How to retrieve encrypted files on Google Drive from Ransomware

One of the most current and widespread information threats is called Ransomware. We are talking about a dangerous malware that damages the files on your computer, making encryption of the original content. The end result of this infection is that you can no longer use documents, images and videos stored on your computer. If we installed and use Google Drive software on the virus-infected computer, most likely the data in the Cloud will be corrupted.

What are the risks of Ransomware Malware?

The main question is this: how do you take viruses on your PC? In the past, the Technology Passion has explained some trick for Windows,  to optimize the operating system and remove viruses or malware.

The truth is that the best defense against computer viruses is the prevention and the computer discipline of users.

Today we know that the main propagation of Ransomware is through email, with the opening of attachments or harmful links on your inbox. Again, it will be useful to read our guide to help you recognize mails containing viruses that are healthy. Ransomware Malware is terrible, and once run on your computer, you will not let go of it. Encrypting all hard disk data includes the cache of Google Drive and other Clouds, if we have installed the remote data management client. Once the documents are damaged, the Google Drive app will only synchronize on the server, replacing them in fact with the original ones.

Throughout this story, we learned that in order to effectively protect your data on Google Drive, it’s best to consult them from your browser without installing the application on your computer.

Ransomware
Image Source: Google Image

Solution 1: How to Retrieve Google Drive Files from Browser

Fortunately, paying a ransom to recover files is not the only way to go; there are some tricks to restore data, using the data recovery tools provided by Google or those built on Windows. We see procedures to recover encrypted or corrupted files stored on your Google Drive personal account …

Automatically restore Google Drive data through Browser

  1. Open the Browser and sign in to https://www.google.com/drive/;
  2. Click the “Go to Google Drive” button and sign in;
  3. Select the file to be restored and press “Manage Versions”;
  4. Select a previous version and click on the symbol of the three vertical balls;
  5. Press Download to store the file on your PC;
  6. Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 for all files to retrieve.

Solution 2: How to retrieve Google Drive files from Windows

Fortunately, Windows 10, but also earlier versions, incorporates a service and features dedicated to automatic data backup. Let’s talk about the feature that many use to restore Windows,  due to general problems or slowdowns. In addition to restoring the operating system, the tools attached to the Windows Backup service work to make copies of all the files stored on the PC, so that they can be restored if needed. Before proceeding with the Help, verify that System Security options are enabled.

Prerequisite: Verify Windows System Security Activation:

  1. Press the Windows + Pause / Interr key combination to access System Properties;
  2. Click System Protection on the left;
  3. Click Configure;
  4. Make sure the Enable System Security is selected;
  5. Make sure you have enough storage-related storage space in the Use Disk Space bar.

If the verification of steps 4 and 5 has succeeded, proceed with the help of restoring previous versions of the files, otherwise, the only way to recover encrypted files will be the one highlighted in the first solution.

How to Recover Google Drive Encrypted Files with Windows …

  1. Press the combination of Windows + R keys;
  2. Type “taskkill / IM googledrivesync.exe / F” and press enter;
  3. Press again the combination of Windows + R keys;
  4. Type “% userprofile%” and press enter;
  5. Right-click on the Google Drive folder;
  6. Press “Restore Previous Versions”;
  7. Select restore with a date prior to viral infection;
  8. Click Reset and wait for the conclusion;
  9. For security, make a backup copy of the restored files, copying them to a Backup folder on a PC or external drive;
  10. Access your Google Drive through Browser;
  11. Delete all damaged documents inside it and empty the trash;
  12. Restart your PC to allow the Google Drive client to run automatically;
  13. Be sure to be connected to the Internet;
  14. Wait for the Google Drive client synchronize retrieved content on the Cloud.

CAUTION

When you restart your computer, verify that the googledrivesync.exe process is running – at the bottom right of the Windows taskbar there should be a Google Drive symbol – and otherwise run it manually from the Start menu applications.

Message: No previous version available

It may happen that despite the System Security options being enabled, Windows will provide a message of any previous version available. In this case, it may be useful to use the free ShadowExplorer application, which is also available in the Portable version on the official site. The application is very easy to use, just run it on the inanimate PC, select the restore date from the drop down menu and browse the disk directories to search for the Google Drive folder to retrieve encrypted files. When Windows does not find file recovery points, this solution is often functional.

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