How to Fix Flash Drive When Files Become Shortcuts (SOLUTIONS)

USBs are a great way to carry files with you and transfer them without using a network. For larger files, a portable storage device such as USB is the easiest and fastest way to transfer them from one system to another.

While flash drives are good and can be connected to almost any computer, they also tend to pose a threat to the system to which they are connected. If a system is infected with malware, a flash driver is an easy way to transfer it from one system to another.

A strong anti-virus app may be able to block the flash driver and the malware on it but you will be prevented from accessing the files on it. If the flash driver is not blocked by an anti-virus and you can access the storage of the drive, and copy files from it, chances are you will get your own system.

Flash drive files become shortlisted

If you have a flash driver attached to your system, and all the files in it are thumbnails, you are dealing with an infected flash driver. The bad news with accessing the flash driver is that you have exposed your system to the infection. The good news is that you may be able to recover files from the driver.

Flash drive files become shortlisted

This type of virus used to be common around ten years ago but is still around and is called the shortcut virus. Basically, it hides the files, and creates shortlists of them all. The files may be infectious but the shortlists are definitely shortlisted. Here are the things you can do.

How to Fix Flash Drive (4 WORKING SOLUTIONS)

1. Scan the flash driver

The first thing you need to do is get rid of the virus. If you do not get rid of it, the files on the flash drive will end up hidden again and will spread to the rest of your system.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. go to This PC.
  3. Right click on the flash drive.
  4. Choose Scan the Windows Defender.
  5. Quarantine and remove any infected files found.
  6. Next thing, download and install Malwarebytes (free version).
  7. Open Scan filer and go to This PC again.
  8. Right click on the flash drive and select Scan the Malware Bytes.
  9. Remove all infection obtained.
  10. Open the flash driver and your files should be there.

Note: It is a good idea to run a full system scan with both Windows Defender and Malware Bytes.

2. Remove autorun files

A virus runs itself when you access a flash driver. In some cases, the autorun file will open the USB driver and the virus will spread throughout your system. Autorun files may not be marked with anti-virus so it is a good idea to remove a file manually.

  1. Connect the USB drive to your system.
  2. Open Promptly forward with administrative rights.
  3. Use this command to transfer to the USB driver.
Flash drive letter:


  1. Enter this command in list all files in the driver.
dir /w /a
  1. Run this command to delete any autorun files who is on the way.
del autorun.inf

3. Unhide hidden files

The files on your USB drive are hidden and must remain unopened. Make sure that you have cleared the driver ie, scanned and removed the malware on it.

  1. Open Promptly forward with administrative rights.
  2. Run the following command to unhide hidden files. Change the drive letter to the letter assigned to the flash driver.
attrib -h -r -s /s /d Drive-Letter:*.*


attrib -h -r -s /s /d E:*.*

4. Dedicate flash shape

A virus that creates summaries of your files, and hides the originals, can be difficult to remove. If you have been able to remove it with a scan, and you have backed up your files, you should format the flash disk.

  1. Connect the driver to your system.
  2. Open File Explorer.
  3. go to This PC.
  4. R.ight-click on the flash driver and select Shape from the context table.
  5. Uncheck the Early Shape option.
  6. Configure the driver.

Note: the drive format will erase all data from it.


USBs are portable, so big that many people tend to hold one on their primary keys. Unfortunately, they spread disease. To avoid this, always make sure you connect a flash driver that does not come from an infected system. It is usually publicly available eg in libraries, which are prone to disease. Reliable home computers usually do not have this problem, however, you should still be careful. If you connect a flash driver provided by someone that is likely to install malicious apps (unknowingly), you will end up entering your own system.

The post How to set Flash Drive when files first appear as thumbnails (SOLUTIONS) on TechtricksNg.

Leave a Comment