The Complete Guide to Creating Symbolic Links (aka Symlinks) on Windows

Symbolic links, also known as symlinks, are a powerful feature in the Windows operating system that allow you to create a reference to a file or folder in another location. Symlinks can be used to save space on your hard drive, organize your files and folders, and make it easier to access frequently used files. Here’s a complete guide to creating symbolic links on Windows:

  1. Open a command prompt as an administrator.
  2. Navigate to the folder or directory where you want to create the symlink.
  3. Type “mklink /d link target” and press Enter, where “link” is the name of the symbolic link you want to create and “target” is the path to the folder or file you want to reference.
  4. For example, if you want to create a symbolic link to the folder “C:\Users\username\Documents\Work” in the directory “C:\Projects,” you would type “mklink /d C:\Projects\Work C:\Users\username\Documents\Work” and press Enter.
  5. The symlink will be created, and you can now access the contents of the linked folder or file from the directory where the symlink is located.

Note: The /d flag is used to create a symbolic link to a folder. If you want to create a symlink to a file, you should omit the /d flag.

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating symbolic links on Windows:

  • Symlinks require administrator privileges to create.
  • Symlinks cannot be created across different file systems or network shares.
  • Symlinks can be deleted or modified like any other file or folder.
  • If you move or delete the target of a symlink, the symlink will become broken and will no longer work.
  • Symlinks can be useful, but they can also make it harder to keep track of your files and folders. Use them wisely and with caution.

Creating symbolic links on Windows can be a useful tool for organizing your files and folders, and can help save space on your hard drive. By following these simple steps, you can create symlinks in Windows and take advantage of this powerful feature.