Have you ever opened a pen drive connected to your system, and found a shortcut with the same name as your pen drive. That’s the infamous Shortcut Virus. USB Shortcut viruses have been along for way longer then you think.
I remember when I was a kid, I used to bring games and movies from my friends using pen drives. In which 4 out of 10 times, it used to infected by this shortcut virus. And you never find out, until you either scan it or open it, which makes it really dangerous.
So, assuming that somehow your system or pen drive has been infected by Shortcut virus, what are the liable options you have, other than deleting/formatting the whole thing. Well, that is what this article is about. In this article, I will tell you 3 easy ways to remove the Shortcut virus. In the end, I will also share tools that can help remove this virus for you.
What is USB Shotcut Virus?
A shortcut virus is simply a virus that hides your files behind shortcuts. It is insanely communicable and spreads really fast. It usually spread through external devices like sd card or pen drives, etc. Once it got into your computer, you will start seeing shortcuts for almost all the icons on the desktop or start menu in two or three days.
Well, there are two things that make it dangerous except the fact that it is already a Virus.
- First, the virus is hard to detect and easy to spread. All it takes is you to insert an external drive on autoplay/autorun and boom! Your system is infected now.
- Secondly, every time to open a shortcut created by this virus, you actually run malware that copies itself, which is not good. Explains why it spreads so fast. One-click thats all it takes to infect a whole system.
So, now we know why it is so dangerous and why we should get rid of it immediately, but How?
How to Remove Shortcut Virus from Flash Drive?
Well, I have 3 ways that can get rid of this problem. But before that, if you don’t really care about the data, just format that external device. Remove the source, kill the problem, simple. And if you can’t, just follow through.
1. Using Command Prompt
Stating the obvious, Command prompt is the most versatile and effective program I have ever seen in my life. It can do a simple job as copying a file to rewrite everything, this thing is capable of stuff I have no idea about. And, you can easily get rid of the shortcut virus through it. Here is how-
- The first step is to locate the virus and remove any external storage device. Find where the virus is, just the drive name is fine.
- Now, press Windows + X and select Command Prompt (admin).
- Lest’s say that the virus exists in D drive. So, Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d D:\*.* and press Enter. Replace ” D ” in case it exists in other drives.
- Again type del autorun.inf and press Enter.
- Now, replace “autorun.inf” with *.ink , * vbm , *.exe respectively [ Example: del *.ink ]. Don’t forget to hit enter every time you replace it.
2. Using Registry
The Windows Registry is an archive that stores data related to system configuration, logs, component data and a lot of other stuff. Hence, it can also be used to cleanse your system from impurities. To do so,
- Open Registry Editor through run. Press Windows + R to open Run and type in regedit.
- In the Registry Editor, Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Micorsoft-> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Run.
- In the Run folder, search for any suspicious file. [Example- WXCKYz, OUzzckky, .vbm, .ini, .exe, .lnk]. Use google to ensure that you are removing the right file.
3. Use Antivirus
The above two methods for removing this virus does not require any tools and since you had to do all the stuff it makes it a bit more complicated. On the other hand, if you are looking for a quick fix or easy use, use your Antivirus. Using it will not only remove the virus but it will also help you control the actions or locate a file which is important but infected.
If you don’t use any antivirus, feel free to use Windows Defender as it is also an Antivirus. To use Windows Defender,
- Open Start menu and type Windows Defender in the search bar.
- Open Windows Defender and select Full or Custom under Scan options. If you have already located the virus, use the custom scan to speed up the process. But before all this make sure that your Windows defender is all upto date. You can check that in the update section.
- Keep in mind that this process takes a really good amount of time. And, after the scan is complete take necessary action.
4. Other Tools
There is no doubt that you can remove the virus using the above methods, but nothing works better than a tool designed specifically to remove them. And to be honest, there are a lot to choose from but I will list one or two to make it simple.
USBFix is a shortcut virus remover designed to clean the infected file and restore all the deleted files. This tool is specially made for external storage devices. You can download it for free from here. The developer of USBFix regularly provides update to make sure that your protector always ready for new challenges.
2. Shortcut Virus Fixer
Shortcut Virus Fixer is another tool that you can find handy. It is developed by Cnet and is totally free to use. This software works on its own. As you insert an external storage device, it will detect and ask permission to scan the file. Click on Yes and let it take of the rest. You can use this tool to fix recover virus, fix broken shortcuts, restore files, etc.
Download it form here.
The Bottom Line
Shortcut Viruses are not a big threat as long as you don’t have any contact with them. And it is highly recommended to remove them instantly if possible. As I mentioned before, if these viruses were to stored long, they will slowly infect everything. The biggest problem with Shortcut viruses is that they mostly infected files our most important files which are all by coincidence. In any case, you have to get rid of them and the above methods will help you do so.
If you want a simple solution or precaution, use any of the above-mentioned tools.
At last, thanks for reading this article, I hope it works out for you.