If there are folders that you access frequently, this post shows you how to quickly access those folders in Windows Explorer without having to enter the full path to the folder. We will discuss three ways to map folders to drive letters.
Method 1: Use the DOS sub command
First, we’ll use an old DOS command called subst, which lets you assign a drive letter to any folder in Windows.
In this example, we will assign a drive letter to the following folder: C: Users Lori Kaufman Documents My Work.
Open the Start menu and type cmd.exe (without quotes) in the Search programs and files box. In the results, click cmd.exe to open a Command Prompt window.
In the Command Prompt window, enter the following command to map the “Y:” drive to a folder.
– / subst y: “C: Users Lori Kaufman Documents My Work”
NOTE. If the path name contains spaces, be sure to enclose the full path in quotes.
Now when we open Windows Explorer, we see a new drive labeled Y: it directly opens the My Work folder.
Use this same process to assign different drive letters to all frequently used directories. However, the subst command cannot be used with mapped network folders.
Method 2: Use the psubst utility
The downside to using the subst command is that these virtual disks are temporary and will be removed as soon as you shut down, restart your computer, or log out. However, you can fix this problem by using the free psubst utility, which works like the subst command, but creates persistent virtual disks that remain persistent even after you restart your computer.
Download psubst utility from
Now read my post on how to use psubst to map a folder to a drive letter
Third method: use a graphical tool
If you prefer to use a graphical tool to map drive letters to folders, there is a free Visual Subst utility, similar to the graphical version of psubst.
Download Visual Subst from
To install Visual Subst, double-click the downloaded .exe file.
On the Installation Options screen, select the check boxes for the shortcuts to the programs you want to install and click Next.
When the installation is complete, click Close. Double click the shortcut to launch the program. You can also launch it from the Start Menu.
The main Visual Subst window will open. Select the desired drive letter from the drop-down list.
To select a folder to map to the selected drive letter, click the Browse button to the right of the edit box.
In the Browse For Folder dialog box, navigate to the folder you want to map, select it and click OK.
To map the selected folder to the selected drive letter, click the green plus button in the button bar to the left of the drive letter dropdown.
The virtual disk is added to the list. Add additional virtual disks by selecting a drive letter and corresponding folder and adding it to the list as described above.
If you want the virtual disks that you have defined to be available automatically when Windows starts, select the Use virtual disks at Windows startup check box so that the box is checked.
To save your Visual Subst settings, click the floppy button on the button bar. The .ini file is saved in the same directory where Visual Subst was installed.
The mapped folders appear as hard drives in Windows Explorer.
If you want to remove the mapping for a folder, open Visual Subst again and select the virtual drive from the list. Click the red X button on the button bar.
Mapping folders to drive letters can save you a lot of time, and Visual Subst makes it easy to add virtual drives. Visual Subst works on Windows 2000, Windows XP and later versions of Windows, including Windows 7, 8, and 10. Enjoy!