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Remove Shortcut Virus from Hard Disk/USB without Losing Data

Updated on Jun 18, 2019 by Jean to Resource


When your hard disk or USB is infected by shortcut virus, all your folders and files on the storage device will become shortcuts which you cannot open or access. To remove shortcut virus from your hard disk or USB without losing data, you can first clean up the virus and then use the reliable software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from shortcut virus.

Overview of Shortcut Virus

A shortcut virus will either hides or deletes your original files on the infected device and then make a copy of them shown as the shortcuts. When your hard disk or USB is attacked by a shortcut virus, you can no longer open and access the files and folders on it as normal. If you double-click one of these malicious shortcuts, you give the virus the opportunity to spread, which will lead to further damage to your data, system, and more.

One of the commonest reaction to the shortcut virus of the people who see it is to delete the shortcut links. However, it always fails to work since they will reappear later. Then, how to remove the shortcut virus or convert the shortcut files into the original file without losing your precious data? The answer is to remove the shortcut virus via CMD, Registry, or antivirus software and then recover files and folders on your hard disk or USB.

How to Remove Shortcut Virus from Hard Disk/USB

For the situation in which the shortcut virus hides your files and folders, there are three workable solutions worth trying.

Method 1. Delete Shortcut Virus Using CMD

Be careful while using CMD - command line to resolve your current issue. Improper use of CMD may cause serious results. 

Via the "attrib" command, you can make the hidden files and folders shown again. Then you can use the "del" command to clean up the shortcut virus on your device.

Step 1. Run Command Prompt as an administrator.

Step 2. Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d F:\*.* and hit "Enter". (Replace "F" with the drive letter of your virus-infected hard disk or USB).

Click to copy

Step 3. Type del autorun.xxx (the extension of the shortcut virus) and hit "Enter".

Click to copy

If this method works, you can see all the data on your hard disk/USB shown normally and use them as you like.

Method 2. Remove Shortcut Virus from Registry

The Registry on your Windows is a database that stores information, settings, and more for both the OS and the applications/hardware installed. When your hard disk or USB is infected by shortcut virus, a new subkey containing the information about the virus will be added to the Windows Registry. Thus, you can also remove the shortcut virus from Registry.

Step 1. Click the "Start" button and type regedit. Right click "regedit" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Run.

Step 3. Under Run, you can see all the processes that are currently running on your computer, including the malware. You need to distinguish the virus and then remove it. Since the name of the file name of the virus varies, you may need to do more search on the listing file names online. Be careful not to remove any important or non-virus process.

If you have successfully deleted the shortcut virus from your hard disk or USB, restart your computer and you will be able to use it as usual.

Method 3. Recover Shortcut Virus with Antivirus Software

You can also use the shortcut virus remover or antivirus software to remove shortcut virus from your storage device. Find and download reliable antivirus software on your computer and then run it to clean up the virus.

If the solutions above work but cause any data loss or fail to remove shortcut virus, you are highly recommended to recover files from the virus-infected hard disk or USB using powerful data recovery software.

How to Recover Files from Shortcut Virus

As mentioned above, a shortcut virus will either hide or delete the existing files on your hard drive or USB. Luckily, the disk recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is able to recover the folders or files like documents, photos, audio files, and other important files from the virus-infected hard disk or USB. Whether the files or folders are hidden, deleted or cleared by shortcut viruses, the program can get them back in entirety. Other than virus file recovery, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard also supports deleted file recovery, formatted data recovery, OS crash recovery, and many other tough situations on various devices. Download the software and make your files usable again immediately:

To recover files from shortcut virus:


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.

How to Prevent Virus Infections

Instead of thinking hard on how to cope with the virus, you should put more attention on how to prevent virus infection on your computer or external storage device. For you to protect your data better, here are some feasible tips for virus prevention:

  • Install professional antivirus software on your computer and keep it updated
  • Be cautious with the origins of the programs you want to install
  • Avoid suspicious websites and think before you make a click
  • Make sure the network connection is safe

Besides, regularly making backups of your files with free backup software is also recommended to avoid complete data loss that may be caused by a virus infection.

The Bottom Line

Here we have provided you three tips to remove shortcut virus without formatting. And with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, you can clean up the virus without losing any data. Hope they will be helpful to you.