This question is intended to be the inverse of Replace Symbolic Links with Files, but for windows.

I have started running out of space on my SSD drive, and I found that about 12% of used space is in my installer folder (holds the .msi files for all the programs that I have installed)

I am looking for two things:

  1. A way to move this (or any) folder via symlink. Ideally, some powershell function that I could use to just designate a folder, a destination, and the symlink would be created in the original (pointing to the destination)
  2. In this particular case, a registry change that would allow the location to be move would also be helpful, but I would still prefer solution 1.

Update: The solution must work when the folder cannot be copied wholesale, and just move the files that can be copied (and create symlinks for those files)

How can this be done?


There is no easy way to move/replace as you're requesting, but doing the task manually is just as easy.

Just do the following:

  1. Open an explorer window
  2. Navigate to the folder you want to move
  3. Move the folder to a new location (in my example I'll use C:\My Data\Installer to D:\My Data\Installer)
  4. Press Start
  5. Type cmd
  6. Press ctrl+shift+enter to open the command prompt with elevated permissions (as administrator)
  7. Use the command CD to navigate to your folder, for example:


C:\Users\John Doe>cd\

C:\>cd "My Data"

C:\My Data>

Now type the following command:

mklink /j Installer "D:\My Data\Installer"

A directory junction has now been made, and your installers can be accessed from both C:\My Data\Installer and D:\My Data\Installer, but the files only resides in D:\My Data\Installer

It is possible to create a batch script that will do the above steps, but given that it will take a bit of time to make it perfectly, and you likely will do it maybe 2 times, it is easier to just do it manually.

  • Wait, just the act of creating the link moved the files physically? Just as a note, winkey+x,a is your steps 1-6. – soandos May 26 '14 at 19:56
  • No. You move the folder, then create a redirection for that folder. 2 steps. – LPChip May 26 '14 at 20:07
  • I cannot move the whole folder, and so must do this file by file. Do you have a way to do this wholesale? – soandos May 26 '14 at 21:26
  • Why can't you move the folder? If its in use, close whatever uses it. If its windows itself that uses it, you can try booting in safemode. Another option would be to boot into a rescue environment, or boot into dos mode and move the folder using the move command. – LPChip May 26 '14 at 21:31
  • I can't move it because it is part of windows (its the installer folder). I do not want to enter dos mode to do this (not ever sure how to do that in windows 8 to be honest). – soandos May 26 '14 at 21:34

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