The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere

Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles.

How to Sync External Folders with Your SkyDrive


Microsoft launched its new SkyDrive desktop app which is set to compete head-to-head with Dropbox and Google Drive. Here’s how to sync folders that are outside of your SkyDrive folder.

Using a Reparse Point

Known as the Soft Link to some, a Symbolic Link is the most common form of reparse point. Luckily for us Windows Vista and later include a command line utility, called mklink, which can be used to manage symbolic links. In order to create a symbolic link we first need to find your SkyDrive folder which, buy default, is located at:

C:\Users\”Your Username”\SkyDrive

This is also known as the %userprofile% environment variable, which makes it extra easy to create a symbolic link. So go ahead and fire up a administrative command prompt.


Now we need to use mklink to create a symbolic link, the syntax to link to a folder is:

mklink /d <link> <target>

For files we don’t need the “/d” switch so we can just use:

mklink <link> <target>

But as an added bonus we can use our environment variable, so we can do something like this:

mklink /d “%userprofile%\SkyDrive\Music” C:\Music


Above I created a symbolic link that points to the Music folder on the root of my “C” drive. This means that any files I put into that folder will be automatically uploaded to my SkyDrive, you can check this by looking at your SkyDrive.


As you can see my symlink is there and functioning just as we expected. That’s all there is to it, happy symlinking Smile

Taylor Gibb Taylor Gibb
Taylor Gibb is a professional software developer with nearly a decade of experience. He served as Microsoft Regional Director in South Africa for two years and has received multiple Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) awards. He currently works in R&D at Derivco International.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.
How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Want to know more?


The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere

Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more.