How to Fix Folders Turned into Shortcuts

If folders suddenly turn into shortcuts on your computer hard drive, external hard drive or USB, your device is infected by the shortcut virus. There are three ways that you can try to remove shortcuts from folders - antivirus software, attrib cmd and show hidden files. If saved files are lost, EaseUS data recovery software will restore them for you in 3 steps.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

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Are you experiencing the same issue that the folders saved on your computer hard drive, external hard drive, USB, or SD card suddenly turned into shortcuts?

When you open your USB or hard drive partition in Windows Explorer, folders suddenly turn into shortcuts, and saved files become inaccessible, your device has been infected with the Shortcut virus.

Folders turned into shortcuts

Overview of Shortcut Virus Infection

Shortcut virus is a triggered issue. Once your device gets connected to the shortcuts virus, its malware will creep into your PC, USB pen drive, memory card or other removable storage devices. And then it will immediately create a shortcut of your folders with the same names, hiding the real folder and files.

You can neither open the shortcut folder nor access the saved files. What's worse, the virus will request money for decryption the folder.

If you suddenly find your folders turned into shortcuts, please take it easy! It is not horrible. Many users who have had a similar experience have found a solution. Next, we will show you how to fix folders turned into shortcut without losing data in two phrases.

Phrase 1. Remove Shortcut Virus [3 Ways]

There are three ways that you can apply to restore encrypted folders from shortcuts. You can try any one of the provided methods listed here to convert the shortcut file into the original file with ease. 

Method 1. Clear Shortcut Virus with Antivirus Software

Yes, the most effective and easiest method to remove shortcut virus is to apply Antivirus software for help.

Here is a list of highly ranked antivirus software that can clear this virus from your PC and storage devices:

  • Shortcut Virus Remover
  • Shortcut Virus Fixer
  • USBFix
  • Hitman Pro

You can also search online to find reliable software to remove this virus from your device.

Method 2. Run attrib Command

When you ask for help on how to fix folders changed into shortcuts, many experienced users will mention the CMD command prompt as a solution. And at most times, it does work to remove the shortcut virus and recover data. 

Step 1: Create a Notepad document on the Desktop of your computer.

Step 2: Copy these content into the Notepad and save the file.

  • attrib -r -a -s -h /s /d
    del /f /s /q *.infMKDIR autorun.inf\Kill........\
    attrib +r +a +s +h *.inf /s /d

Step 3: Close the notepad document and rename it as "UPAN.cmd". (.cmd is the file extension.) 

  • Copy the file to the device where your folders became shortcuts. 
  • Remove folder shortcuts.

Step 4: Double-click the .cmd file and run it. Wait for the process to complete. 

After this, the shortcuts will be removed and you should be able to access the folders and saved files again.

Method 3. Show Hidden Files

By changing the File Explorer settings, you will be able to view the files and folder that have been hidden by the shortcut virus:

Option 1. Show Hidden Files and Folder in File Explorer

Step 1: Connect the device with the folder turned into shortcuts to your PC.

Step 2: Open Windows File Explorer and open the USB or hard drive partition with shortcut folders.

Step 3: Go to the "View" tab and uncheck "Hidden items".

Show hidden files and folders.

Option 2. Show Hidden Files with Windows Control Panel

Step 1: Open Windows Control Panel, locate and right-click on "File Explorer Option", and select "Open".

Step 2: At the View tab, under Hidden files and folders section, check "Show hidden files, folders and drivers".

Show hidden files from shortcut folders.

: Click "OK" to confirm.

After this, you will be able to view all hidden files and folders on your device.

Phrase 2. Restore Data After Removing Shortcuts

After removing the shortcuts from your device, you can open the folders to check if the data are securely saved there.

If the data are still inaccessible, or you can't see any saved data, don't worry. Read on, you'll learn how to recover lost data after removing the shortcut virus.

First, download professional data recovery software

EaseUS file recovery software is a popular tool which enables users to fully scan and restore lost files due to deletion, formatting and even virus attack.

It also supports you to restore files that have been hidden or removed by the shortcuts virus.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Next, perform full data recovery

It will only take 3 steps to restore data from the device after removing shortcuts folders by using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard:

Now please watch this video tutorial to see how to recover data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

  • Step 1. Select a location to scan.
  • Step 2. Select files to recover.
  • Step 3. Recover lost data.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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