Fix: Remove Virus That Changes Files and Folders to Shortcut

Many have suffered from this frustrating virus that turns file and folder into shortcut, where some went extra miles by formatting their computer just to fix the virus but there is absolutely no need for that, I will share with you a full tutorial to remove this virus and recover your files back.

What really brings about this article on how to fix virus that turns files and folders to shortcut is my recent encounter of the so called shortcut virus and meeting a genius that looks funny all the time, a software programmer that loves and works on Microsoft technologies, his name is Dara, these all happened this last weekend at Microsoft #UpgradeYourWorld event that took place in my school where I happened to be among the team, Dara as a Microsoft student partner came to the event. During the event we upgrade people’s laptop to Windows 10 for free, which involves transferring the setup around different laptop to upgrade it, in short one of the flash we are using got infected by this very virus, we implore Dara method to Remove virus that change Files and Folders to Shortcut and recover the files back, which am going to share with you.

The Problem

Here are some of the complaints I hear.

“All the files on my flash has turned to shortcut”

“usb files turned into shortcuts”

“My flash is finished! I have all the world virus on it”

“help me remove shortcut virus from my usb flash”

“Can you help me format my system? I have virus”

“All my important files are gone! Please help me”

“My hard disk has crashed! Shortcut has killed it”

There are a lot funnier ones I hear; I just hope this summarizes the experience.

What really happened?

Well, I don’t have a clear name to call but I think I wouldn’t be wrong to say it’s a malware (i.e. software designed to interfere with a computer’s normal functioning – source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Office Add-On). That’s just the way I understand computers.

Well, let’s say the virus really attacked you. They come in different forms (that I have seen and worked with): some come as .vbs (Visual Basic Scripts) files, some as .ini (System Information File), some come as skypee (folder), and the older ones I have experienced. I guess you’re still with me.

So, one the system detects that your files “may be in danger” it hides them (calls them its own, so the “Virus” doesn’t attack it and you lose your files). So you don’t get to see them as normal files or folders or anyhow it comes to you. You’ll notice you still see the space occupied by the files.

See your files again

The steps are simple – I guess-after some practice.

To make your files visible, you need to enable some system folder settings called FOLDER OPTIONS

Remove Virus That Turns Files and Folders to Shortcut

This is where you need to be, now how do we get there?

Step 1

Windows 7

  1. Click/Press the start and type FOLDER OPTIONS
  2. Select the first option that comes to you.

Windows 8 and 8.1

  1. Go to Start Menu and Search for FOLDER OPTIONS under Settings
  2. Or press the key combinations Windows + Q (this takes you to settings search) and type FOLDER OPTIONS.
  3. Select the option that comes to you

Windows 10

  1. Go to your Start Menu and type FOLDER OPTIONS
  1. Select FILE EXPLORER OPTIONS

shortcut virus

Step 2

You should see something like this (depending on your Operating System). You only need to go to the second tab.

fix Shortcut virus

Now on the second tab

Shortcuts virus

Check the box that says “Show hidden files and folders”

usb shortcut virus

Then scroll down a bit to and un-check “Hide Protected Operating System Files”

Files and Folders change to Shortcut

You will see a pop-up, click “Yes” and then click “Apply”

When you do this, you should see the files show up.

Make them whole again

Now, this is what I do. You may have a better way of doing it.

I have a file copy software called “Super Copier”, you can search for it and download it. By default, the software removes file security attributes when copying (except you tamper with its settings).

folders change to shortcuts

That’s what the interface looks like when copying (I use the 2.2 beta version-coz I kinda prefer it)

  1. Now, copy out the files you need, probably to a larger storage or create a new folder on your USB Device (if you have the space) and copy the files.
  2. Delete those folders and files
  3. Copy them back
  4. After copying is done, change your FOLDER OPTIONS settings to default.

That’s all, I hope the article is helpful, do you have any other method to fix the virus that turns files and folder to shortcut? If yes, kindly share it in the comment box bellow.

Kindly share this with others.

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