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I'm moving some folders to an external storage drive and replacing them with a Shortcut, however the shortcut is listed in with the Files, not the Folders. It also doesn't show up in the folder Tree View that's on the left side of Windows Explorer.

Is there a way to make Windows Explorer treat a Shortcut Folder the same way it would a regular Folder?

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I guess this is not possible. However, you may be able to achieve what you want if you use NTFS junction points or symbolic links instead of shortcuts. –  netvope Nov 9 '11 at 17:02
@joeqwerty Because it is a shortcut to a Folder. Basically I want to move a bunch of folders to an external drive, and replace that folder with a shortcut of some kind that acts the same way the folder did, so users don't wonder where all their files went. –  Rachel Nov 9 '11 at 17:44
@Rachel: OK, I got it. Thanks for the clarification. –  joeqwerty Nov 9 '11 at 17:52
@netvope Would you be able to provide an example of how I could accomplish? The directories I want to move are actually on a shared network drive belonging to a Windows 2003 machine –  Rachel Nov 9 '11 at 18:00
@Rachel According to Microsoft 'Windows does not support junctions to directories on remote shares' –  sgmoore Nov 9 '11 at 20:25

4 Answers 4

In Windows Vista and 7 you can use NTFS symbolic link. Wikipedia states that "the NTFS symbolic link implementation provides full support for cross-filesystem links."

If you're not comfortable using the command line program mklink, you can use Link Shell Extension. After downloading and installing the software, follow the step-by-step guide in "Using Link Shell Extension". Basically you select the folder on the external/remote drive, click "pick link source", go back to the original drive and choose "drop as Symbolic Link".

I have not personally tested this method. Please let me know if my instructions don't work.

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We have older systems. The network share is on Windows Server 2003 and most of our users are on XP –  Rachel Nov 10 '11 at 13:11
Then I'm afraid there is no ready-made solution, unfortunately. Hardlinks can only be made within one NTFS volume. Junctions and volume mount points only work for locally attached volumes. Symbolic links require Windows Vista or above. You could hire someone to build a solution, relax your requirements, or simply get over it :-) –  netvope Nov 10 '11 at 20:30

This has driven me crazy as well. Here's the only way I've found:

0) Let's say you've got 10 real folders and 10 shortcuts to folders elsewhere and all 20 are in a parent folder, and you're frustrated because the shortcuts alphabetize at the bottom instead of alphabetizing by name with the real folders.

1) make a dummy folder within the parent folder, named "zzz-real folders", to alphabetize at the bottom.

2) put all the real folders in this new folder

3) within that folder make shortcuts of all these real folders

4) drag the shortcuts out (up a level) to the original parent folder

5) voilà - now you have a list of alphabetized shortcuts that includes everything you wanted, with the dummy folder at the bottom

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lol I suppose that would work, although it also sounds like a real nightmare to maintain. Still, if it drives me crazy that much I suppose creating a script to do something like that for me would be a nice lazy solution :) –  Rachel Jul 24 '14 at 14:12

Use a junction. You can use the Link Shell Extension ( http://schinagl.priv.at ). Best of all, programs won't notice.

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Can you give me an example of how I would set that up? –  Rachel Nov 9 '11 at 19:30
Source: Rightclick>pick link source. Destination: Rightclick>create link>junction. –  kinokijuf Nov 11 '11 at 13:39

Don't use shortcuts. Instead, use hard links or volume mount points

Edit: The simplest way is to create a mount point for the root folder, but it has a couple of limitations: you MUST redirect a whole folder and you MUST use a complete volume as destination. To do that, create an empty NTFS folder where you will redirect your volume and then open disk manager, select your volume, right-click on it and select "change drive letter and path", remove the drive letter mapping (if any and if you want to) and add the path of the EMPTY NTFS folder.

Hard links are a bit more delicate to use and, upon reflexion, it won't help you on since all links must point to the same volume (which isn't your case).

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Can you give me an example of how I would create a hard link on Windows XP which would point to a Directory on an external storage unit? –  Rachel Nov 9 '11 at 17:04

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