Remove Shortcut Virus from Your USB Drive
- 1 What is a Shortcut Virus?
- 2 Method 1: Remove Shortcut Virus from Your USB Drive by a USB Shortcut Virus Removal Tool
- 3 Method 2: Remove Shortcut Virus Files from Your USB Drive with CMD
- 4 Method 3: Remove Shortcut Processes from the Registry
- 5 Method 4: Format the USB Drive
- 6 Method 5 (Optional): Remove Shortcut Virus from Your USB Drive with Antivirus Software
- 7 Block the Access of Virus to System Files
What is a Shortcut Virus?
A shortcut virus is a troublesome malware that hides all of your files and folders, then replaces them all with shortcuts with the same name.
When you click one of these false shortcuts, you end up running malware that duplicates the virus and further infects your system.
Shortcut viruses mostly affect physical file transfer devices such as Pen drives, USB flash drives, external hard drives, and SD memory cards. Shortcut viruses can be transferred to computers when exposed to an infected device that takes advantage of Autorun or AutoPlay in Windows.
To disable this Autorun, see this article: Remove Autorun Virus from USB Drive
Not only is the virus annoying, but also it can be snooping personal information from your computer or storage device, so it is vital to remove the shortcut virus fast. Luckily, there are several methods to remove this Shortcut Virus.
Method 1: Remove Shortcut Virus from Your USB Drive by a USB Shortcut Virus Removal Tool
There are many antivirus software programs. Chose a powerful one to eradicate the virus. Here’s the standard process of using them:
Step 1. Download, install and run the antivirus program.
Step 2. Scan the system.
Step 3. Clean the shortcuts of the program to make sure that you had completely eradicated the virus from the system.
Here are some FREE USB Shortcut Virus Removal Tools:
USB Shortcut VIRUS remover – a free program designed to remove the Shortcut virus from external storage devices, like USB flash drives, external hard drives, memory cards, and more.
UsbFix Free – USBFix Free is an anti-malware software package specifically designed for external storage devices such as a standard USB stick.
Shortcut Virus Remover – a helpful portable antivirus program that helps you eliminate the annoying shortcut virus.
Method 2: Remove Shortcut Virus Files from Your USB Drive with CMD
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 other viruses infect you, replace autorun.inf with other virus extensions such as *.ink, *.exe, or *.vbm so to respectively delete those suspicious files. At this point, you should have removed the shortcut virus from your storage devices and should be able to view and use it again.
Method 3: Remove Shortcut Processes from the Registry
If the only storage device infected is your removable storage device (USB flash drive, pen drive, external hard drive, SD card), you don’t have to do this method. But if you want to, it may provide you peace of mind to know that the virus is not hiding on your system.
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 not to delete any essential 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.
Method 4: Format the USB Drive
Step 1. Right-click on the USB drive and click Format.
Step 2. Select the NTFS file system on the interface and change the volume label if necessary.
Tick on the Quick Format.
Then press Start > Yes to confirm to format the USB drive with the removal of the USB flash drive shortcut virus.
Recover the lost data after removing the USB Shortcut Virus
Recoverit data recovery tools or EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard can recover the files from the USB shortcut virus.Remove Shortcut Virus From Your USB DriveRecoverit data recovery tools or EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard can recover the files from the USB shortcut virus.
Step 1: Open the tool after installing it on your system.
Step 2: Select the pen drive location from the external storage device option (plug in the Pendrive).
Step 3: Scan the USB drive for your 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.
Step 4: Preview and recover the files that you want to recover. You can delete the others.
Method 5 (Optional): Remove Shortcut Virus from Your USB Drive with Antivirus Software
Other antivirus software is usually not capable of removing certain viruses such as shortcut virus. You can double-guarantee though that there are no residues of the virus on your system. Download and install antivirus software to scan your Windows PC. Some are more effective than others for your particular hardware setup. Below is a list of recommended antivirus software to remove the Shortcut virus from your USB Drive.
Shortcut Virus Fixer – Fix broken shortcuts and hidden folders and files on your USB drives.
Malwarebytes – Multiple layers of malware-crushing tech, including virus protection. Thorough malware and spyware removal. They have specialized ransomware protection.
Block the Access of Virus to System Files
1. Go to path “C:\Windows\SysWOW64”
2. Look for the file named “msiexec.exe”. TrustedInstaller owns the exe. Now once you get this file, you need to take ownership of it.
3. Open properties of this file, click the Security tab, then go to advanced, then owner. And add your username (as on system). In case if you don’t find the owner tab, no worries, there would be a “change” hyperlink there. Apply changes, press OK.
4. When you become the owner of the file, you need to limit the access of the virus to this file. Open the properties of the file again, then security, then “edit” to change permissions.
5. Change the permission for all Groups/user to “read”.
6. Format the infected USB Drive. Restart your system.
Even if you are not that knowledgeable with advanced technology, malware such as Shortcut viruses are easy to prevent. Do not use unknown USB flash drives or connect them to infected computers and use them on yours.
If you spot other kinds of malware, act quickly, and perform these steps to contain and eradicate malware.
Prevention is better than cure, so always protect yourself by using legitimate antivirus programs.