Fix Pen Drive Shortcut Problem

Last night when i tried to access my pen drive i found that all the data on the USB drive was converted to shortcuts. I really don’t know what went wrong because i’m using a pretty good Antivirus solution on my Laptop and i don’t give my pen drive to anyone even to my parents. I can’t open any file and i really need that data.

Then i remembered one of the command prompt trick  my professor taught me when i was studying 1st year of graduation. This trick helps us to hide our files by typing a simple command in the command prompt window.

Before going into details also check our other useful posts that helps solving problems related to USB Drive:

Enable/ Disable Write Protection on USB Pen Drive

Remove Write Protection on Flash Drives

The command is


“attrib  +s +h file-path”


type the above command and the file you chose will be hidden. Now to make it visible just replace the ‘+’ symbol in the above command with the ‘-‘ symbol (See below).

attrib -s -h file-path

After this, i thought that may be i can try this on my faulty pen drive and can replace the data. Then i played with the command prompt for a while and read the documentation on ‘attrib’ command online. After playing with the commands for sometime, to my surprise, i somehow managed to solve the problem and all the data that’s converted to shortcuts were back to their original form.

I’m sure that you too faced this problem with your Flash drive or Pen drive atleast once in your life. So let me guide you through the solution that will help you next time when your pen drive shows shortcuts instead of original data.



First of all make sure that you didn’t format your pen drive. Well if you did format it, then i can’t help you on this one. So now plug in your Pen Drive and follow the below steps.

Step 1 :

Press the Windows button and then in the run or search type “cmd”  and press enter.

(To be simple “Start”  ==> Run ==> type cmd and click on OK.)

Here I assume your pen drive letter as K: and now enter the below command in the command prompt window.


attrib -h -r -s /s /d k: \*.*

(See the below screenshot. There should be a backslash after k in the above command. Due to some reasons my theme isn’t allowing this. So please see the command in the below screenshot).

fix pen drive shortcut problem

You can just copy the above command  and paste it in the command prompt. To do that right-click in the Command Prompt and select paste because keyboard shortcuts won’t work and now press enter.

Note : Don’t forget to replace the letter k with your pen drive letter.

Now check for your files in Pen Drive and i’m sure that they were all normal as before.

Now you know two awesome tricks because of this tutorial. They are “How to hide files in windows using command prompt” and “How to fix pen drive shortcut problem in windows.”  But now lets discuss some measures on  how can we prevent the shortcut problem from happening again.


Measures to prevent pen drive shortcut problem from happening again

1) Make sure that you’ve installed best antivirus software on your desktop. You can also install free antivirus software like the ones recommended in the link shared below.

Recommended for you:

Best 5 free Antivirus Software for Windows

2) Whenever you use your pen drive outside (other than your PC or Laptop), make sure that the OS is having an antivirus installed. Most of the pen drive shortcuts problem happens because of this.

3) Regularly optimize your PC using free tools like CCleaner. This simple step can drive lot of headaches away.

4) Even though you follow all the above mentioned, there is a pretty good chance of 60% that you’re pen drive’s gonna get infected. Yeah that’s how the today’s technology world rocks. So its better to remember the attrib command.

If you wanna know more about attrib  command then in the command prompt itself type attrib /? and explore it yourself or stay tuned with FactsnFakes because we are gonna teach you soon.

That’s all for now. I hope you learned something new today and now its your turn to share this simple tutorial with your friends and family. Anyway don’t forget to comment your views about this tutorial.

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Thank you 🙂