As you know, using good antivirus software is the best way to prevent and remove any virus or malware from your computer. But this time I’ll explain how to deal with a very special problem. I will explain how to delete the Shortcut virus , since most antivirus programs can not detect it.

Have the USB flash drive files become links?

Can not open USB flash drive files them correctly? It means you’ve been infected by the Shortcut virus. Let us tell you how to solve.

When the Shortcut virus attacks a storage device (such as a computer’s hard disk, USB stick or SD card), it converts all files into a link . So when you click on the file shortcuts, they may not open. Instead it would start a malicious program that will run on your computer.

If the data on the external USB device or on the hard disk of the PC  is invisible then try using some CMD technique. The command prompt will bring all the invisible programs down.

Regarding the Shortcut infection, we will see how to remove it permanently. Unfortunately, as we mentioned before many antivirus softwares are not able to detect and delete it. Often if you try to scan the infected drive, “No threats detected” is displayed.

Now, if the USB flash drive / SD card does not contain important data, it is better to connect it to another computer and proceed with formatting to remove the virus, otherwise adopts the command prompt solution.

What is the source of the Shortcut virus?

We can not tell you the exact origin of this virus , but we are pretty sure that you should never install less known applications or software if your PC is not protected by an excellent paid antivirus. Most of the time, a free antivirus is not able to keep your computer safe against the latest threats, so I suggest you use appropriate softwares.

If a computer is infected with the Shortcut virus, all connected USB devices will also be infected.

Remove the Shortcut virus from a USB pen drive, SD card etc.

Follow these steps to delete the Shortcut virus using the Windows command prompt (CMD):

1. Start the Command Prompt application as an administrator (press Windows and type ‘cmd’ in the search field.) Now right-click on the command prompt and select ‘Run as administrator’.

Searching cmd

2. Connect the external storage device to the computer infected with the Shortcut virus (for example, USB flash drive, an SD card, etc.)

3. Scan your device  with an antivirus program and eliminate any threats detected

4. Now type the following command at the command prompt and press Enter:

attrib -h -r -s / s / d X: \ *. *
(Replace the X with the letter assigned to your external USB drive.For example, if your device has the letter D, here's the command to launch: attrib -h -r -s / s / d D: \ *. *)


CMD scanning disk

5. After giving Enter, the files will appear normal.

6. Now copy all files from the USB stick and move them to a folder on your PC

7. Finally format the USB drive and then paste all the data you had previously moved

Good. In a few seconds we have solved the Shortcut virus problem and now all the files will be displayed in normal form. Remember that if the infection is also present on the computer, it will infect every external device that will be connected again.

Permanently remove the Shortcut virus from the Windows computer

It is a bit complicated to remove this virus from your computer because it is not detectable by most antiviruses. If the software you use supports full system scanning, please execute and wait patiently until the end of the procedure. If it does not detect any anomaly, use a malware removal tool.

Prevent the computer from making connections to USB flash drives, SD cards, etc.

In Windows Task Manager, we can see a suspicious name: VBScript. This runs the wscript.vbs file, which helps to automatically spread the Shortcut virus inside external USB drives. To end this script, start the task manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del) and go to the Processes tab (Windows 7) or select More Details (Windows 8/10). Scroll down and look for a name similar to ‘ wscript.vbs ‘. Right-click on it and select End Task . This is a temporary solution, it will valid until you won’t restart your computer.

Correct the links already created on the Windows hard disk partition

The Shortcut virus can spread to your computer’s hard drive if there is a link in the partition drive. The command prompt method above allows you to repair these files also.

For example, if the partition ‘E’ is infected, use the following command:

attrib -h -r -s / s / d E: \ *. *

Do not use this command for the partition where Windows is installed (usually C :). If your Windows drive is infected, you need to perform a clean installation of Windows. Or format the whole PC.

Use this software to eliminate the Shortcut virus permanently

USB Fix by SOSVirus is a free malware removal tool for Windows that helps you remove infections (including the Shortcut virus) from your USB drive and your computer. Since you will never be sure that you can successfully remove the virus, I suggest that you copy important data from your computer to an external hard drive or another computer.

To use Fix USB on your Windows computer, follow these steps:

  • Save all your data and close all active programs, otherwise it will provide the software automatically Install and launch USB Fix on your computer.
  • Now click on vaccine and start scan. And wait for scan to get completed.
  • Click on ‘Delete‘ and confirm the action


Tips to prevent Shortcut virus infection or other malware

  • Install a paid antivirus software with excellent user feedback. Keep it up to date.
  • Do not open a USB stick that you do not know. Remember ALWAYS to run a virus scan first.
  • Do not exchange data with computers that do not have antivirus programs.
  • Always make sure that the site from which you download software is one of the following: 
    FileHippo – Softpedia – Ninite – CNET Download – Softonic – –
  • Perform a full system scan with your antivirus at least once a month.
  • When you install any software, be careful that it does not ask you to install third-party programs as well. In this case you can skip these optional steps and proceed with the installation of the main program. In fact, they are often incubators of malware and other infections.

Is this article helpful for you? If you are still facing any problem then you can leave your experience in our comment box. We will try to solve it as soon as possible.



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