Free Shortcut Virus Remover Software/Tool

Roxanne updated on Aug 11, 2019 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


The shortcut virus infiltrates storage devices and replaces all files with shortcuts so that you cannot access the file content. Luckily shortcut virus files can be removed with a command-line input. If the virus exists on your PC, you must also locate and remove any virus-related processes. Once you deal with the problem with a shortcut virus remover, download data recovery software to recover any data that has been lost.

The Shortcut Virus

The shortcut virus is a troublesome piece of malware that infects computer hard drives, USB flash drives, pen drives, and SD cards. The virus will transfer to a storage device whenever it is connected to an infected one. You can also infect your computer by running a .exe file that contains the virus. The aptly named shortcut virus hides all files within an infected partition or hard drive and replaces them with shortcuts of the same file names. When you open one of these shortcuts, the virus replicates and penetrates deeper into your storage device. 

Not only is the virus frustrating, but also it can be prying personal information from your computer or storage device, so it is vital to remove the shortcut virus fast. Luckily it is possible to recover files from the shortcut virus without lasting damage, and it can all be done for free with built-in Windows software.

Free Shortcut Virus Removal Tool

There are several third-party software products with the same goal, but the best shortcut virus remover tool is free and already on your Windows PC:  Command Prompt (CMD). With CMD, you can remove shortcut virus files from any drive on your PC. By specifying the drive letter, you can get rid of the virus once and for all on your hard drive, USB flash drive, pen drive, SD card, or any storage device connected to your PC. 

Remove the Shortcut Virus

The shortcut virus is pesky and can attach itself to your system's startup processes. Therefore, in addition to removing the shortcut virus files with CMD shortcut virus remover, you must also check the registry to terminate these processes, or the virus might sprout up again. The removal process is as follows:

Remove Shortcut Virus Files with CMD
Delete Shortcut Virus Processes from the Registry
Check and Cleanup Shortcut virus with Antivirus Software

It is important to remember that the virus spreads to a storage device whenever it is connected to an infected device. You must first remove the shortcut virus files via cmd from infected external storage devices, then your internal hard drive. 

1. Remove Shortcut Virus Files with CMD 

Command Prompt is a powerful tool. Be careful when using cmd and only use the input commands from trusted sources if you are not sure how to operate it yourself. Improper use of CMD can result in serious damage to your system. Back up your system to avoid the damage.
  • 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.)
  • 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 so to respectively delete those suspicious files. At this point, you've removed the shortcut virus from your storage devices and should be able to view and use the data normally.

If you still can't view or access saved files on the previously infected device, go to the supplemental file recovery section to quickly get your data back.

2. Remove Shortcut Processes from the Registry

If only your storage devices were infected, and not your computer, this step is unnecessary. It may provide some peace of mind to know that the virus is not hiding on your PC, however.

  • 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: Look for any suspicious file names in the list. Search the name of any suspect virus processes that you see and delete the ones that are known to be malware. Take care to not delete any important non-virus processes.
  • The shortcut virus often finds its way into your PC startup applications, so it is important to check there as well:
  • Step 4: Press Win + R and type: msconfig then click "OK".
  • Step 5: In Startup, disable everything except for trusted apps and antivirus software.
  • Step 6: Then restart your computer.

3. (Optional) Cleanup Shortcut Virus Remnants with Antivirus Software

Although antivirus software is usually not capable of removing the shortcut virus on its own, it can serve as a double-guarantee that there are no remnants of the virus on your PC. Download and install antivirus software to scan your Windows PC. Some will be more effective than others for your particular hardware setup, so you may try more than one if you wish. Below is a list of recommended antivirus software to remove the Shortcut virus.

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

Supplemental: Recover Files After Removing the Shortcut Virus

In the process of removing the shortcut virus from your PC or external storage devices, there may have been some inadvertent deletions of non-virus files. You should browse your devices to see if any folders or files are missing. It can be a momentous and error-fraught task to manually scour an entire hard drive for a few potentially-lost files. 

To alleviate this strain, use data recovery software to search your drive for lost files. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard scans deep into the data content of your disk to find all data loss from a virus attack, deletion, or formatting. Download it for free to see if you lost any files.

If you only lost a few files, you can recover them for free. The free version enables you to recover up to 2GB of data and preview any number of files to check their quality. For unlimited recovery, upgrade to the Pro version.

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

Was This Page Helpful?


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 to better 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

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.