Syncing External Folders in Dropbox with Symbolic Links

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Dropbox is an example of one of those tools that works, and works well. It's unobtrusive interface and ease of setup is what makes it so popular for users and companies alike. Often though, simple and unobtrusive programs come with their own limitations. The limitation in this case: there isn't a way to add an external folder in the Dropbox interface.

There is a nice and neat workaround however, because Dropbox gracefully handles symbolic links! In Linux this is trivial:

#!/bin/bash
cd DROPBOX_DIR
ln -s EXTERNAL_FOLDER .

Some people have been misinformed, but you can indeed make symbolic links in windows. You do need administrative right however, but most Windows users should have this. Open up a command window and then do this:

cd DROPBOX_DIR
mklink LINK_NAME EXTERNAL_FOLDER

This is a niftly little feature, especially if you have folders that you want synced accross multiple drives. I current have a Samsung 840 EVO SSD installed in my Thinkpad T430. While 250 GB is a decent amount, its not nearly enough to hold a lot of digital media. To save space on my SSD, I've replaced the CD drive in my T430 with a good old 500 GB spinning disk hard drive. I hold my digital media on my ultrabay HDD, and then all of my regular stuff on my SSD.


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