Best way to think of a shortcut for folder is to think of a shortcut you would use to walk, cycle, drive etc to a physical location.
The physical location does not change or move but the route to that location can vary with the route taken. Thus the time to get that destination will vary depending on how long the route takes. This is called seek time measured in milliseconds for mechanical Hard Disk Drives (HDDs).
Think of data as a ring binder filled with information, the size of this ring binder can vary in size and can be stored where ever in a massive racks of shelves (file system) as tall as you can imagine. However in a mechanical drive, this ring binder is stored wherever and if ring binder is to large for an empty space on a shelf, the operate system will split that ring binder and store it where ever it can find space.
This is known as fragmented data and the higher the ring binders is store the longer it will take to retrieve (seek time).
This results in operating system slow downs for mechanical hard drives. This why defragging the data is important as it keeps the ring binders together and the pages inside in a nice orderly fashion therefore ensuring system operates at a reasonable speed.
There are defrag software that will move the data to outside of the platter inside the hard drive (lower shelfs reducing seek times). However, for now you should stick to the standard defrag programme.
If you have an ssd or solid state drive - you don't need to defrag it as data is stored completely differently where it in laymens terms gets treated the same and speed. If for instance you see it's not running as fast it should (usually in cheap ssds), the default defrag programme in windows 10 and 8 only will intelligently run the TRIM function.
I hope this answers your question and any related questions you may have :winktongue:.
How did a simple query about Windows shortcuts end up with a lecture on seek times and defragging in response?! :amaze:
To put it very simply, a shortcut (not a hard link but the standard variety you create by copying a file/folder and pasting as shortcut) is simply a link to the file/folder in question. You double-click a shortcut and Windows will locate and open the original or target file/folder just as if you had double-clicked them directly. So when you save something to a folder and open using the shortcut, you are simply opening the original folder itself. Naturally this means whatever you saved will be found therein, just as if you had navigated to and opened the folder directly. It also answers your follow-up query - if you save something to the folder by using the shortcut, you are simply saving to the original folder itself.