A virus infected computer really turns out to a big issue. When our virus scanner detects any threat on our system it becomes a matter of concern and we immediately seek for solutions to fix them. Similarly, the shortcut virus affects our PC and hides all the original files and folders, including in pen drives, memory cards and flash drives too.
In this article, you will learn about shortcut virus, its types, “how to remove shortcut virus easily from your computer or pen drive” and how to prevent it from appearing again in your computer, pen drive.
What is Shortcut virus?
It is the new generation virus which makes all the original files and folders hidden and replaces them with a shortcut icon. When any program is replaced with the shortcut files you won’t be able to use them, which turns out an absolutely frustrating issue. The shortcut virus also stretches itself to other connected PC’s and external drives via Bluetooth and internet connections. Shortcut virus is commonly named as autorun.inf in removable drives and it keeps on spreading by creating multiple shortcut files and folders. This virus might occur in most Windows systems, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Types of Shortcut Virus
This appears to be of two kinds which most users come across in their Windows system.
(1) Files and Folders
The files and folders shortcut virus are normally discovered by most Windows users. This happens due to an outdated antivirus program or usage of highly infected removable drives in your system. Files and folders shortcut virus easily reproduces the original files and make them hidden or inaccessible. Clicking on such shortcut files may endanger your system and steal your private data in the background.
(2) USB flash/ Pendrive
USB flash/ Pen drive shortcut viruses are Trojans and they can seriously infect your PC. It puts each and every folder of your pen drive to a hidden folder by creating an executable (.exe) file with the same icon. Such viruses leave no other option other than clicking on it and spread malicious scripts on your PC.
How does USB shortcut virus appear?
Possibly a shortcut virus might appear due to several reasons:
- You have connected a third party malicious removable drive to your system.
- You have connected your USB stick to someone else’s system which contained a virus.
- You downloaded an executable (.exe) file from untrusted third party software that contained the virus.
- You have probably turned on Bluetooth in your system and your antivirus is outdated. This is why the malicious files have been transferred automatically to your system because of inappropriate virus protection.
How to remove shortcut virus from pen drive and computer?
Normally in such situations, people do a system scan, but does that really work out? After researching a lot on the web, I came across a few solutions which can help eradicate the shortcut virus problems and give you a virus-free system. Today, I am going to share few of those tricks to recover from the shortcut malware from your computer, as well as removable drives.
Ways to remove shortcut virus from USB and PC
(1) Using CMD
If you want to avoid using any virus removal programs then simply try out the basic solution to delete shortcut virus trouble. Use the computer CMD program to erase it, simply follow the process below:
- Go to Run > type CMD > Enter, to open the Command Prompt.
- Connect your USB storage to your computer.
- Type the drive letter of your removable storage followed by a colon and hit Enter.
- Now type the letter of your removable storage followed by *.* /d /s -h -r -s(For example, if your removable drive is F then type f *.* /d /s -h -r -s).
- Hit Enter.
(2) Use Shortcut virus remover software
In case you are scared to run the command prompt with the fear that you might mess up with your system, then try installing a shortcut remover tool. Using such tools will automatically fix out the trouble and that you won’t need to put any effort to it. It is an effective program that eradicates all shortcut malware from PC as well as USB drives.
- Download the Shortcut virus remover on your PC.
- Since this a click to run the application, this does not require any installation.
- Once it is downloaded, open the application and select either from Pen drive or computer.
- Select the drive which is affected –> press the Scan button.
- “Shortcut virus remover” automatically detects the shortcut malware and provides you the option to select and delete all viruses with a single click.
(3) How to remove shortcut virus with USB Fix?
USB Fix is an all in one “virus shortcut” remover tool that detects any shortcut virus and erases it from your system. This tool can remove any external drive, including USB flash stick, memory cards, digital cameras, external hard drives, etc. Before using USB Fix make sure you close all programs from the taskbar because when it starts working, it closes all the programs and hence, you might lose your data. To use USB Fix on your Windows PC,
- Download USB Fix from here.
- Run the program.
- Connect your external drives to your computer > Select Clean.
USB Fix automatically detects the shortcut viruses and cleans them up.
(4) Use VBScript to remove shortcut virus
VBScript is not an application, but it is a simple script which is coded to scan files to trace the virus. This script takes just 30 seconds to get its work done and cleans up all the infected files and folders containing the virus. Simply download the script from here and run it and it will automatically perform the tasks. A pop-up box will appear and you need to click ‘OK’ in it. Perform the same task for 4-5 times and run it. The shortcut viruses will be disappeared from your system. VBScript supports Win 10 systems also.
(5) Create a BAT file
If the above methods fail to remove shortcut virus from the computer then try creating a BAT file. BAT file is nothing but it’s just creating a file on your Windows PC using a notepad. To create a BAT file,
- Open Notepad from your Windows start menu.
- Copy and paste the following code on the notepad:
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d Drive:*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d Drive:*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d Drive:*.*
- Replace the ‘Drive’ name with your removable drive.
- Click on File > Save as > Save as type ‘All files’ > rename the file as removeshortcutvirus.bat.
- Save it to your desktop.
- Now close the notepad.
- Go to desktop and open the BAT file you have just created.
All shortcut viruses will be removed from your laptop.
(6) Remove virus shortcut by tweaking registry files
Another way to eradicate the short virus is by tweaking the registry files. To apply this method, you do not require any third party tools or downloads. This method is recommended only if you are aware of this otherwise I would not suggest it in case you mess up with your system.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager or Right click on your Taskbar > Open Task Manager.
- Under the Processes tab, scroll down to find wscript.exe.
- Click on it > click End Processes.
- To open the Registry Editor, open Run by pressing Win + R keys > type Regedit > Enter.
- On the left pane of the Registry Editor window, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
- Look for the Registry key odwcamszas > right click on it > Delete.
The Registry key might differ according to the height of the virus. In case it differs or you don’t find the specified key, you can skip this method.
How to prevent virus shortcut to appear in your system?
Although you have learned a big lesson from shortcut viruses, you should not sit calmly predicting that your system is malware free. To prevent such viruses to appear again in your system, you should be very cautious about it and take some prevention measures to keep them away.
- Keep your anti-virus up to date.
- Update virus definitions regularly.
- Access any removable disk after scanning them properly.
- Turn off your Bluetooth if you are not using any antivirus program.
- Do not plug in any USB drive if your antivirus is outdated.
- Run boot scans once in 2-3 weeks.
- Do not open a file by double-clicking on it since some malicious scripts are likely to be hidden there or the folders are executed when someone double clicks on it. To keep it safe, right-click on a file and click Open.
Hence, you are now aware of what shortcut virus is and how to erase and prevent them. It is always advisable to use updated antivirus program on your Windows PC and do a proper scanning of any removable media or hard disk before you access them.