Using symbolic links to organize your HDD files

Author: sleepfreaks

Freely changing your file locations

The sounds used in Computer Music are evolving day by day, reaching higher qualities and new heights.

Although most DAWs come with very good sounds and loops,
many of us look to add new plugins and sounds to our collection.

It’s a great feeling when you get new sounds and materials, but many of these take up multiple GB of space,
and your harddisk starts to get overwhelmed.


  • Works on a laptop
  • Uses a fast SSD

Those who have these,
may especially be concerned with the amount of free space on their drive.


In DAW software and libraries, many people will save the library on an external harddrive.
However, sometimes transferring files after installation are difficult, and some cant even have a location designated to save files.

What comes in handy here are “symbolic links.”

This helps moves files that are crowding up your main system disk, to and external hard drive,
and read it in the same way as your main disk

We will examine the way to do this in Mac/Windows.

※The steps below are important data transfers.
Make sure to fully back up before your files before starting, and keep in mind you are fully responsible for this process.

※There are cases when after the process, if you download an update for your software,
 it won’t update properly.
 In this case, return the files to the original folder first, and after updating, follow the process again.


  • For Mac
  • For Windows

Logic Pro X

We will use the DAW Logic as an example.
When Logic is installed, a large amount of sounds and loops are installed.

When installing, you cannot designate where to save these files.
Lets use “symbolic links” to move the files.

First, we will copy the large Logic sound folder to an external HDD.


We took the 「Library」→「Application Support」→「Logic」 folder and moved it to the external 「LaCie」.


After copying, you can choose to delete the original folder (main HDD copy),
but just in case, lets change the name and save it as a backup copy.


Next, open up “terminal.”
It can be found in the Applications window → Utility.


Enter the command below in the terminal, and create a link.

sudo ln -s /Folder you want to move it to /Current folder location

The lettering in black remains the same.
Change the red lettering to fit your situation.

After setting up the command for this article, it will look like this.

sudo ln -s /Volumes/LaCie/Logic /Library/Application\ Support/Logic

  • Devices other than your main hard disk we have the name “Volumes.”
  • When there is space in a folder name like “Application Support,”
    put a 「\ 」 mark like 「Application\ Support」.
  • There is a space required between the original location and where you’re moving it to.


Enter the above into Terminal and click the “Return key.”
You will need to enter your password to confirm the process.

It’s a success if no error messages pop up.


A “Logic” folder will be created,
with an arrow in the bottom left of the folder.

When opening Logic, if there are no problems, you can get rid of the backup (the renamed Logic Test).
By doing so, space on your HDD will be freed up.

You can use this technique with various music/video/picture folders, so if you’re low on space give it a try!


Here we will take a look at the steps for Cubase.
When Cubase is installed, it comes with a large amount of sounds and loops.

After installation, you can designate where to save files,
but we will reenact a situation where you may want to move already installed files,
and utilize “symbolic links.”

As a default, Cubases sounds and related files are stored in a hidden folder,
make sure to set it as viewable.

After completing the settings above, copy the heavy Cubase sound/settings folder to the external HDD.

As a default, the 「Steinberg」folder in 「User」→「User name」→「AppData」→「Roaming」 contains the heaviest files.


We have copied 「Steinberg」to our Y disk.


After copying, you can choose to delete the original files (main HDD), but we will keep it as a backup for now,
and save it with a different name.

Next, open up Window’s “Command Prompt.”


Open the start menu and open “Accessory.”


Right click on “Command prompt,”
and select “Run as administrator.”


“Command prompt” will open.
Enter the command below:

mklink /d “Current folder location” “Location you want to move it to”

The black lettering remains the same.
The red lettering can be changed to fit your situation.

※We recommend typing the command down first, and copy and pasting it onto the command prompt.

Getting the folder is easy.


Right click on the folder name in the top area of explorer,
and select “copy address.”

Now you can paste the location into command like so:

mklink /d “C:\Users\sleepfreak\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg” “Y:\Steinberg”

After the command is complete, paste it into the command prompt.

Right click on the command prompt, and select “paste.”


After pasting, click “enter.”
If a message like this pops up its a success.


As shown, a 「Steinberg」 folder will be created, with an arrow at the bottom left of the icon.

If you have no problems starting up Cubase, you can delete the back up (now named Steinberg test).
By doing so, space in your HDD will be freed up.

You can use this technique with various music/video/picture folders, so if you’re low on space give it a try!


  • For Mac
  • For Windows