Talk:NTFS symbolic link

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Computing  
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.


This is not encyclopedic. NTFS symbolic link information should be part of [[ 08:08, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Bull. It's an article going into the specifics on how Windows handles symbolic links on it's NT File System. Also I found it useful -- creating a custom WIM, the 1GB FileRepository (driver archive) can be tricky to compress, so I moved it to my D:\ drive that doesn't get formatted, and created a symlink so anything attempting to reach \Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository will get pushed to D:\Misc\FileRepository (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 03:49, 6 August 2008 (UTC)


I was under the impression that symbolic links have been part of the NTFS filesystem for some time now, but were inaccessable without a third-party utility. Does anyone know for sure?

Before vista there was something called an NTFS junction point that could be used in some cases as a Symbolic link. Virtualblackfox 13:23, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
XP (And maybe 2K) suppoted (hard) symbolic links via the fsutil hardlink command. (talk) 10:49, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
What you are referring to as "symbolic links" prior to Vista aren't called so by Microsoft. See this page. Windows Vista supports UNIX-style symbolic links. Previous Windows versions had support for a type of cross-volume reparse points known as junction points and hardlinks. However, junction points could be created only for directories and stored absolute paths, whereas hardlinks could be created for files but were not cross-volume. The type of symbolic links that are introduced in Vista can be created for any object and are cross-volume, cross-host (work over UNC paths), and store relative paths. - xpclient Talk 20:25, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

any windows 2000 or higher[edit] Microsoft provides symlinks for NTFS. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

NTFS provided (and still does) Junction Points and Hard links. True there is some functionality overlap but they are different from Symbolic Links. The former were available pre-Vista, while the latter was introduced with Windows Vista. --soum talk 06:28, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


I came to this page looking for details about how NTFS or Vista implements these symbolic links. On the page about NTFS it says the symbolic links are more of an operating system feature rather than a file system feature. What would be interesting to know is:

  • How is this implemented in NTFS (what parts of the file system architecture are used)
  • How is this implemented in Vista (what kind of tricks does the OS do to implement them on a file system)
  • Are symbolic links backwards compatible with older versions of Windows? What do I see for a symbolic link when opening an NTFS volume with Windows XP? Can I manipulate it in some way, or not at all? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Merge with NTFS reparse point[edit]

Why? Because symbolic links on NTFS are implemented using reparse points. Why a separate article? --Assarbad (talk) 00:54, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Where is the example?[edit]

I came here for one, found none... So here you go:

This is me, redirecting an old, now uninstalled version of Java to the current version, so NetBeans finally stops complaining about missing JDB files:

C:\Program Files\Java> mklink /D jdk1.7.0_15 jdk1.7.0_17

symbolic link created for jdk1.7.0_15 <<===>> jdk1.7.0_17

Done. •ː• 3ICE •ː• 08:47, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Creating symbolic links for "\Program Files" or "\Program Files (x86)"[edit]

Just for info, I did this almost 2 years ago on windows 7 x64, since the system drive is an ssd with 56GB usable. I redirected program files and program files (x86) on an external usb disk. No problems whatsoever so far. --Pier4r (talk) 16:53, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Limitations and what the sources say[edit]

In the sources for the limitation on "relocating" the User and ProgramData directories Microsoft says "By changing the default location of the user profile directories or program data folders to a volume other than the system volume..." (here a list of dire consequences). But making links does not change the default location - that is the whole point of making a link! The location - as system sees it - is where it was: %systemdrive%/Users. It's just that it points to some other place under the hood. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:53, 9 March 2018 (UTC)