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Windows 7: Explorer: can I make a link/shortcut to a folder in another location?

31 Oct 2015   #1
Aelius

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Explorer: can I make a link/shortcut to a folder in another location?

I like to organize my files and folders very thoroughly. Sometimes I have a folder full of files that arguably belong in multiple locations. I'm wondering if there's a way to create a sort of "wormhole" that leads to another location. Let me give you an example:

Let's say I went on vacation and have a bunch of subfolders within C:\Vacation photos\. Subfolders including:

C:\Vacation photos\Food photos\
C:\Vacation photos\Selfies\
C:\Vacation photos\Hotel\
C:\Vacation photos\Sistine Chapel\
etc.

The last one contains photos of the beautiful architecture of the Sistine Chapel that I took while on vacation.

But let's say I'm an architecture connoisseur and I have another folder where I keep lots of pictures of architecture from all over the world:

C:\Pictures\Architecture\

Now, rather than copying all the pictures from C:\Vacation photos\Sistine Chapel\ over to C:\Pictures\Architecture\ and taking up twice the HDD space, I'm wondering if there's a way to create a folder or a link or shortcut or something within C:\Pictures\Architecture\ that leads to C:\Vacation photos\Sistine Chapel\, kind of like a "teleport" or a "wormhole".

I know Windows has a Libraries feature, but for reasons I don't want to elaborate on I really don't like Windows Libraries and would prefer not to deal with it at all.

Is this possible, without actually copying the files and taking up more HDD space?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Oct 2015   #2
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

Sure, right click and hold on the file in the Sistine Chapel folder.
Drag it to the Architecture folder.
release, select Create link.

or

Right click on the file in the Sistine Chapel folder and select Copy.
Open the Architecture folder then right click and select Paste shortcut.

In either case, once the shortcut/link is created you can rename it as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2015   #3
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

This seems like the perfect candidate for junction points. In short, what they do is to let the same folder to exist in two (or more) locations on the file system, letting any program to access both from each location, but just referencing the same set of files in disk, hence not copying the whole thing.
A similar feature but for files instead of folders are hard links.
An option for your situation could be to save all files into one folder, and then create a junction in the other, so everything access the same files from two different locations.

Windows Explorer cannot create or manage those in any way, but the built-in program mklink can handle those just fine. There are also third party utilities that help manage junctions right from Explorer, like Link Shell Extension.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Oct 2015   #4
Aelius

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
This seems like the perfect candidate for junction points. In short, what they do is to let the same folder to exist in two (or more) locations on the file system, letting any program to access both from each location, but just referencing the same set of files in disk, hence not copying the whole thing.
A similar feature but for files instead of folders are hard links.
An option for your situation could be to save all files into one folder, and then create a junction in the other, so everything access the same files from two different locations.

Windows Explorer cannot create or manage those in any way, but the built-in program mklink can handle those just fine. There are also third party utilities that help manage junctions right from Explorer, like Link Shell Extension.
Thanks, junction points are exactly what I was looking for.

It's probably going to take a while to get used to it. It's unlike anything else in Windows that I've been used to my whole life. It's like a shortcut to the source folder but the address bar and the file location "lie" by pretending it's really at the destination folder all along. And when I modify or delete anything from either folder it affects the other folder as if they're being synced. But it's not really "syncing" because there's really just one version of it all, it's just that the destination folder is lying to me by pretending the destination is where the files are located.

(Please correct me if that understanding is incorrect.)

So weird. But it does what I was looking for!

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Explorer: can I make a link/shortcut to a folder in another location?




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