This might sound a bit complicated. I need to explain the history of my problem.

  1. Few years ago I found a helpfull hint to get your local pictures folder included in onedrive by adding a hard link with mklink. This worked fine!
  2. For some (dumb) reason I yesterday didn't remember the smart solution and deleted the 'pictures' shortcut (mklink result) from the onedrive folder.
  3. Onedrive asked me: do you want to remove all the pictures from onedrive? I realised I made a mistake and chose 'recover'. Onedrive did this, but... made a normal folder 'pictures' in my onedrive folder.
  4. So now I have c:\users\myname\pictures AND c:\users\myname\onedrive\pictures. These folders are now independant from each other. I want the latter be a mklink folderlink to the first.

What I Tried:

  1. remove the pictures folder in onedrive and replace it with a mklink shortcut. That doesn't work, because onedrive wants to remove all pictures from cloud (and that 250Gb). Even when pausing syncing, that doesn't work
  2. create a new symbolic link in onedrive: c:\users\myname\onedrive\picturesmirror ; pause syncing; create the same folder oneline in onedrive; move online all files from pictures to picturesmirror. Resume syncing. That doesn't work: onedrive says: there are local folders in picturesmirror with same name (duh.. that's what I intended..) and onedrive renames all the local folders to xxxxx_localcomputername.

Of course I can remove everything from onedrive and start over with the mklink, but I'ld like to avoid the 250gb upload.

Any smart clues?


  • Added comment: Is it maybe a solution to unlink onedrive from my onedrive folders, replace the pictures folder by it's symbolic equivalent with mklink /j and relink it? As far as I know, onedrive matches on filename and size, so it will be 'fooled'. Right? Mar 21, 2021 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


Sometimes writing down a question helps the brain to find the answer. This was the case for me with the above question. I found the answer which was simple and effective:

  • unlink onedrive (this will remove all non downloaded file-links from the system, but that's not a problem)
  • wait until onedrive has executed all its tasks. This may take a while
  • delete the c:\users\username\onedrive\pictures folder
  • in cmd execute mklink /j c:\users\username\onedrive\pictures c:\users\username\pictures (or your pictures path)
  • relink onedrive . You will be prompted for the onedrive path, chose the same path as before.

Now the pictures folder will be matched by onedrive. I.e.: onedrive will be fooled because of the nice properties of the link.

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