Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/194431/how-to-sync-any-folder-to-the-cloud-with-symbolic-links/
The big cloud storage services — Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and others — all have the same problem. They can only synchronize folders inside your cloud storage folder. But there’s a way around this limitation: symbolic links.
This certainly solves the issue of syncing folders that can't be moved without the extra step of manually copying all the files into the Dropbox folder. Set-up is a bit of a task, but if you only have to do it once, I'm game!
Another great trick with hardlinks is to create a custom folder of images to use as desktop background. Simply create a folder and fill it with whatever image hardlinks from anywhere on your box. Under "personalize", choose your desktop background at bottom of screen to be custom and give it the name of the folder containg the hardlinks. Done! Images can be space expensive, and this does not duplicate the data. Shortcuts will NOT work, hardlinks will. Nice thing is it's easy to add/delete the hardlinks any time you need a change. (all this is MUCH easier to do with HardLinkShellExt_X64. Download and install!)
There is another way to manage links, symbolic or otherwise, that eliminates reliance on Command Prompt and is very, convenient, a utility that adds entries to the right click context menu to effect this (link below.)
With it installed you right click on the icon for the directory you want to link to and from the context menu select "Pick Link Source". Next go into the directory where you want the link to reside, right click on a blank area and select "Drop as..->Symbolic Link". There a number of other esoteric types of links that can be created as well but you'd need to study up to find out what they mean and how they act. If you wish you can then rename the link to whatever you want. I've done this for network shares and directories within them and it works great. Not sure if there is a way to do this for stuff that actually resides in the cloud however.
I had a reason to move my Dropbox directory to another drive and to minimally disturb the Dropbox sync daemon. I turned off Dropbox, copied its directory to the other drive, deleted it from where it was, dropped a symbolic link to where it is now to where it was before, turned Dropbox back on and it didn't know the difference. This also preserves the validity of any shortcuts or links lying around that might point into the Dropbox directory. I don't know of another way to do that.
The utility that adds these right click options in the context menu is called "Link Shell Extension" and can be found here:
Google on that name to find the articles reporting on it.
Interesting ideas, but I believe the simplest solution is to use a service like SugarSync that allows you to sync any folder to the cloud without moving or linking it - and to as many other devices as necessary.
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