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How to Remove Shortcut Virus from PC/Laptop in Windows 10/8/7

Updated on Nov 28, 2018 by Tracy King to File Recovery


When your computer, hard drive partition or USB drive gets infected by the shortcut virus, all files become shortcuts and the actual data is inaccessible. Luckily, there are reliable methods to get rid of the shortcut virus on Windows 10/8/7 PCs. The removal methods, as well as the virus itself, can sometimes result in data loss. It is recommended to be extremely careful when deleting suspect files, and to use data recovery software after the virus is successfully removed.

The shortcut virus is a common computer virus that hides your files and replaces them with shortcuts with the same file name. When you click on the shortcuts, the virus replicates itself and further infects your drive. The shortcut virus usually enters your drive via running an .exe file that contained the virus or from using a flash drive on multiple computers. 

What to do when a shortcut virus infects your computer

Given that the virus makes files become inaccessible and may be prying personal information from your computer, you may lose even more than just data loss. It is critical to remove the virus from your flash drive and computer immediately.

There are many, slightly different versions of the shortcut virus, so the way to remove it from infected computers, laptops, hard drive partitions, USB drives, and SD cards also varies accordingly. The following tips should help you remove the shortcut virus, though sometimes the names of the virus files are not the same.

  1. 1. Install antivirus software on your PC.
  2. 2. Find reliable data recovery software in case of data loss trouble (if necessary).

How to remove shortcut virus from a PC/laptop on Windows 10/8/7

Here are 3 methods for you to remove shortcut virus on Windows 10/8/7 PC or USB etc. storage devices. In many cases, all three procedures should be undertaken to ensure your computer is virus-free:

1. Remove and Delete Shortcut Virus by CMD
2. Delete Shortcut Virus Processes from the Registry
3. Remove and Cleanup Shortcut Virus with Antivirus Software

Method 1. Clean up and remove Shortcut Virus by CMD

Be careful while using CMD command line to resolve your issue. Improper use of CMD can result in serious damage to your system.

If your flash drive also contains the virus, first eliminate the virus from the flash drive. Otherwise you will re-infect your PC the next time you plug it in. Once the virus is removed from the flash drive, the data will be accessible. Back up this data to a safe location on your computer, format the device in Local Disk Manager, reload the data back onto the USB drive, and unplug it.

  • Step 1: Right-click on Start and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Step 2: Sign in with your Administrator account and password if the system asks.
  • Step 3: Type: attrib -h -r -s /s /d D:\*.* and hit Enter. (Replace D: with the drive letter of the location where the virus files exist. First use the drive letter of the USB drive, if virus files exist there.) 
  • Step 4: Type: del autorun.inf and hit Enter.

If you are infected by other viruses, replace autorun.inf with other virus extensions such as *.ink, *.exe, or *.vbm to respectively delete those suspicious files.

You'll be able to see the files and data on your Windows PC or USB flash drive at this point. But it is best to make sure that the virus is completely removed from your system. 

Method 2. Delete/Wipe Shortcut Virus from the Registry

  • Step 1: Press Win+R and type:  regedit  to enter the registry.
  • Step 2: Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run.
  • Step 3: Here, look for any suspicious file names. Search any suspicious file names online and delete the ones that are known to be viruses. Be careful not to delete any important non-virus processes.
  • The shortcut virus often finds its way into your PC startup applications.To deal with this:
  • Step 4: Press Win + R, type:  msconfig  > Click OK.
  • Step 5: In Startup, disable everything except for the anti-virus software and trusted apps.
  • Step 6: Then restart your computer.

Method 3. Cleanup Shortcut Virus with Shortcut Virus Remover or Antivirus Software

Although antivirus software can often miss shortcut virus files, it can serve as a double-guarantee that your PC is rid of the virus. Download and install anti-virus software to scan and clean up all detected virus files from your Windows 10/8/7 PC or USB. Below is a list of recommended antivirus software tools to choose from. Some will be more effective than others for your particular hardware setup, so you may try more than one. 

  • Trojan Removal Tool;
  • Shortcut virus fixfolder;
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, etc.

How to recover files after removing the shortcut virus 

After removing the shortcut virus from your USB and Windows PC, you should browse your data to see if anything important was lost in the process. It can be difficult and eye-straining to scour your entire hard drive for files that may have been lost. To speed up the process of finding lost files, and to quickly recover them, use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to search your drive. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard scans deep into the data content of your disk to find all data lost from deletion, formatting, or virus attacks.

Download it for free to see how to get all of your lost data back from the shortcut virus.

Additionally, there is a free version of the software, which will allow you to recover up to 2GB of data. Read on to see just how straightforward data recovery can be:


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Select the disk partition or storage location where you lost files and click "Scan".

Run file recovery software.

Step 2: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will start a scanning process to find lost files.

The scanning process will automatically start to find all of the files.

Scan and find lost files.

Step 3: Preview and restore lost files.

You can filter scan results by file type, select found files and click "Recover" to get them back. You should save the files to another safe spot in your PC/storage device, not where they were lost from.

Restore virus deleted files.

(If it finds a large number of lost files on your computer or USB drive, click Activate to purchase a license code to get an unlimited data recovery capacity.) Just select the data you want back and click Recover. Be sure to save the data to a safe spot in the PC or external storage device.

After restoring the data back, to be absolutely certain that you are done with the shortcut virus, you can back up the data from your drive then reformat the drive. Then restore the data from your backup, and your computer will be safe and good-as-new.