How to create Symlinks in Windows 11/10/8/7

Symlinks or Symbolic Links are symbolic link (also known as a soft link) that consists of a select type of file that serves as a reference to another file or directory. This feature works on Windows 11/10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. You can use them with Dropbox if you do not want to move folders but sync files. Let’s learn how to create symlinks in Windows 11/10.

How to create Symlinks in Windows 11/10

Follow these methods to create symlinks in Windows.

  1. Command Line
  2. Directory Linker
  3. Symbolic Link creator
  4. How to make data of two folders available in one

It should work without admin permission as well.

1] Command-Line Syntax for Symlink

You can create symlinks using the command line utility termed MKLINK.

MKLINK [ /D] | [/H] | [/J] Link Target

where [] stands for optional and / is used as an option

  • /D – Create a symbolic directory link ( soft link ). The default is to create a symbolic link.
  • /H – Creates a Hard link ( link to a file ).
  • /J – Creates a directory junction
  • LINK – Specifies a new symbolic link name
  • Target – It specifies the path that the new link will refer to.

Example of Creating a symbolic link to the directory

On the command prompt, first, navigate to the directory you want. Then ( Here I am at C directory )

  • C: > mklink /D mySymDir D:MyBlogData

The above example makes all the data in the “C” directory available in D:Myblogdata. Just make a Dir in D:Myblogdata, and You will see all the files of the C directory.

If you are not comfortable using the command line, there are a couple of software that you can use to create.

2] Directory Linker

It is a smart GUI application that allows you to create symbolic links easily with options of  Copying content, deleting the original directory, and overwriting confirmation.

Directory Link creator

The advantage of using Symbolic links is that they are transparent to users; the links appear as regular files or directories and can be acted upon by the user or application in precisely the same way. Since they are native to the NTFS file system, Windows XP users don’t have the option to create Symbolic Links for a technical reason. Download Directory Linker @ CodePlex

3] Symbolic Link Creator or Symlink Creator for Windows

We talked about creating a symbolic link creator using Directory Linker. Here is another tool that is much advanced and lacks one feature over the Directory linker.

symbolic link creator Windows

  • Create File or Folder Symbolic links
  • It supports Directory Junction creation along with symlinks and hard links.
  • Portable Application.

Download it from here.

However, with the default option, you will be able to see only one directory or folder data in the Symlink created. Here we will see how we can make data of two directories available in one Symlink.

4] How To Make Data of Two Folders Available in One

Take Directories d:\Blogdata and d:\Images. Now you want to see data of both the directory into a new place, say d:Blog. Now we will use MKLINK /J option to do it. /J stands for directory junction.

Steps to make a junction directory/symlink

  • MKLINK /D c:\blog d:\BlogData
  • The above steps create a hard link, and all data under the D:\blogdata directory can be seen in c:\blog.
  • Now type MKLINK /J c:\blog d:\images
  • The folder d:\images will be added to the Symlink you have already created.
  • Next, when you browse c:\blog, you will be able to see both directories’ data.

I will suggest you use the library feature instead.

I hope one of these methods or software made it easy to create a symbolic or Symlink in Windows 11/10 or Windows 8 or Windows 7. If you are still on them, it is better to upgrade.

What Is the Difference Between a Hard Link and a Symbolic Link?

While symbolic links open an actual folder, they can be virtual. It is not necessary for the path to be valid when it is created. Compared to this, hard links need to exist in the same volume as the target.

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