How to create symbolic links on Windows

You might be asking: “What the heck is a symbolic link?!”.  Well…

It is kind of like an advanced shortcut.  With a traditional shortcut, it simply redirects you to the end location.  So if you have on your C:\ drive a shortcut called “Tools” to D:\Data\Tools, then Windows Explorer will launch a new explorer window to that location.  If this was a symbolic link, then it would like the content of D:\Data\Tools would be in C:\Tools – where the data is stored is almost irrelevant as the symbolic link will load the data even though it’s actually stored somewhere else.  The reason I set this up, as I wanted to move my Tools directory to a larger partition on my D:\ drive and I didn’t want to manually change any of my scripts that were hard-coded to C:\Tools.

Example command is as follows:

This will then create a symbolic link, which looks exactly like a shortcut.  When double clicking on the symbolic link, you get a list of the files/directories which is actually being read from d:\DATA\Tools:

Very useful little tool, which isn’t probably widely used enough!