.Winner Ransomware

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

Winner Ransom Note 1024x490

Once the encryption is complete, .Winner will place a text file on your desktop containing the instructions for the ransom payment. The worst part about getting your files locked by .Winner or by another similar cryptovirus infection is that you cannot know if you are ever going to get them back. Sure, the hackers may assure you that they will provide you with a decryption key if you pay them, but there isn’t really way of knowing if that’s really the truth – for all you know, they may be lying to you.

After all, the only thing those online criminals care about is the money you are supposed to give them – as soon as that money is transferred to their virtual wallet, there is nothing keeping them from disappearing and never sending you the needed decryption key. Sadly, the file encryption used by newer versions like .Winner is highly advanced and is unique for every virus.

The .Winner virus

The .Winner virus uses a complex encryption algorithm to lock your files and prevent you from opening them. And in order to reverse the decryption, ideally you would require the designated decryptor keys that the hackers require you pay them for. 

Because of that, even though many experts in the field of cyber security are working around the clock to come up with specialized decryptor tools for such viruses, a decryptor that may work against one cryptovirus is likely going to be completely useless against another.

On our site, we have a list with many free decryptors for different Ransomware threats that you can visit to see if any of the suggested tools are able to help you. However, if none of those decryptors are able to open your files, then your chances of retrieving your data at the particular moment are not too high. One thing to understand about Ransomware is that full recovery may not always be within the realm of possibility. However, it is Important to know when to ct your losses and at least try to minimize the damage in case you can’t fully repair it.

If this cryptovirus has your files placed under its encryption, there are not many things you can do. Some of you may still think that the ransom payment may not be such a bad idea. However, as we said earlier in this post, if you pay the money, it is possible that the hackers simply disappear with it, without helping you deal with the encryption of your files. It is never a good idea to put your trust in some online criminals, especially when your money is on the line. 

The .Winner file encryption

The .Winner file encryption is very complex and tricky to deal with, but it’s not impossible. In fact, there are a  number of alternative means that users have at their disposal to help them overcome the .Winner file encryption without paying the hackers. 

Therefore, the alternative that we would suggest is to remove the infection with the help of our .Winner Ransomware removal guide or by using the professional removal program included in the current post. After the infection is no longer in your computer, what you can do is try the suggested data restoration alternatives we have on our site and also take a look at the list of decryptors. Also, it is a good idea to check all of your external devices, other computers, smartphones, cloud services and other accounts for any spare copies of your files – in many cases, the users, overwhelmed by panic, tend to forget about such potential backups that they may have so it’s always a good idea to explore all your data storages before you conclude that all of your files are indeed locked.


Danger LevelHigh (Ransomware is by far the worst threat you can encounter)
SymptomsRansomware infections are extremely secretive which is why most users don’t notice any symptoms during the encryption process.
Distribution MethodPages with illegal content or ones with many sketchy ads on them, sites that distributed pirated software, spam messages, shady links and ads, etc.
Data Recovery ToolNot Available
Detection Tool

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Remove .Winner Ransomware


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).



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


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

    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.



    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:

    hosts_opt (1)


    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:



    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.


    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!



    How to Decrypt .Winner 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


    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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