How To Map a Local Windows Folder to a Drive Letter

Ads by Google

Why would you want to map a folder to a drive letter? Maybe some folder you work with constantly is hidden under a convoluted folder structure, like:

    ‘U:\Data\User Files\Shared\Clients\VIPClient\Pensky File\Project 232\’

Wouldn’t it be easier to refer to it as: R:\ ?

This is pretty common to do with network locations under Tools -> Map Network Drive. However I didn’t know of a way to do this with local folders until recently. You can either do it via command line or use a simple program known as Visual Subst.

(1) Using “subst” command

Under Windows, there is a legacy dos command named “subst”:

C:\>subst /?
Associates a path with a drive letter.

SUBST [drive1: [drive2:]path]
SUBST drive1: /D

drive1: Specifies a virtual drive to which you want to assign a path.
[drive2:]path Specifies a physical drive and path you want to assign to
a virtual drive.
/D Deletes a substituted (virtual) drive.

Type SUBST with no parameters to display a list of current virtual drives.


(2) Visual Subst

Fortunately there is an easier way to utilize this command than having to remember the command line every time you want to use your files. The free windows program Visual Subst will manage these drives for you.


This program will not only allow you to create these ‘Virtual Drives’ but will also set them up on reboot.

From their site, download the installer if you plan on having it apply the virtual drives on startup. That way, it will install a start menu link for you and give you ready access to all virtual drives.

For anyone who works with a long folder name constantly, you will find that this really helps out when you are dealing with anything that needs to access these folders a lot!

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
639 Members
Windows Tips
Windows Tips
601 Members
Windows Troubleshooting
Windows Troubleshooting
549 Members
Best Windows Software
Best Windows Software
535 Members
Computer Hardware Talk
Computer Hardware Talk
489 Members
Affiliate Disclamer

This article may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
New comment

Please login to avoid entering captcha

Log In