Shortcut Methods to Remove USB Link Virus in Windows 7/8/10

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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support.microsoft.com

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Shortcut viruses are very common and their problems have always been annoying for regular Windows users. Since USB drives are the fastest and easiest way to exchange data, most of us use them. But its hidden viruses are often overlooked. Consider all three scenarios: trying to install something from the web, insert your pen drive into your friend's system, or insert your friend's pen drive into your system. If any of the entities in these scenarios are affected by a virus, the chances of the entire system crashing are quite high. Nowadays, Shortcut virus It turned out to have upset many and if you are also an affected victim, this article can help you.



See also: - Format USB via command prompt

Let me give you a quick overview of what the Shortcut virus is.

It is responsible for creating a shortcut for all files and folders on the system and locks the originals. This type of malware then deletes the original data and makes it completely inaccessible. There are also events where the user's credentials have been exposed to the virus. They can affect the system internally by affecting drives and folders, or they can affect external storage devices connected to the system.

If you see the image above, all files appear as Shortcut.

This article will guide you through the methods that can completely remove shortcut viruses from USB flash drives or pen drives on Windows 10 system.

METHOD 1: using Windows commands

Link viruses affect file attributes and modify them. They move the original files to a location that cannot be easily detected. Following certain Windows commands can help eliminate such viruses.


  • To insert your pendrive in the appropriate slot and check if it is detected on your PC. Also note the drive letter. In my case, it is detected in the file F: to drive.


  • Press Windows key + X and choose the option Command Prompt (Admin) to open the command prompt in administrator mode.

  • Once the window opens, type the following command.

ATTRIB ‐H ‐R ‐S / S /DF:*.*

Replace F: in the above command with the drive letter your pen drive is associated with.

The other attributes of the command denote:

-R : You need to recreate the original files from the link.

-S : Reports the current files from the USB drive to the system.

Now your link files will be converted back to normal files. Delete unknown files from flash drive after command process is complete. After that, it is recommended to copy all useful files from the USB to any folder on the PC and then format the USB.


  • Open the affected folder to find the removed virus.

The original files are now recovered

METHOD 2: using batch files to remove Shortcut Virus

Batch files have a pre-written program that can help remove shortcut viruses when they are run.


  • To insert your pen drive / USB stick in its slot and check if it is detected on your PC.

  • Open the pad by searching for it in the search bar at the bottom of the desktop.

  • Enter the command below.

@ Echo off
attributo -h -s -r -a / s / d F: *. *
@echo full

  • Save the file as shortcutvirusremover.bat and change the file type as All files as shown in the screenshot below.

  • Now right click on the file you just saved and Run it in administrator modality.

  • This can automatically remove all link viruses found on external devices.

That is. Try the above methods to fix the link virus problem. Hope you found this article helpful.

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