In Windows 10, Windows 7 Professional, and possibly other versions, you can create 'Folder shortcuts' without any command line work or any external tools. Here is how:
- Navigate to "%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu"
- In a separate window, open the parent folder of your new shortcut's target-folder (where the shortcut will point to)
- Right-click and drag the target-folder into the 'Start Menu' folder.
- Click 'Create shortcuts here'.
- Move the new shortcut to the desired location.
The shortcut will be sorted with folders, will show up in the navigation pane, and can be pinned to quick access (and the start menu).
However, if you go into the properties of the shortcut, you will not be able to change the target, keyboard shortcut, icon, or any other properties.
The shortcut will also produce a bizarre path in explorer. For example, if a shortcut to the C:\Users\USER folder is placed in the C:\Users\USER\Documents folder, the following path will be shown when it is opened:
Any further navigations made from that point will show up in the 'clickable path' in explorer, but will not show up in the 'raw-text path'. For example, opening the shortcut, opening 'Documents', then opening the shortcut again, would produce the following paths:
This PC > System (C) > Users > USER > Documents > USER-Shortcut > Documents > USER-Shortcut
After this number of navigations, the main explorer pane will show a normal .lnk shortcut called 'target(.lnk)', which points to the folder-shortcut's target. If this is opened, it will act like any other .lnk file normally would, removing the unusual path.
You can also create shortcuts like this in windows XP Pro, and 2000. The thread I found this on is located at:
To create the shortcuts in windows XP and 2000, follow the steps I have listed, but drag the shortcut onto the start button instead of the 'Start menu' folder. However, the above thread also mentions that in older versions, deleting the shortcut can delete the folder as well, so be cautious.