Remove Shortcut Virus from Hard Disk/USB without Losing Data

Jean updated on Sep 16, 2019 to Resource | How-to Articles


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

Command Prompt cannot help you to remove shortcut virus directly. However, you can use it to show the hidden virus-related files on your drive and then remove them manually.

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 (the extension of the shortcut virus) and hit "Enter".

Click to copy

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 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 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

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.

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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 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

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