Sharing a Shortcut and Hyperlink in File Explorer

Brass Contributor

We're essentially an engineering company so a lot of our users are highly 'productive' so doing any work directly in the 'Teams' app is completely non-functional.


When we were using mapped network drives, users could easily share shortcuts because they pointed to a common location. e.g. "U:\Work\Engineering\myDoc.docx". Today users still need this ability to create and share shortcuts. Is there any way a user can simply create and share both hyperlink to a location/file with other users?


I have tried variations of UNC paths (below) however most users can't access this, or links to files download something with a ".download" file extension.


Any help would be much appreciated,


16 Replies


For my understanding, why do You want to Create shortcuts and share them from File Explorer? Is it because the users do not use SharePoint/Teams or is it just because they are used to work in the File Explorer?


If the files are created/stored in OneDrive or SharePoint or Teams(SharePoint) it is simple to share it from there. If You sync the files it is also possible to share them from the File Explorer by right-clicking the file and choose "Share".

You can also share a file directly from Word, Excel and PowerPoint (If the files are stored in OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams (SharePoint)).

Hope that was the answer to Your question. If not, please describe your case with some more details.

Regards, Magnus

@MagnusGoksoyrOLDProfile Hello Mangus,


Thank you for the reply. We do not work in SharePoint/Teams because it is not productive. The UI is slow and limited, and other applications do not work with it (3rd party applications). If you are a nice simple HR person that edits a spreadsheet once a week, ok fine. But we're engineers. We open, and edit models often. Share simulations, etc. Working in File Explorer is an undebatable certainty. What comes with this is the requirement to create and share shortcuts across users.


I need a way to be able to create and share shortcuts between users; example below showing a shortcut that we can share to a network drive "S:". We need a similar simple way to create a shortcut, and share it among users. 



Thanks for your help,





Mapping a SharePoint drive locally often involves assigning it a drive letter locally on that specific engineers desktop so I suspect you'd need to ensure that any library is mapped identically for all team members.  Additionally mapping a network drive to a SharePoint used to use the WebDAV protocol, which can be very flaky with SharePoint.  It's known to time our every 8 hours or so and would need to constantly be reconnected, (although I'll be honest I don't know if this still the case). I suspect this would be a point of frustration for a team of IT literate engineers.  I've tried generating a File Explorer window from SharePoint and it gave me a similar pathway and format to the on you've provided in your post.


An alternative might be exploring the OneDrive Sync agent.  This is a desktop extension that allows you to sync content from both OneDrive and SharePoint Online.  A brief summary of what it does is to duplicate the existing file structure within your library BUT presents it within a desktop explorer window.  In Win-7 you can see this added to the desktop favourites.  In Win-10 a brand new shortcut to SharePoint content and another to OneDrive content are created.  The sync element refers to push / pull mechanics that will make changes available to others once a file has been saved and closed.


This affords you the chance to bypass using the browser entirely whilst benefiting from the collaborative side of SharePoint within a local desktop window.


Hope that make sense but please let me know if you've any questions.

@Steven Andrews Thanks for the reply. I should have said we are using the SharePoint folders "Sync'ed" with via the OneDrive client, not via mapping the https address - as you said this is horribly flaky and I realise it's not really supported in a production environment.


We have these locations Sync'ed, and I need a way for our users to create and share shortcuts to these folders.



It may not be exactly what you're after but on the desktop sync, right clicking any item or folder will grant access to the Share options.  It'll be indicated with the blue cloud.  You can generate links for folders and items in this fashion.


I'm not terribly confident it'll be useful as each share option generates its own unique link and I'm interpreting what you're after as being similar to a unc path or somesuch.


I'll have a look on my set-up tomorrow at the office and will see if I can come up with anything more practical.

This 'Share' method pushes users into a browser, and doesn't actually take them to the location in File Explorer.

Another use case for these shortcuts is file paths in shared applications: e.g. having a path built into an excel macro-based document, which multiple people use. Currently we have say
dbPath = "U:\Work\Engineering\appdb.sqlite" and multiple people interact with this excel document, and they need to have a path that is valid for everyone.

If anyone does come looking here, it appears there isn't a solution to this. It's currently breaking a few applications for us, and I honestly have no idea how other companies haven't had a similar issue. 


Crux of it, cloud migration failed for us. Going to have to stay old-school with local files and good ol' network shares.


You can get to the folder from Windows Explorer using %userprofile%\<Company name>\<synced folder name> but Excel will not let you hyperlink to it.


We created a VBA macro that reads the reads Environ("USERPROFILE") to get the folder location and opens Windows Explorer at the project folder.

It's somewhat complicated & frustrating that you have to enable Macros on the documents but it does work!


It would be great if there was built in functionality to open a synced folder rather than a specific file, especially when trying to send links by email!




Hi @andrewvinci !


This problem frustrated me for so long in the newer versions of windows!  I don't want a zillion different versions of the same document.  I want to show my co-worker where they can find the document and a hyperlink is the way to go in my opinion.  


Create a shortcut to that file in the same folder it already exists.  

Right click the shortcut you just created and go to Properties.

Select and copy the Target.



I'm trying to use Teams &/Or SharePoint to create a paperless office but am finding it difficult.  Explorer has always been way more straight forward to me.  


I hope that helps!


@AztecIris How is it helping? That "Target" is 

"C:\Users\username\Companyname\Sitename - Libraryname\foldername\filename.pdf"


and this username ui different in every computer.


So user have to change the beginning 

"%userProfile%\U.S. Invest AS\USInvest - YHINE\US_Invest_pilv_books\Arvete nimekiri.pdf"

and sent it as link in Outlook?


OMG this is exactly what I was looking for! Although I wish there was a way windows would automatically insert "%userProfile%" while creating the hyperlink instead of me having to do it manually.


Another option is to simply create a 'RootFolder' on every team members device in C:\ so that all the file paths are absolutely identical for everyone, like: "C:\RootFolder\Companyname\Sitename - Libraryname\foldername", and then change the location of the synced library to this RootFolder as opposed to the standard location within the User Profile. This means applications can share the same file path across different users devices.


Now my big question is, how can file paths like that be turned into clickable links in Teams messages so users can simply click the link to open the relevant folder directly in file explorer.

Hi all,

I'm here looking for the same thing. We migrated our engineering folders over to the cloud hoping to streamline our workflow, but instead we are sending links to sync'd files/folders, only to be prompted to download from Sharepoint. How frustrating! Even if there was a button in the online environment to "Open from Sync'd Location" or something, that would be we helpful. Is there really no solution for this beside the techniques listed above?
It is ridiculous these links to folders cannot be turned into clickable hyperlinks in Teams. It does work in Outlook, Word, Excel, etc. so why not in Teams too?
Mainly looking to bump this thread in case anything has changed in the last year. I've explored the workarounds previously mentioned, and bandaids are nice, but I'm surprised this hasn't been addressed natively.