Linking to a local path or SMB share in Notion

Linking to a local path or SMB share in Notion

UNFORTUNATE UPDATE from @NotionHQ:

😢

I’ll leave the original post below in case the Notion Product team ever happens to look though their backlog:

UPDATE: This approach may not currently work. I’ve reached out to Notion to see if they can shed some light on why it stopped working. We now know the feature is currently unsupported.

Earlier today I was experimenting with Notion when I discovered that you can trigger a Mac OS Finder window to pop up in using the File block type, and it allows all sorts of URI types. I experimented with file:// and smb:// but I suspect others are supported by the Notion Mac OSX native client.

This technique is useful for linking to assets stored outside of Notion. For example, linking to a network drive, files synced in Dropbox, OneDrive, Box.net, etc.

It’s straight-forward to implement. Here are the steps:

  1. Get your path.
    For this experiment we will use /Users/mike/code
  2. Create a new File Block in Notion.
    Try typing /file
  3. Click the Embed Link tab.
    For local files, type file:// then paste your path. The result should look like file:///Users/mike/code
    For SMB shares, you begin with smb:// then paste your path.The result: smb://server/path/to/files
  4. Click the Embed Link button. Boom!

Check the image below for example configuration based on the steps above.

Example of using Embed Link to embed link to a directory path

Creating your new clickable button with Embed Link, the button will be named (labelled) based upon the basename of the path used. This works great for files, but it’s not as helpful for directory names.

In our example, the basename for /users/Mike/code is code.

To rename the button to “Link to My Projects” (for example), click the ellipsis (…) and select Rename (or press CMD+SHIFT+P).

You can also add flair to the button by changing the background colour of the text, adding emoji to break up visual monotony, and add a Caption below the button to help provide context for the reader.

If your directory structure or SMB share details ever change, clicking Replace will allow you to update the path.

While storing your documents in Notion might be the best decision moving forward, many external organizations will continue to use “shared drives” for sharing files and assets.

Mike Walker

Mike is a full-stack web developer with 15 years experience. I focus on PHP & Javascript development, and work with platforms like Shopify Plus and WooCommerce eCommerce. The Agency Developer is a weekly curated newsletter with a mission to inform and educate developers working with digital agencies.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. This function will be really helpful, hope Notion implement this soon!

  2. Hello! i tried linking a local path, embedding my file worked but when I clicked the link it created, it won’t open the file. I’m using Notion on windows 10. How can I fix this? Thanks!

    1. Hi there! Notion has stated that the work-around is no longer supported, but they may be exploring a proper implementation. Hopefully it will work again soon!

  3. Hi Mike

    Any news or any feedback from notion on how to do a workaround for accessing a linked finder window out of notion?

    1. Hi Alex. I made an update to the post above. I guess they’ve “fixed” the work-around. Hopefully we’ll see something better in the future.

  4. Hey Mike, thanks for sharing the tip! I tried it out but the link doesn’t work. Any ideas what I could do to troubleshoot it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Claire! This stopped working near the end of January. I’ve reached out to Notion to see what’s up! I’ll post when I have an update.

    2. Hi Claire! The note I got back from Notion said that this was a “work-around” and no longer supported. Sad, since I just learned about it!

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