How to Convert a Shortcut File into Original File

Jean updated on Oct 13, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

If your saved files turned into shortcut format on USB/SD or other storage devices due to virus attack or malware, relax and use the methods provided here to help you open shortcut files and convert shortcut files into original files in Windows 10/8/7 PC by using CMD, changing file viewing settings , or using a professional data recovery software.

Problem: USB flash drive files changed to shortcuts, how to troubleshoot?

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Convert files with CMD  Press Windows + R and type cmd. Right-click the Command Prompt and choose "Run as administrator"...Full steps
Fix 2. Show hidden files You can recover and open shortcut files by showing the hidden files. Open your USB Drive. Open Folder...Full steps
Fix 3. Recover hidden files Use EaseUS hard drive recovery software to help you recover shortcut files. It can recover deleted...Full steps

"I use a USB flash drive as a backup device to store the crucial files and documents. This morning when I inserted the flash drive into my laptop and tried to open a file, to my huge surprise, all of my files in it turned into shortcuts with the same names as I saved earlier. I can't open any of the shortcut files. Does anyone know how to convert shortcut files into the original file? I need to recover the shortcut files."

Files turning into shortcuts is a common problem that happens to almost all of us. The error usually results from a virus, trojan or worm that can infect your USB flash drive, Pen drive, a micro SD card, an external drive, etc. What the virus often does is hiding your files and folders and turning them into shortcuts in small size. And files getting deleted by the virus also exits.

If you are encountering with the same issue and want to open and recover the shortcut files, use the three methods below to troubleshoot with ease.

How to Open and Convert Shortcut Files into Original

Here are three effective methods you can apply to solve the problem and try to recover shortcut files. Try them all until you can open shortcut files. 

Method 1. Convert Shortcut Files into Original Files by CMD 

1. Press Windows + R and type: cmd. Right-click the Command Prompt and choose "Run as administrator".

2. Type: attrib -h -r -s /s /d e:*.* and hit Enter.  (Replace e: with the drive letter of your device where want to recover shortcuts files)

how to open shortcut files

You can also use these attrib command lines to open shortcut files on the pen drive with the same steps. If you need a visual tutorial, watch the YouTube video tutorial below.

This video shows how to recover or get back your files that have been infected by the shortcuts files from hard drives, USB Flash Drives, memory cards and your pen drives. When you have completed all these steps, refresh your pen drive and you can check for your files on the pen drive. Now you can easily find all your files.

Reference: "How to open shortcut files in pendrive." YouTube, uploaded by Tech All Tips, Jan 3, 2017,

Method 2. Show Hidden Files to Open Shortcut Files

As said before, the shortcut virus usually hides your files then change them to shortcut icons. So, you can recover and open shortcut files by showing the hidden files in the following ways. 

1. Open your USB Drive. 

2. Open Folder Options.

3. In "Hidden files and folders" click "Show hidden files and folders".

4. Remove and click "Hide protected operating system files".

Manual input of the command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause more severe problems. Therefore, for security and usability, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative. EaseUS Tools M is a practical tool that enables you to check and fix files system error, enable/disable write protection and system update with one-click instead of typing intricate command lines.

Follow the simple steps below to show hidden files with this 1-click-fix software. 

Step 1.  DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free.

Step 2. Start EaseUS Tools M, choose "File Showing" on the left pane. Next, choose the target drive for scanning.

show hidden files - step 2

Step 3. After the operation completes, click the View button to check the hidden files. 

show hidden files - step 3

If these two solutions don't work, it's possible that the virus/malware has deleted your files. In this way, you need to use a reliable data recovery tool to help you recover the deleted files. 

Method 3. How to Recover Hidden/Deleted Files by the Shortcut Virus

If the above two ways can't show the hidden files or the original files have been deleted already, you can use EaseUS hard drive recovery software to help you recover shortcut files successfully. This comprehensive file recovery software can recover hidden, deleted, formatted, and virus attacked data within three steps. The supported files are graphics, videos, audios, documents, emails, ZIP, RAR, as well as other 200+ data types. 

Now, download this data recovery program for free. Then, follow the step-by-step guides below to open shortcuts files effectively. 

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Select the disk partition or storage device where you lost files and click the "Scan" button.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. This program will quickly start a scanning process to find lost files. When the process accomplishes, you can double-click files to have a preview before selection.

scan deleted files

Step 3. Choose the files you want. Then click the "Recover" button to get them back. You should save the data to another safe spot in your PC/storage device, not where they lost.

Restore lost data from drive which was infected by virus

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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