How to Recover Files from USB Shortcut Virus


If you’re wondering why are my files turning into shortcuts. The cause of this uncommon issue is a shortcut virus such as a mixture of worms and Trojans designed to damage the data.

What is a shortcut virus?

This virus invades your pen drive, computer, hard drive, memory card, or mobile phone and changes files to shortcuts with original folder icons. The logic that makes the folder become a shortcut is that this virus hides the original folder/file on the same removable media and creates a shortcut with the same name.

Whenever any user tries to open any of these, they are running this malware all over the system.

It duplicates and steals personal data and decreases system performance along with other side effects. It mainly affects removable transmission devices such as USB, flash drives, external hard drives, and SD cards. If an infected device runs on your system, it will also affect your system.

User query

“I am using Windows 7 and Dell Core i7.

Previously, my external hard drive was infected with a virus and it turned into a shortcut. I tried every available manual solution.

However, most of the large files are missing and could not be recovered.

Please help me solve this problem!”

Why system create a shortcut file

There are many reasons to blame for creating shortened files on storage devices. Some of them are mentioned here.

  • Sudden power failure
  • Unsupported file system
  • Improper file transfer
  • Errors in the operating system
  • Virus / worm / file malware infection
  • System driver defective

Shortcut viruses can appear harmless because they do not display error dialogs clearly. However, if it doesn’t work right away, the entire system can get infected and eventually format the drive partition.

First Solution: Show Hidden Files and Folders

This is the first way to hide files and folders.

Stage 1. Start >> Control Panel >> Appearance and Personalization.

Step 2. Open the File Explorer option and select Show hidden files and folders.

Step 3. Select the View tab, choose Show hidden files, folders, and drives just below Advanced Settings, and then click the OK tab.

Check if your shortcut file issue is resolved yet. If not, then move on to the next solution.

Second Solution:Use Antivirus Software to Clean Shortcuts

Download an original antivirus program. Check the drive and check for any reported errors.

Afterward, resolve the reported error and double-check your drive to see if the file shortcut has been removed.

Oftentimes, shortcut viruses remain undetected by antivirus programs, so antivirus software alone is not sufficient to fix shortcut file problems. To learn How to recover files from USB shortcut virus move to the next section.

Third Solution – Using Data recovery solution

If you are looking for a reliable solution to convert Shortcut files and folders into regular files and folders. Then try the professional SysTools hard drive data recovery software. It recovers data from shortcut file and presents the original file. Additionally, this tool can recover permanently deleted, formatted, and corrupted data from any storage device. You only need to follow four simple steps.

  1. Download and install SysTools data recovery software on Windows systems
  2. Start the program and select the partition whose files have been converted into shortcuts due to a virus.
  3. Press the Scan button and wait for the scanning process to complete at 100%.
  4. Now you can preview recovered data in the preview panel and save all recovered files to your chosen location.

Fourth Solution: Use the CMD command in the shortcut file

Stage 1. Type CMD in the search column and hit Enter.

Step 2. Select the option “Run as administrator” and start the command prompt.

Step 3. Enter a letter for the storage device.

For example, the drive letter of the pen is a removable disk (: F). Then type F and hit Enter.

Step 4.Type following parameters

attrib -h -r -s / s / d *.* and hit Enter. Wait for the process to finish.

The -s attribute removes the file system state.

  • -r the attribute removes read-only status.
  • -h the attribute removes hidden cases.
  • / s command is repeatedly applied to all files and folders.
  • /d applies the command to the folder as well.
  • *.* All file and folder names must be considered identical.

The response of the CMD command depends on system specification and configuration. If the shortcut virus is violent and irreversibly infected with storage, it may not corrupt the entire drive.

That’s how to recover files from USB shortcut viruses. If you want to solve this problem right away, try to use the trusty Windows data recovery utility available for all versions of Windows.

Concluding Words

Viruses can invade the system from anywhere. You must be prepared to deal with such nasty malware. A shortcut virus is one of its kind that hides the original files with the shortcut and restricts the user to access the files. How to recover files from USB shortcut virus is the blog in which we provided methods to cope with this issue.