How to Remove Shortcut Virus from Pendrive in Windows

Shortcut virus is one of the common viruses in the PC world. It is very dangerous and can be very annoying to remove from your windows. It can delete or corrupt your personal files and will infect your pendrive or computer, if you are not careful. Follow the post to remove virus permanently from your pc / laptop. These viruses commonly spread through pendrives. Just follow the step by step procedures explained with images to remove the virus from your pendrive or any other external device.

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STEP 1.1

shortcut removal process 1.1

1. Connect your pendrive to your PC and open it from the ‘This PC’ (Windows key + E). But do not open any content in it.
2. When you open the drive, you will be seeing something similar if your pendrive has shortcut virus. But don’t fret if it doesn’t seem similar. Just follow the below steps to make sure the pendrive has virus in it.
3. As you can see from the above image, there is only one content in it. The icon in the picture which says ‘Removable Disk (8GB)’ is a virus and its easy to find out how. The name of the drive need not be ‘Removable Disk’ to be virus. Usually, the virus will use name of the pendrive.

STEP 1.2

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 1.2
When you look at the icon, what are you thinking? Is it a drive? or is it a folder? or is it the shortcut virus? It’s hard to determine what kind of file or folder it is. But there is an easy way to find out whether it is shortcut or not.‘Right Click’ on the empty area within the folder window to pop up context menu. Now use your ‘Up and Down arrow keys’ to navigate to ‘View’ menu and then hit ‘Right Arrow key’. It will open up another sub menu and from them select ‘Details’ by using the Arrow keys and hit ‘Enter’.

STEP 1.3

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 1.3

Now you can see what kind of file is it on the pc. In this case just look at the ‘Type’ column it says shortcut in front of the ‘Removable Disk’ name. And yes there is a high probability that it is a shortcut virus. This virus is not harmful unless it gets executed. And opening this shortcut is one of the trigger to execute the virus. So never open this shortcut. Does that mean you can’t access your files safely on your Windows? NO. There are multiple ways and we will show you how its done in the following section. You might be thinking ‘What happened to my files and folders?’. Well, the answer is your files are hidden and we need to change the settings to show the hidden files and folders. There are 3 ways to do it. You can follow any one of them i.e. Step 2.1 or Step 3.1 or Step 4.1


STEP 2.1

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 2

Press Windows key on your keyboard which will bring you start menu. Now type ‘folder options’ in search bar. Don’t worry, just start typing and the sidebar will appear. Use the Arrow keys and and from the list select ‘Folder Options’ (hit ‘Enter’). Now follow Step 2.2


STEP 2.2

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 4
In this window, first select (use the mouse to click) ‘View’ tab and then make sure ‘Show hidden files, folders and drives’ is selected (Black dot in the circle indicates it is selected). Uncheck both ‘Hide extensions for known file types’ (this will show you the extension of files) and ‘Hide protected operating system files’ (this will show you the system files. Often, virus disguises itself as a system file so this is very important to reveal the virus in your pendrive). If prompted, select ‘Yes’. Finally, click ‘OK’. Go to Step 5.

STEP 3.1

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 3

Click on the ‘View’ menu which will give you a toolbar at just below of it. From that Click on the ‘Options’ menu then click ‘Change folder and search options’. Follow step 3.2

STEP 3.2

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 4

Please refer Step 2.2 for the explanation. After that go to Step 5.


STEP 4.1

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 5.0.1

This step involves the use of command prompt but don’t worry its not that difficult. The easiest way to access command prompt is press Windows key + X.  It will pop up a menu containing some useful tools from that select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’. Alternatively you can press ‘A’. If prompted, select ‘Yes’. Now follow Step 4.2

STEP 4.2

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 5.0.2

First, type your drive letter (‘G’ in this case) followed by colon(:) and hit ‘Enter’. This will change the current folder to the pendrive. Now type

attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:*.*

Again here ‘G’ is the letter of the drive. This command doesn’t remove any virus. Don’t worry we will explain what this command do on your pc:

attrib: This command is used to change the attributes of a file / files or folder / folders. The plus sign adds the attribute where as a minus sign removes it from the file or folder.
-h     : It removes the ‘Hidden’ attribute
-r      : It removes the ‘Read Only’ attribute
-s      : It removes the ‘System File’ attribute
/s      : It includes all the files within the specified path
/d      : It includes folders also
*.*    : The first asterisk means all the files within the specified path are processed and second one indicates all kinds of filetypes

This command removes ‘Hidden’, ‘Read Only’ and ‘System File’ from all the files and folders within the ‘G’ drive. It doesn’t remove the shortcut virus on your Windows.


STEP 5.1

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 5.1

After setting the Folder Options correctly a folder or file will appear on your screen. The folder might have some name or not, but it doesn’t matter.  Make sure that in ‘Type’ column it says ‘File Folder’. In this case you can assume last file (Removable Disk) as shortcut virus.


STEP 5.2

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 5.2

Now delete the shortcut virus as shown on your pc. Use your keyboard arrow keys to select the shortcut and press ‘delete’ key on your keyboard. You can also use the mouse but make sure you do not double click on the shortcut.


STEP 6.1

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 6.1

Download Malwarebytes from the official website –

Install the software on your windows and open it. Now click on the scan button at the left sidebar. Then select ‘Custom Scan’ and click ‘Configure Scan’.


STEP 6.2

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 6.2

Select your drive letter from the right box and click ‘Scan Now’ to scan the drive.


STEP 6.3

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 6.3

The scan will start, it may take several minutes but be patient as it finishes. After completion it should detect shortcut viruses from your pendrive and delete the viruses once it shows the window.



Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 7.1

Press Windows key + X and select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’. See Step 4.1 for detailed information. Then go to Step 7.2


STEP 7.2

Get rid of Shortcut virus - Step 7.2

First, type your drive letter followed by semicolon and hit ‘Enter’ on your keyboard. Now, type

del /s *.lnk

The letter after the dot is small ‘L’. Its not an ‘I’. Most of the people tend to make this mistake. After typing hit ‘Enter’. This may take some time be patient. Now type

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

And hit ‘Enter’. For more information about this command see Step 4.2