Windows 10 lets you mount any folder as a separate drive for ease of access and usability. Here are the steps on how to do it.
It is one of the lesser-known features, but Windows allows its users to mount any folder in the system as a logical virtual drive for a long time now. When mounted as a virtual drive, the folder appears and acts just like any other drive or partition alongside other drives like C drive, D drive, etc., in the root of the File Explorer. You can even open and treat it as a dedicated drive in the File Explorer.
Now, you might be wondering why you need to mount a folder as a virtual drive. The fact is, there are a wide variety of use cases to mount a folder as a drive. For example, to quickly access a network folder or a deep buried local folder, mount Cloud folders like OneDrive or Google Drive as dedicated drives, fool certain programs into thinking of specific folders as drives, etc.
With that out of the way, this simple Windows 10 tutorial shows you how to mount a folder as a drive.
Like most Windows guides, though I’m showing this in Windows 10, the steps below will work in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Mount folder as a drive in Windows 10
To make a folder look like a drive, we will use the built-in “subst” command. With a single-line instruction, you can command Windows to show any folder as a drive or partition. It is way easier than you think. Here is how.
1. First, open the File Explorer, type “startup” in the address bar, and press Enter. As soon as you do that, File Explorer will take you to the Windows 10 Startup folder.
2. Now, right-click and select the “New -> Shortcut” option. This action will open a shortcut creation wizard.
3. Type subst X: “C:\path\to\folder” in the blank field. Relace the “X:” with the drive letter you want to assign and “C:\path\to\folder” with the actual path of the folder you want to mount as a drive. Make sure the assigning letter is not already in use, like C. In my case, I’m setting “W” as the drive letter. After filling the field, click the “Next” button.
4. Now, type the name of your choice and click the “Finish” button. This name will appear as the drive name.
5. With that, you have created the shortcut. Now, double-click on the shortcut.
6. As soon as you do that, you will see the folder mounted as a drive in the root of the File Explorer. If you cannot see it, refresh the File Explorer (right-click and click Refresh).
Since the shortcut is directly in the Startup folder, Windows will automatically execute it on system startup or login events and mounts the folder as a separate partition. That way, you don’t have to run the command manually with every system restart.
To remove the drive, delete the shortcut and restart the system. Alternatively, you can also execute the subst <virtual_drive_letter>: /d command in the Command Prompt window.
That is it. It is that simple to mount a folder as a virtual drive in Windows 10.
I hope that helps.
If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.