I recently discovered how to use symbolic links in Windows 7, and I've already started imagining and implementing uses for them. One such usage is to link a program's folder in Google Drive, allowing the folder to be backed up and synced between my other computers with that program installed. I've started doing this with programs that store their settings in small files and will probably back up my saved game files this way. But before I get too excited and start linking all kinds of program folders, I have a concern. Will uninstalling the program also removed the linked files?

For example, if uninstalling a program normally deletes the "Settings" folder, and consequently all files inside, will that folder and those files also be deleted if the "Settings" folder is attached via a symbolic link?


1 Answer 1


Short answer:

The links will not be removed.

Longer answer:

Symbolic links and junction points are part of the NTFS filesystem. Their information is not stored in any configuration file, and removing the program which made will not alter them.

If you wish you can compare it to throwing away a pen after writing a book. The book will not suddenly become unwritten.

  • Alright, good to know. I guess I was mostly afraid that the programs uninstall routine would be set to delete the files, not simply delete the directories, in which case it would "reach through" the link in order to edit the files. I can not lay this fear to rest.
    – Atlantic
    Feb 3, 2013 at 23:27
  • Better to be safe than sorry. :)
    – Hennes
    Feb 3, 2013 at 23:34

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