Shortcut virus is a common virus that converts valid files into an inaccessible form on your Flash drive or PC Hard drive. Such types of shortcut files do not delete the actual file, but the original file stays hidden behind the shortcut files.
Since Pendrive, SD Cards, or Flash drives are the very common devices to transfer data from one computer to another. This malware keeps spreading from one device to another, and it does show every file as a shortcut.
Even after connecting the Pendrive to Computer, files get converted to shortcuts. Basically, this is a Virus known as Shortcut virus, it converts every file into a shortcut in Pendrive / Hard drive.
This article will guide you to remove shortcut virus from USB flash drives and Windows 11, 8, 8.1, 7, and Windows 10 computers.
What is Shortcut Virus, and How does it Spread?
When we connect a USB flash drive to an infected computer and transfer any file from a PC to a flash drive, it automatically infects the thumb drive, and all files appear as Shortcut. Vice versa is also true.
This virus can affect any external storage like Flash Drives, External Hard disks, Phone Memory, Memory card, or Memory Stick. Once the infected USB drive connects to another PC, then, it infects the PC as well.
It is anonymous malware that was initially released online and spread from one computer to another. And we get a Shortcut of files on the USB drive.
If you try to open any file on the USB drive, you will get an error message.
You Can See How Files are Showing in Removable Disk (D:)
All files in the above image are showing as shortcuts and file size is limited to 1/2 KB only.
How to Remove Shortcut Virus From USB Drive/Pendrive Using CMD
If your USB drive doesn’t have important files, you can try to Format it, but if it contains important files, then you are not going to format it.
To Remove Shortcut Virus manually, follow these steps.
Step 1. Go to Start and Search for cmd. As it appears in the start menu, Right Click on it and click “Run as Administrator.” In Windows 8.1 and 10, press Win +X to launch the menu and choose command prompt (Administrator).
Step 2. Navigate to Flash Drive by typing its letter. [ Let’s Say it is i ], to find your USB drive letter, open “My Computer” and check for the letter.
Type i: and hit enter. (Replace “i” with the flash drive letter on your computer.)
Step 3. Type ” del *.lnk ” (without quote) in the cmd window and Hit Enter on your Keyboard.
Step 4. Now type ” attrib -s -r -h . /s /d /l ” ( without quote ) and hit Enter . (/s/d/l (it’s L not capital i).
It will take a few seconds to recover all your files. Now open your Flash Drive you will get all of your files back. The above command will eliminate all the shortcuts into the flash drive.
[Any mistake in the above command may cause data loss, so be careful while executing the del *.lnk command]
How to Remove Shortcut Virus Permanently From PC
Once you recover files into a USB drive, you can use them, but if you plug in a USB Flash drive into the infected computer, the flash drive will infect again.
So it is better to remove the source of this virus, that is, the infected PC. Follow the steps below to remove shortcut virus manually from the PC.
This works for every version of Windows, like Windows 7, 8/8.1, and Windows 11 & 10.
Step 1. First, open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + del Or Right Click on the taskbar and click on Task Manager.
Step 2. Go to the Process tab and look for process Wscript.exe. Scroll down and find any such process, now Right Click on it and click on End Task.
Step 3. Now go to Start and search for “regedit.” Open it & you will get Registry Editor, navigate to-
Here look for Registry Keys “WXCKYz“, ” ZGFYszaas” “OUzzckky” “odwcamszas“. If you find any of them, then right-click on them and delete this registry key.
If you don’t find the exact registry key, then look for similar registry keys and search them on google to know what they do.
This will remove Shortcut Virus from your computer; if not, then try these steps.
1. Press Windows + R key. You will get the Run box, type %temp% here, and hit OK. Now temp folder will be open look for file nkvasyoxww.vbs WXCKYz.vbs“, ” ZGFYszaas.vbs” “OUzzckky.vbs and delete it.
2. Go to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. Check the Startup folder if nkvasyoxww.vbs and other similar .vbs files exist here, then delete them.
3. Press Windows + R key. Type “msconfig” into the Run dialog box and hit OK. It will open System Configuration, Go to the Startup tab, and look for nkvasyoxww.vbs and other similar .vbs files, uncheck them from startup, and hit OK.
There may be a different name for the VBS file. Just make sure you don’t have any file with an unusual name and VBS extension at the startup, registry, and temp folder.
Open Task Manager and go to the Startup tab. Disable nkvasyoxww.vbs from here.
Watch Video Tutorial
Shortcut Virus Fix Using Antivirus [From PC]
If you follow the above steps, you will be able to get rid of the shortcut virus from your Flash drive and PC. But the latest version of this virus may not go from the computer even if you manually check and delete the suspicious files.
So it is recommended to use a good Antivirus to delete shortcut viruses from your Windows PC.
However, most people have antivirus software installed on their PC, but this Virus might bypass your antivirus. The recommended and second opinion antivirus is Hitman Pro.
Hitman Pro is an advanced malware scanner that detects the virus even if it bypasses the existing antivirus. This antivirus works with a major version of Windows like Windows 7/8, 10 & Windows 11.
1. Download Hitman Pro; it comes free for 30 days with full functionality.
2. You may install it on your computer or can perform one time scan without installing the software.
3. After that, perform a full scan on your PC.
4. It will find and delete malware, such as viruses, trojans, rootkits, bad registry entries, etc.
5. Be careful while deleting the found malware; it may detect some important .dll files as malware remember to uncheck them.
6. Restart your computer.
Now it will delete all the malware, including the Shortcut virus.
USB Shortcut Virus Remover Tools & Software
There are tools and software to automate the above-mentioned cmd commands; if you are not familiar with CMD stuff, then the remover software will help you to do it within a few clicks.
You should choose the tool if you are unfamiliar with cmd commands; any mistake in the command may delete your original files.
1. Download a Shortcut Virus remover tool.
2. Extract the downloaded zip file using Win Rar or 7-Zip.
3. Install the software; you may need to restart the computer.
4. Go to your Desktop, find and run the installed program.
5. Now, you just need to enter the flash drive letter and click on Clean Virus.
6. Hit the Yes option on UAC.
Performing all the above steps will remove the Shortcut Virus from your Flash drive, Windows computer, or Laptop.
Ensure complete protection is installed on your PC, like Kaspersky Total Security or McAfee Total Protection. If not, download and install Kaspersky Total Security/ McAfee Total Protection or any other antivirus which provide protection from all kind of threats.
Or you can also install a good free antivirus program, but having a full version of an antivirus gives you peace of mind, and you stay safe from different types of malware like a virus, trojans, rootkits, etc.