Mklink: Link data in the cloud with the PC

You want to store a large data archive on an external data drive in encrypted form in the OneDrive cloud. We’ll show you how to do this.

The following scenario for secure online backup sounds a bit special at first, but it could be useful for many users. It’s about the following: You use Onedrive as cloud storage. The Onedrive folder is configured in such a way that it is located on the fast SSD, for example under “C: Users Onedrive”. Now, however, a large data archive that is on an external data drive is to be encrypted and stored in the OneDrive cloud. The two obvious solutions are inappropriate in this scenario. We don’t want to move the Onedrive folder to the external data drive so that we can have our data on the system without an external source. And we cannot back up the data archive to drive C: because there is not enough space on the SSD for the data.

The solution:

The data to be backed up remains on the external drive, but is integrated into the OneDrive folder on the SSD using a symbolic link. They only take up a few KB on the SSD, but are completely copied to the cloud storage by the Onedrive client.

The freeware Cryptsync creates encrypted copies of a folder in any target folder, for example in a cloud folder.


The freeware Cryptsync creates encrypted copies of a folder in any target folder, for example in a cloud folder.

In our first proposed solution, we save the data in the cloud without encryption. All that is required is the mklink command, which is an on-board tool in Windows 10. With the command we create a symbolic folder in the Onedrive folder that points to the data archive on the external drive. The command is called mklink, the switch for a symbolic link is “/ d” and the syntax of the command first specifies the symbolic folder and then the actual data archive. In our case, this is on “Drive S:” in the “Photos” folder.

Start the command prompt via Win-R and cmd and enter this command:

mklink / dc: Users Onedrive Backup-Fotos S: Fotos


The folder “Backup Photos” must not yet exist because the mklink command creates it. After you have executed the command, the new folder appears along with the linked files in the Onedrive folder. In our test, we had to briefly stop and restart the synchronization in the OneDrive client so that OneDrive could start uploading.

Back up encrypted data in Onedrive: Personal data should only be loaded into an online storage device in encrypted form. We recommend the freeware Cryptsync for encryption. It copies files from one folder to another and encrypts them in the process. You then select this other folder as the source at mklink.


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