Visual Subst: Create Virtual Drives for your Folders; Map Cloud Storage as Virtual Drives

Recently we covered a post on how to map your OneDrive as a Network Drive on Windows 10. A reader suggested that it can also be done using the SUBST command. SUBST is a command that is used to substitute paths on physical or logical drives as virtual drives. Using this command, you can create a virtual drive that actually points to some other directory on your computer. This command can be executed from CMD and it has a few parameters. In this post, we’re going to discuss a tool called Visual Subst that lets you do the same – but with a GUI.

Suppose you are working on an project and have placed your project folder in a drive. To access that particular folder you have to go across many folders and sub folders. So, instead of investing time in browsing so many folders, how about creating drives with the name of folders? Using portable Visual Subst freeware for Windows, you can create drives of those folders you are currently working on. After creating the drives, these files can be easily accessed. This helps you to open your folders quickly with just one click.

Visual Subst Review

Visual Subst Review

Visual Subst for Windows, lets you create, mount, set any folder as Virtual Drive. It lets you access frequently used folders directly from My PC or Computer folder. It is a small tool that allows you map virtual drives easily. You can associate the most accessed directories with virtual drives using this freeware. It comes with a simple graphical user interface. It is also designed for those who are really fond of using cloud storage software like Dropbox and Google Drive. Visual Subst make it easier for you to  create drives and even remove it when not needed.

Visual Subst features

Visual Subst is a very handy tool that comes with handful features making the task of the end user easier. Some of the features worth mentioning are:

  • It is portable
  • Straight forward interface
  • If drive letter is used by another drive, it fixes the error automatically
  • Quick and easy access to frequently used folders
  • Small and handy utility.

We usually have some directories that we access the most, Visual Subst lets you associate them with virtual drives. Virtual Drives appear similar to the logical drives and have some similar functionality as well. You can create these virtual drives for faster access and easier navigation.

The virtual drives are not just limited to Windows Explorer. Virtual paths belonging to virtual drives can be used in all other applications as well.

For example, I’ve created a virtual drive “E:” where I keep all my documents and files. I can easily access those files by specifying the path something like “E:/somefile.docx”.

Create Virtual Drives for your Folders

To create a virtual drive for your folders using Visual Subst, all you need to do is select a drive letter and then select the directory that you want to be associated with that drive. Hit the green plus icon to create that virtual drive. The changes would instantaneously reflect in Windows Explorer. These virtual drives would not show up whenever you restart your computer. So, make sure you select “Apply virtual drives on Windows startup” if you want to keep those drives alive.

Visual Subst will automatically load these virtual drives on next startup. The program stores all your settings in a separate INI file so that you can modify or delete existing Virtual Drives later.

If you are a developer working on some project, you can set the root directory of that project as a virtual drive. It makes it easier to navigate using the command line. Also, a complex path is shortened down to one letter that can be further used for easier access. The program suggests that you may create a virtual drive mapped to any SDK. Hence shortening its path and making it more convened to access.

Map Cloud Storage as Virtual Drives

While you can associate directories on the physical hard drive, you can also create virtual drives for most of your Cloud Storage accounts. All you need to do is simply select the folder associated with that cloud service while creating a new virtual drive.

For OneDrive, the folder can be found in:


For Google Drive it is found in:

C:\Users\%username%\Google Drive

Visual Subst is a great tool that basically makes a complex process an easier one. Map all your favorite directories to virtual drives so that they are just a click away. The GUI is pretty neat and the tool overall is easy to use and understand.

Click here to download Visual Subst.

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Lavish loves to follow up on the latest happenings in technology. He loves to try out new Windows-based software and gadgets and is currently learning JAVA. He loves to develop new software for Windows. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software is always recommended, he feels.

One Comment

  1. FLskydiver

    How does one change the name of the drive in “This PC”? If I map a folder on my C:”System” drive, that folder and any others also shows up in “This PC” as “System” and I am not allowed to change the name. So I now have three folders (if I make two shortcuts) with the same display name…

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