Protect your computer from infection by Q1G ransomware

Also Known As: Q1G virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

Q1G ransomware removal instructions

What is Q1G?

Like many other programs of this type, Q1G ransomware is designed to lock files by encryption. It also renames them by adding the ".Q1G" extension plus a personal ID and email address to the filenames. For example, "1.jpg" becomes "[].Q1G". Q1G also creates a text file ("RETURN FILES.txt") and displays a pop-up window. This ransomware is another variant of Dharma, and this version was discovered by Jakub Kroustek.

Q1G locks files using RSA-1024 encryption, which can only be decrypted with a key held by the cyber criminals who designed this ransomware. To obtain the key, victims must contact ransomware developers via and provide the assigned ID. It is stated that, after seven days, the key might be overwritten, and thus victims are encouraged to contact and pay Q1G developers immediately. Before paying, victims are permitted to send one file that can be decrypted free of charge. This is supposedly 'proof' that Q1G have a valid decryption key. In fact, they do not send any keys even if victims make ransom payments. Q1G developers promise to send a decryption program and detailed instructions about how to use it. Additionally, they urge victims not to rename any of the encrypted files or try to decrypt them with other tools. They state that these actions might lead to permanent data loss. Generally, only the people behind these programs have the tools/keys able to decode encrypted files. Note, however, that these criminals can never be trusted. People who trust them often become victims of a scam: they send money and receive nothing in return. Typically, the only way to retrieve files without having to contact ransomware developers is to restore them from a backup.

Screenshot of a message encouraging users to pay a ransom to decrypt their compromised data:

Q1G decrypt instructions

Most ransomware-type programs are similar. Developers design them to encrypt files and display (or create) ransom messages. The main differences are size of ransom (cost of decryption key/tool) and encryption algorithm (symmetric or asymmetric) used to prevent victims from accessing their files. In most cases, decryption without the involvement of cyber criminals is impossible, unless the ransomware is not fully developed or contains bugs/flaws. Therefore, maintain regular backups and store them on remote servers such as Cloud or unplugged storage devices. Some examples of other ransomware-type programs include Nvetud, Syrk, and GermanWiper.

How did ransomware infect my computer?

Malicious programs are often distributed through spam campaigns, trojans, untrustworthy software download sources, unofficial software activation programs ('cracks'), and fake software update tools. Cyber criminals use spam campaigns to proliferate malware by sending emails that contain malicious attachments. Usually these are MS Office documents, executables (.exe) files, archive files such as ZIP, RAR, PDF documents, JavaScript files, and so on. Their main purpose is to disguise rogue emails as legitimate and trick recipients into opening the malicious attachments (or web links). Ransomware and other malware is also spread through trojans. These are rogue programs that, if installed, cause chain infections and download/install malicious software. Various untrustworthy sources (such as Peer-to-Peer networks, freeware download or file hosting websites, unofficial pages and other similar sources) also proliferate malware. This is achieved by presenting infected files as legitimate. In these cases, computers become infected when people open files that are downloaded from dubious sources. Software 'cracking' tools supposedly activate paid software, however, they often download and install malware. Fake software updaters exploit outdated software bugs/flaws or download and install infections rather than the updates, fixes, and so on.

Threat Summary:
Name Q1G virus
Threat Type Ransomware, Crypto Virus, Files locker
Encrypted Files Extension .Q1G
Ransom Demanding Message RETURN FILES.txt and pop-up window
Cyber Criminal Contact
Detection Names Avast (Win32:RansomX-gen [Ransom]), BitDefender (Trojan.Ransom.Crysis.E), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/Filecoder.Crysis.P), Kaspersky (, Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Cannot open files stored on your computer, previously functional files now have a different extension (for example, my.docx.locked). A ransom demand message is displayed on your desktop. Cyber criminals demand payment of a ransom (usually in bitcoins) to unlock your files.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments (macros), torrent websites, malicious ads, unofficial activation tools and fake software updaters.
Damage All files are encrypted and cannot be opened without paying a ransom. Additional password-stealing trojans and malware infections can be installed together with a ransomware infection.

To eliminate Q1G virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

How to protect yourself from ransomware infections?

Study each received email before opening the included attachment or web link. If the email is sent from an unknown, suspicious address or is irrelevant, ignore it and leave the attachment or link unopened. The safest way to download software is using official websites and direct download links. Other sources can be used to distribute malicious files. Keep your software updated, but use implemented functions or tools provided by the official software developers, and not third party updating tools. The same applies to software activation. Various 'cracking' tools are illegal and often proliferate malware. Finally, have reputable anti-spyware or anti-virus software installed and keep it enabled and updated at all times. If your computer is already infected with Q1G, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate this ransomware.

Text presented in Q1G ransomware pop-up window:

You can send us up to 1 file for free decryption. The total size of files must be less than 1Mb (non archived), and files should not contain valuable information. (databases,backups, large excel sheets, etc.)
When you make sure of decryption possibility transfer the money to our bitcoin wallet. As soon as we receive the money we will send you:
1. Decryption program.
2. Detailed instruction for decryption.
3. And individual keys for decrypting your files.
Do not rename encrypted files.
Do not try to decrypt your data using third party software, it may cause permanent data loss.
Decryption of your files with the help of third parties may cause increased price (they add their fee to our) or you can become a victim of a scam.

Screenshot of Q1G text file ("RETURN FILES.txt"):

Q1G text file

Text presented in this file:

All your data is encrypted!
for return write to mail:

Screenshot of files encrypted by Q1G (".Q1G" extension):

Files encrypted by Q1G

Q1G ransomware removal:

Instant automatic removal of Q1G virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Q1G virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Step 1

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Log in to the account infected with the Q1G virus. Start your Internet browser and download a legitimate anti-spyware program. Update the anti-spyware software and start a full system scan. Remove all entries detected.

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking, try performing a System Restore.

Video showing how to remove ransomware virus using "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" and "System Restore":

1. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press ENTER.

Boot your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

2. When Command Prompt mode loads, enter the following line: cd restore and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt type cd restore

3. Next, type this line: rstrui.exe and press ENTER.

system restore using command prompt rstrui.exe

4. In the opened window, click "Next".

restore system files and settings

5. Select one of the available Restore Points and click "Next" (this will restore your computer system to an earlier time and date, prior to the Q1G ransomware virus infiltrating your PC).

select a restore point

6. In the opened window, click "Yes".

run system restore

7. After restoring your computer to a previous date, download and scan your PC with recommended malware removal software to eliminate any remaining Q1G ransomware files.

To restore individual files encrypted by this ransomware, try using Windows Previous Versions feature. This method is only effective if the System Restore function was enabled on an infected operating system. Note that some variants of Q1G are known to remove Shadow Volume Copies of the files, so this method may not work on all computers.

To restore a file, right-click over it, go into Properties, and select the Previous Versions tab. If the relevant file has a Restore Point, select it and click the "Restore" button.

Restoring files encrypted by CryptoDefense

If you cannot start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking (or with Command Prompt), boot your computer using a rescue disk. Some variants of ransomware disable Safe Mode making its removal complicated. For this step, you require access to another computer.

To regain control of the files encrypted by Q1G, you can also try using a program called Shadow Explorer. More information on how to use this program is available here.

shadow explorer screenshot

To protect your computer from file encryption ransomware such as this, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware programs. As an extra protection method, you can use programs called HitmanPro.Alert and EasySync CryptoMonitor, which artificially implant group policy objects into the registry to block rogue programs such as Q1G ransomware.

Note that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update includes a "Controlled Folder Access" feature that blocks ransomware attempts to encrypt your files. By default, this feature automatically protects files stored in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Favorites as well as Desktop folders.

Controll Folder Access

Windows 10 users should install this update to protect their data from ransomware attacks. Here is more information on how to get this update and add an additional protection layer from ransomware infections.

HitmanPro.Alert CryptoGuard - detects encryption of files and neutralises any attempts without need for user-intervention:

hitmanproalert ransomware prevention application

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Beta uses advanced proactive technology that monitors ransomware activity and terminates it immediately - before reaching users' files:

malwarebytes anti-ransomware

  • The best way to avoid damage from ransomware infections is to maintain regular up-to-date backups. More information on online backup solutions and data recovery software Here.

Other tools known to remove Q1G ransomware:

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Q1G virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Q1G virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Q1G virus today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Spyhunter

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Spyhunter:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.