Windows 7 – Add a non-indexed UNC path as a library

On February 11, 2011, in How-to, by Cubert aka (Cube Dweller)

Add a non-indexed UNC as a library in Windows 7

There is an occasion when you may want to add a non indexed UNC path to a library inside of your Windows 7 system. Normally Windows bitches and complains when you try to hook up a UNC path that is not indexed but by tricking it we can make it happen. Here is how you do it.

1. Create a folder on your hard drive for shares. i.e. c:\share
2. Create another folder in the above share. i.e. c:\share\music
2. Link the Library to this folder.
3. Now delete the music folder but leave the c:\share folder.
4. Use the mklink in an elevated command prompt to make a symbolic link. Name the link the same as the folder you created above. 
mklink /d c:\share\music \\server\music
5. Your done. Now you have non-indexed UNC path as a library in Windows 7.


This process works much better than the other option which is to make “Available Offline”. If your like me and have a very large storage server running a OS like Linux or BSD to house all your media then making it available offline is no good. It would require a copy of the entire share be placed on your local drive and that could cost you every piece of free space on my Windows 7 system and then some.

I hope this helps someone out there with large media shares get their library setup.



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4 Responses to “Windows 7 – Add a non-indexed UNC path as a library”

  1. Johan says:

    Great workaround of Microsoft compulsive need to make our life miserable.


  2. jason404 says:

    The problem with this workaround is that you cannot search for the files within the library if they are in a remote location.

    Is there a way of adding UNC path to libraries but still have search work? Can indexed UNC paths be added somehow?

  3. jason404 says:

    Actually,. I just realised that all you need to do is index the folder(s) on the file server and then add the network location to the library as normal, without this workaround. Then you have network locations in libraries which can also be searched. I’m not sure if this works on workgroups, but it works perfectly on domains.

  4. geekcrazy says:

    What if we don’t want to index the folders on the server? (lol – sorry for the smartass comment)

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