How to Recover Shortcut Files in USB

How to Recover Shortcut Files in USB

Want to know how to recover shortcut files in USB? This article talks about the best ways to recover shortcut files in USB.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Feb 02, 2021 • Filed to: Recover & Repair Files • Proven solutions

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Technology has evolved a lot over the last few decades. There was a time when computers, big enough to occupy a room, didn’t have the computational abilities of our modern laptops. Similarly, data storage devices have evolved over the years. One of the classic results of this evolution is USB. Almost everyone has a pen drive these days.

While USBs are super easy to use, users often face problems when using these portable data storage devices. One of the most common problems users face is failing to recover shortcut files. Let’s assume that you have stored a file in your USB and the next time you try retrieving it, you just find its shortcut and not the entire file!

So, how to recover shortcut files in USB? In this article, we will talk about multiple ways to recover shortcut files from your USB. Let’s begin!

Part 1: Must-Know Details of Shortcut Files

Before we get into the top ways to recover shortcut files in USB, let’s answer the “what’s and why’s” of this problem.

1. What are shortcut files?

Have you ever noticed that when you install new software on your laptop, you start seeing its logo with a round arrow thing on the main screen? This file actually is a shortcut file.

For instance, if you install Google Chrome, its shortcut file will typically look like Google chrome’s logo along with a rounded pointer or arrow.

Speaking in technical terms, a short file is basically a pointer to the executable file saved on your hard drive.

2. Why have my files become shortcut files?

The reason behind your files becoming shortcuts is your hard drive getting infected by the “shortcut” virus.

Most of the time, your files getting converted into shortcut files are caused by a notorious worm or trojan. If you are facing a problem like this, it means that your USB or your laptop’s hard drive is infected by a virus.

3. What happens if my USB or hard drive gets infected by the “shortcut” virus?

If your pen drive or hard drive is infected by the “shortcut virus”, your original files of sizes in MBs and GBs will get converted into shortcut files of KBs.

Sometimes, your files also might get deleted altogether if your USB or hard drive is infected by the “shortcut” virus.

Now that we have answered a few introductory questions related to this problem, let’s look at how to recover shortcut files in USB.


Part 2: Solutions to Recover Shortcut Files in USB

There are multiple ways to recover shortcut files in USB or hard drive. We are going to list out the top two methods of how to recover shortcut files in USB.

Method 1: Recover Shortcut Files Using Command Prompt

Follow these steps to recover shortcut files in USB using the command prompt in your PC.

Step 1: Press the “Windows” key and “X” simultaneously. Select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the list of options. For the lower versions of Windows (7 or 8), click the “Windows” key & “R” simultaneously. Enter “cmd” in the search bar and hit “Enter”.

command prompt

Step 2: Note the letter of your pen drive or hard drive connected to your PC. (Let's say that the letter is “I”) Type “I:” in the command prompt and hit the “Enter” key.

Step 3: In this step, write “del *.Ink” in the command prompt and hit the “Enter Key”. This will delete all the shortcut files in your pen drive or USB.

Step 4: Write “attrib -s -r -h *.* /s /d /l” in the command prompt and hit “Enter” to recover shortcut files in the selected drive. Keep in mind that in “/s /d /l” /l is a small letter L, not the letter i.

command prompt 2

You now have successfully recovered shortcut files in USB using the Windows command prompt. While this method works most of the time, using a command prompt might not be a viable option for many users. The commands can get tricky and sometimes, even a single discrepancy in the commands written can cause data loss or even worse.

Don’t worry! The next method to recover shortcut files in USB is completely safe. So, let’s look at how to recover shortcut files in USB using Wondershare Recoverit.

Method 2: How to Recover Shortcut Files in USB Using Wondershare Recoverit?

Wondershare Recoverit is one of the most recommended data recovery tools used by people from all over the world. So, how can you use Wondershare Recoverit to recover shortcut files in USB?

Follow these steps to recover shortcut files in USB.

Step 1: Download the Tool

Download Wondershare Recoverit tool on your PC and launch it.

Step 2: Begin Process

From the list of displayed options, choose the disk you want to recover data for and click on “Start”. In this case, it is your removable pen drive or USB.

computer data recovery

Step 3: Scan the Data

The program will now begin the all round scanning of the selected location or device. Wait for it to get done.

computer scan

Step 4: Preview and Recover

Once the tool displays the list of files that can be recovered, choose the file you want to recover. In your case, you want to recover shortcut files in USB. Once you have found the file you want to recover, click on “Recover”.

photo preview

And that’s it. This is how to recover shortcut files in USB using Wondershare Recoverit! Now that we know how to recover shortcut files in USB, people often ask how to remove the Shortcut virus from USB or pen drive.


Part 3: How to Remove the Shortcut virus from your hard drive or USB?

You can remove the shortcut virus by formatting your USB altogether. Keep in mind that this will COMPLETELY erase all your data. If you haven't stored anything important and just want to remove the Shortcut virus, you can follow these steps to remove it!

Step 1: Press the “Windows” key and “E” simultaneously to open the “This PC” folder.

Step 2: Right click on the disk that contains your USB or hard drive. Its name is usually preceded by “Removable Disk” as shown in the image below. From the list of options that appear after right-clicking, click on “Format”.

remove shortcut virus

Step 3: Choose “Quick Format” and click on “Start”. Then, click on “Yes” that appears on the following screen.

Formatting your USB will remove the shortcut virus immediately.


The Bottom Line

These were the top ways to recover shortcut files in USB and to get rid of the Shortcut virus in USB. If you want to recover shortcut files in USB without data loss, Wondershare Recoverit is a great tool that you should use. The best part is this tool helps you to recover all kinds of data - video, audio, pictures, etc. without any loss!

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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