Recover Files Encrypted by CryptoLocker Using Previous Versions of Windows

CryptoLocker malware or virus as others are referring to it has been in the wild and infecting thousand of computers worldwide. This threat is quite notorious that it decrypts every important file on the computer. In order to decrypt them, you need to pay $300 to get the private key. Prior to that and upon CryptoLocker infection, a public key has been created on the system. In order to recover files, you need a valid combination of both public and private key.

With the complex encryption method used by those in control of CryptoLocker, many were oblige to pay for the demand. To them, giving into this threat is the only solution rather than losing their precious files. On this situation, you may realize how regular backup is very essential in the computing world. In relation to that, we will be covering on this post one feature of Windows that can help you restore files whether it is accidentally deleted, removed, or infected by CryptoLocker.

Payment for Private Key

“Previous Versions” of Windows

Previous versions are either copies of files and folders created by Windows Backup or copies of files and folders that Windows automatically saves as part of a restore point. You can use previous versions to restore files and folders that you accidentally modified or deleted, or that were damaged. Depending on the type of file or folder, you can open, save to a different location, or restore a previous version.

How are “Previous Versions” Created?

When you create a restore point, it also saves a Previous Versions of files and folder. Automatic creation of this Previous Versions is created automatically if System Protection is enabled. Additionally running Windows Backup also help creates a Previous Versions of your files and folders instantly.

How to use “Previous Versions” to recover files encrypted by CryptoLocker?

This feature of Windows only works on Windows Vista (not Home) and Windows 7. To start restoring a files and folders affected by CryptoLocker, please follow these procedures:

1. Simply open My Computer or Windows Explorer. Navigate to the folder you wanted to recover.
2. Right-click on the folder and select ‘Restore previous versions’.


3. It will open a dialog box, showing all the previous copies of the folder.
4. Click on the desired restore date and choose whether you want to Open, Copy, or Restore it.

MS Windows’ Previous Version function is definitely very useful especially this time that countless attacks from Ransomware like CryptoLocker are happening. If you this is the first time you have learned about this feature, we suggest enabling it on your computer at once.

1 Response

  1. Kevin says:

    The new version of cryptowall 2.0 secure deletes older versions of files and folders so do not count on this technique to work on new versions.

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