .Qowd file decryption

The .Qowd file decryption is the method that is supposed to unblock your files and make them usable again. The .Qowd file decryption cannot be completed without the key or without a special decryption tool that can generate a key for you.

Qowd File

There is a list of such free decryptors on our site but they are only for specific Ransomware versions. We update it frequently but we can’t guarantee that you will find a working decryptor for Qowd, Qoqa, Iowd there. Still, it is something that you should try before you go for the payment. Just remember to first remove Qowd from your system so that there’s no more danger of getting important data encrypted. To remove the virus, you can use the instructions from the following guide.


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

Remove Qowd Ransomware


The first thing that ought to be done in the instance of a Ransomware infection is to stop the process of the virus so no further data encryption occurs on the computer. To find and quit the process of the virus, you must go to your Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys. Once you see the Task Manager window on your screen, go to Processes and look for a process named Qowd or something similar. If you don’t see any such process, look for other ones that seem to be using too much of your computer’s RAM memory and CPU power, especially if those processes have odd-looking or unfamiliar names. It is important to first look online for information about any processes you think may be linked to Qowd by looking up their names. In some instances, you may think that a certain process is malicious whereas in reality it is a legitimate system process that you shouldn’t stop.


After you confirm that this is not the case with the process(s) in your Task Manager that you think are connected to the virus, proceed to right-click on the suspicious process and then select the Open File Location option which will bring you to a folder where the files of the process are stored. You must scan the files in that folder either using the free online scanner we offer below or a security tool of your own. You can, of course, use both scanning methods, which is actually the advisable course of action.

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    If the scanning confirms that one or more of the files from the file location of the process contain malicious code, delete the entire location folder. In some cases, you may not be allowed to delete the folder because some of the files in it can’t be removed. If this happens to you, delete what files you can from the folder and the rest leave for later. Once the remaining steps from this guide are completed, you should return to that folder to try to delete it again – this time you should have no problem doing this.



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

    In this next step, you will have to enter Safe Mode on your computer. When in Safe Mode, your system will prevent the virus from automatically launching its processes on startup which could help you with the full removal of the threat. If you are not sure how to boot your PC into Safe Mode, our guide on this page will provide you with the needed instructions.


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


    After you have entered Safe Mode, you must type System Configuration in the Start Menu and then hit the Enter key. This will open the System Configuration window and in it, you must select the Startup tab. There, you will see different items (apps, features) that get automatically started on the computer whenever Windows boots up. If any of the listed items look connected in some way to Qowd, if they have Unknown listed as their developer, or if they look unfamiliar and unwanted, remove the tick in front of their names.

    Once you have unchecked all suspicious startup items, click on OK to save and apply the changes.



    hosts_opt (1)

    Copy-paste this into your Start Menu and press the Enter keynotepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts. Once a notepad named Hosts shows up on your screen, see if there is anything written below the word “Localhost” at the bottom of the text and if there is, copy it and place it in the comments below. Malware programs like Qowd often target this file and add their own rules to it in the form of weird-looking IP addresses and commands below Localhost. However, without first having a look at the lines below Localhost, we cannot confirm that this is the case with your Hosts file.

    If it is confirmed that the IP addresses from your Hosts file are likely from the virus, we will tell you to delete these IPs from the file when we reply to your comment.



    This step is very important to remove the virus but if you don’t execute it properly additional problems for your system may occur so you need to be very careful. Your PC’s Registry stores lots of important OS settings so you must be careful not to delete something you are not supposed to. The only things that must be deleted from the Registry are items linked to the Qowd malware. Otherwise, if something else gets deleted, your computer may face unforeseen consequences. Because of this, the best advice we could give you here is to ask us for assistance (through the comments below) every time you are in doubt regarding the nature of a given item from the Registry.

    Now, to enter the Registry Editor, select the Start Menu, type regedit in it, and select the first shown icon from the search results (should be regedit.exe). You will probably be asked to verify that you want to open the Editor app and allow it to make changes to the computer so if Windows asks you that, confirm by selecting Yes.

    With the Registry Editor open, press Ctrl + F to evoke the Editor search box and type in the latter the name of the threat. Now press the Find Next button to search for related items and if such an item is found, delete it by right-clicking on it, selecting Delete, and then Yes. Next, look for other Qowd items in the Registry by clicking on Find Next again and delete whatever gets found. Keep doing this until no more search results come up for the name Qowd.

    Finally, go to these next Registry directories:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Internet Explorer > Main

    If any of them contain obscure-looking folders with long names that look like sequences of randomized letters and/or numbers, select those folders and delete them. If you are unsure about a given folder, ask us about it down in the comments.



    Finally, copy these next folder locations, place each in the Start Menu search box, and press Enter to go to their respective folders.

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

    Inside those folders, you must delete the most recently added files (everything that’s been added since the virus infected your computer). Once you open the Temp folder, delete all the files contained in it.

    Once you are finished with this final step, do not forget to delete the files from Step 1 that you were not able to remove earlier (if there are any such files left).

    How to Decrypt Qowd files

    The deletion of Qowd, in and of itself, is not enough to bring back your locked files. However, it is an important first stage of the data recovery. Once you make sure that the virus is gone, go to the linked guide on How to Decrypt Ransomware where you can find instructions that focus on restoring encrypted data without paying money to the hackers who have attacked you with the Ransomware. However, you must be certain that the virus has been fully eradicated from your system so as to prevent it from locking again any of the files that you may succeed in restoring. You can use the free online scanner offered on this page to test any suspicious files for malicious code to confirm that there’s no more malware on the computer.

    Final Notes

    Hopefully, finishing this guide will rid your computer of the malicious Qowd and allow you to attempt to recover the files that it has locked without getting interrupted by its processes. In case you still think that the threat may be in the computer, we highly recommend trying out the powerful removal program that can be found linked on the current page – it can make quick work of all forms of harmful malware and can also keep your system secure and protected in the future. Lastly, do not forget to leave us a comment whenever you think that there’s something that needs clarifying in relation to Qowd threat.


    About the author


    Brandon Skies

    Brandon is a researcher and content creator in the fields of cyber-security and virtual privacy. Years of experience enable him to provide readers with important information and adequate solutions for the latest software and malware problems.

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