How to Fix File Folders Become Shortcuts

and Recover Data

Nowadays computer virus has always been so annoying. If you accidentally find the files and folders in your removable disk such as USB flash drive, memory card or external drive suddenly became shortcuts when connected to a PC, then it is almost certain that the disk has suffered some kind of virus or spyware.


More symptoms can be seen as:

  • All files or folders become shortcuts that show 1KB, 2KB or something
  • You cannot access the folder for your files
  • Sometimes the disk becomes quite slow


There should be more strange symptoms out there with this kind of folders become shortcuts problem. Then how to fix or remove the shortcuts? And if you have some very important files, photos, videos or other files, how to recover data from the problematic drive? Keep reading, the solution below will fix the shortcuts and restore your files and data back to normal. Chances are 90%.

Steps to Fix folders become shortcuts in removable disk

Fix Step 1: Check if the files or folders are in hidden mode.
If you are running Windows XP, click on "Start" -->Run --> type ‘cmd’ and click OK.
For Windows Vista or 7, click “Home + R” combination and type ‘cmd’ and click OK.
Then enter this command.
attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.*
You can copy the above command --> Right-click in the Command Prompt and paste it. (note: I assume your removable disk shown as ‘removable disk F’ under ‘My Computer’, the drive may show as other letters like G etc, replace it)
Now check for your files in drive.


Fix Step 2: Download an anti-virus program to kill the virus
Malwarebytes Free edition usually works good to clean the kind of virus. You may also turn to some other free anti-virus or anti-spyware like AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, SuperAntiSpyware Free Edition etc.

WARNING: Most cases when you finish step 2, the folders shortcuts problem will be solved and your files will be visible again. If still not, please read step 3.


Fix Step 3: Recover the data first
If you have some valuable data insides the USB, memory card or external DD, try recovering the data first of all. This is to do the best to make sure you won’t lose any data.
For those who got media files in the drive, try Photo Recovery Software. It is a program which can recover lost pictures, videos and music.
For those who had some significant documents say Word, PDF, PPT etc, try Data Recovery Software.


Fix Step 4: Format the drive in your removable disk
This should be your final solution. Use quick format option and wipe everything on the problematic drive quickly. The folder files shortcuts gone too.
Note: after the format, re-use the data recovery program recommended on Step 3 and see if you can recover more data. Because general format won’t erase the data on the drive immediately until they are overwritten by new data.


The 4-step fix solution should eliminate folders become shortcuts on your removable media like USB pen drive, memory card or external disk drive etc. Read every step instruction carefully and take action to fix it yourself.

For more details about Data Recovery Software Product and the illustration of How to Perform Data Recovery, please refer to: Data Recovery for Windows