The Complete Guide to Creating Symbolic Links (aka Symlinks) on Windows
Creating Symbolic Links or Symlinks is a way to create a shortcut link from one location to another on your Windows computer. These links are different from the traditional shortcuts or hard links, allowing you to create a link to a file or folder in a different location without having to move or copy the original. In this article, we will provide a complete guide to creating Symbolic Links on Windows.
What are Symbolic Links?
Symbolic Links, also known as Symlinks, are a type of file that acts as a pointer to another file or folder. It is similar to the traditional shortcuts, but instead of pointing to a specific file, Symlinks point to a file’s location. This means that you can create a link to a file or folder in another location on your computer or on a network.
Why use Symlinks?
Symlinks are useful in many situations. Some of the most common ones are:
1. Sharing files: You can use Symlinks to share a file or folder with others on a network or in a different location without having to copy or move the original file. This can save you time and effort.
2. Saving space: You can use Symlinks to save disk space by creating links to large files that you do not need to access frequently. This allows you to keep the file on your computer without taking up unnecessary disk space.
3. Organizing files: You can use Symlinks to organize files by creating links to files and folders that you use frequently. This makes it easy to access them without having to navigate through multiple folders.
How to create Symlinks on Windows
Creating Symlinks on Windows requires the use of the Command Prompt. Here are the steps to create a Symlink:
Step 1: Open the Command Prompt
To open the Command Prompt, press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type “cmd” and press enter.
Step 2: Navigate to the directory where you want to create the Symlink
Use the “cd” command to navigate to the directory where you want to create the Symlink.
Step 3: Create the Symlink
To create a Symlink, use the “mklink” command followed by the name of the link and the file or folder that you want to link to. For example, to create a Symlink to a file called “example.txt” in a folder called “Documents”, you would type:
mklink example.txt Documents\example.txt
The Symlink will be created in the current directory.
Step 4: Verify the Symlink
To verify that the Symlink has been created, use the “dir” command to list the files in the directory. The Symlink should appear in the list with an “l” in the attributes column, indicating that it is a Symlink.
Symlinks are a useful feature of Windows that can save you time and effort by allowing you to create links to files and folders in different locations without having to move or copy the original. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily create Symlinks on your Windows computer.