In the Windows Operating system, there are three types of links:
- Hard links
- Junction links
- Symbolic links
A hard link creates a second directory entry to a file such that it can reference a file using more than one reference path.
A symbolic link creates a new file altogether that references an already existing file.
A junction link, also referred to as a soft link, is used in linking directories which are located on different volumes or drives, but not between network drives. It’s created only between two folders and not files.
In this article, you will learn how you can create and hide junction links.
How to create a junction link on Windows 10
To create a junction, you first need to define the location of the junction link as well as the folder you’d want to link it to. Take note that the target folder should exist before creating the junction link.
In this tutorial, we will create a junction link at:
C:\Users\james\OneDrive\Music with the target defined at E:\MTBL
To begin with, you need to run the Command Prompt tool as an Administrator.
You can achieve this by clicking on the Start button, typing cmd in the text field, right clicking on the Command Prompt option, and selecting ‘Run as Administrator’.
Next, let’s apply the mklink command as shown in the syntax below:
mklink /J “path to junction link” “path to target folder”
In our case, the command will be as follows:
mklink /J “C:\Users\james\OneDrive\Music\MTBL” “E:\MTBL”
You can verify the existence of the junction link using the dir command as shown below:
How to hide a junction link on Windows 10
Additionally, you can create a directory junction with the ::$INDEX_ALLOCATION attribute, which will create a directory with dots like this […].
Here is an example:
In this case, the target folder, E:\MTBL, is not displayed as highlighted. This shows that we have tactfully managed to “hide” it.
To navigate into the directory, you can use the syntax below:
To ensure that it contains the same files as the target folder, you can use the dir command:
As you can see above, we have successfully managed to hide the path to the target directory using the […] notation.
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