Modern operating systems have a useful feature that lets you create references to files or folders called Symbolic Links, or Symlinks. Similar to shortcuts, these references also provide advanced features including cross-volume linking and directory linking. Symlinks can be extremely useful for organising files, saving disk space, and enhancing system management in Windows.
We’ll walk you through the process of making symbolic links in Windows in this guide:
How Do Symbolic Links Work?
A file system object known as a Symbolic Link serves as a pointer to another file or directory. A Symlink is treated as an independent file system item, unlike a normal shortcut. The operating system leads you to the destination file or folder when you click on a symlink.
How to Create a Symbolic Link?
To create a Symbolic Link, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open the Command Prompt
To open the command prompt, open the start menu, type Command Prompt, and open it:
Step 2: Use the Mklink Command
The mklink command is used to create symbolic links. Its basic syntax is as follows:
- D: Indicates that you’re creating a symlink to a directory.
- “LinkName”: Replace this with the desired name for your symlink.
- “Target”: Replace this with the path on which you want to create the link on.
Let’s say you want to create a symlink named “MyDocuments” that points to your “Documents” folder located at C:\Users\YourUsername\Documents. The command would look like this:
mklink /D C:\LinkToFolder C:\Users\Name\OriginalFolder
Removing Symbolic Links
To remove a symlink, simply delete it as you would any other file. However, note that deleting a symlink doesn’t affect the target on which the symlink was created..
- Symbolic links require administrative privileges to create.
- Ensure that you have proper backups before creating or deleting symlinks.
- Symlinks work within the same file system; they can’t link to files on different volumes.
To create the Symbolic Links or Symlink in Windows, Symlinks have features like cross-volume linking and directory linking, in contrast to typical shortcuts. These can be quite helpful for Windows system management, disk space optimization, and effective file organising.