Simple way to have a better files directory link in Drupal

By devin, 24 October, 2014

I maintain a Drupal website with several hundred files in the /sites/default/files folder. It's a big mess - they're unsorted, many are no longer referred to, and so on. That's another topic.

I was wondering if there was a way to make future links nicer. People accessing the website or sharing links to files on our website don't want to type "sites/default" - that's stupid!

There is an option in Drupal config (Drupal 6: admin/settings/file-system; Drupal 7: admin/config/media/file-system) to change the default files directory, but I've never done that for a site so far so all of the current files would need to have all references updated to make that nicer. Maybe I'll do that if I make another Drupal site!

But here's one neat trick doctors don't want you to know: in the root directory of your Drupal install, execute "ln -s sites/default/files files". This creates a symbolic link to the files directory in the drupal root. Now if you upload a file called "runme.exe" to your Drupal files directory, the website will say it's accessible at

BUT you will be able to share out links (and maybe change code on the website so it *thinks* that's where the files live and communicates that to end users of the site) that look like

It's a small thing, but it makes me feel better about foisting the links involved on non-technical users. Plus it's such a friendly solution that seems pretty robust.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.