How to use Symbolic Links in Windows 10?
On OS 10 and Linux they are used a lot more often, but in Windows, it is possible since Windows Vista to make so-called symbolic links. Such links are virtual links to a file or folder, which can be very useful – even in Windows 10.
A symbolic link is a link to a folder or file that you can place anywhere on your hard drive. It differs from a shortcut because a symbolic link cannot be distinguished from the folder or the file itself. If you create a symbolic link to D: \ Holiday pictures in the C: \ User \ Images folder, it looks like there is a C: \ User \ Images \ Holiday pictures folder, but in reality, the map with the holiday photos is located on the D-drive.
One of the advantages of a symbolic link is that it makes it possible, for example, to synchronize every folder with Dropbox. You simply create a symbolic link to the folder that you want to synchronize in your Dropbox folder. For Dropbox, it looks like that folder is in the Dropbox folder itself, while in reality, it is in a different location. This can also be useful for other cloud services.
Link Shell Extension
To make the creation of symbolic links more user-friendly, you can best use the Link Shell Extension for Windows Explorer. You download this tool from here. Click Link Shell Extension and run the downloaded file. If you use Windows 7 or 8, you must also download and install the Visual C ++ library. This is already present on Windows 10. After opening, click OK and click Install.
Select Yes to reopen the Windows Explorer. You can now right-click on a folder or file and choose Pick Link Source. That is the folder you want to link to. Then browse to the folder where the link should come and click Drop As … and choose Symbolic Link.
You can simply remove the Symbolic Link without the original disappearing. In the Drop, As menu, you can also opt for a Hard Link. Such a link can only be made on the same disk and has the advantage that if, for example, you would delete D: \ Holiday photos, you can still access the photos via the hard link in C: \ Users \ <username> \ Images \ Holiday pictures.
There are a number of things that you have to keep an eye on. Do not create symbolic links in symbolic links, do not create symbolic links to another symbolic link, and do not create a symbolic link with the same name as the folder already in the target location. The first two cause problems with, for example, virus scanners, which could, therefore, run steadily. But if you stick to this then you do not have to worry about anything else.
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