The File Name is Too Long Windows Explorer

Update 7/5/2017: Thanks to all my wonderful readers. Before trying the method below, you should try the Long Path Tool which can be downloaded here. If you would rather fix the error using the manual method check below. Thanks 

Problem: Customer tried to open a Word document and a PDF file he had created a while ago. Windows Explorer gave the an error, “file name is too long” when he tried to open his document.File Name is too Long - Windows Explorer

After a little digging around I found a solution to this problem. Windows 7 has a 256-260 character file/path limit. The file didn’t have a longer name than 256 characters, but the file was buried underneath many folders with big names.  I tried to right-click the file and select rename but I didn’t have that option. I couldn’t copy or cut the file to another location.

Resolution: Go one folder above where your document is stored. Rename that folder to something shorter (ex. name it one ). This should allow you to open the Word document now. Now change the Word file to a shorter name. Change the folder back to the original name. Check if you can still open your Word file. If you can still open the file, then you’re good! If you can’t open the file yet, move the folder to another location.

If you want to keep the file name of the document and the folder the same you should store the Word file in another location perhaps to your desktop or make a separate folder for the file.

Summary: In my situation, the customer had too many levels of folders with long names and spaces. The Word and PDF file he was trying to open had a big file name as well. Windows Explorer couldn’t handle long folder names and paths it gave the error, “file name is too long”.

Let me know if this helped you out by posting in the comments.

Source: WordBanter

This was posted by techspeeder.


34 thoughts on “The File Name is Too Long Windows Explorer

  1. khiigel

    Very helpful, thank you! I told my coworker to work on giving her folders and files more compact names, this solved the issue.

  2. JVP

    Only way I could open the file was by going to ‘Explorer’ – right clicking on the directory the file is in: then ‘Compress and email..’ Sending whole directory to yourself.

    When received the email with directory, click on directory, go to file, open … then when open ‘Save As’ a new file.

  3. gamick lisafisher

    For copying and deleting “Long Path Tool” software should be try, many articles refer this for such solutions.

  4. webb123

    Use LONG PATH TOOL, it gives good result in solving the errors in long file like deleting the file, renaming the file, copying the file, etc. Try it……

  5. aiden carter

    Long path tool is the very good program for error, unlock solution.
    Try it and solve your problem.
    I used long path tool and I solve my error, unlock problem solution faster.

  6. howard brooks

    Long path tool is the very good program for error, unlock solution.Use Long path tool which will solve the problem

  7. howard brooks

    Thank you! I had never seen that before and every time i clicked on the file, Explorer crashed. Changing the folder name did the trick!

  8. coolboy4f

    You just need to follow the following steps:
    Open the folder that contains the long name error file.
    Go to the first parent folder (the folder containing this file) and rename the folder to a very short name, 2 or 3 characters are enough. For Example, the problematic file named ‘our_intro.mp4’ exists in the folder ‘Chapter_01 A Brief Introduction of Our Well Known Well Established Company’. You need to change this folder name to some very short name such as ‘Int’ or any other short name.
    Now open the file, and it should open without any problem or error message.

  9. snizhana

    Hello everyone,
    I suggest everyone a software which can solve this problem. The name of the software is “Long Path Tool“.

  10. morgancooper

    Has anyone tried Long Path Tool. Its the best option for all kind of problems. i have personally used it and it was awesome.

  11. Corey Lean

    Renaming can’t simply be done for all files, its time consuming and what if the file is a torrent then you cant rename it also. Try a smart solution instead, use GS Richcopy 360. An industrial level software. I am also using it for almost an year. It has helped me a lot, try it to solve your problems instead of wasting time!

  12. Baretto James

    Corey lean, I thank you very much for providing me the correct solution. I went on and tried GS Richcopy 360 which helped a lot. It was simple to use and yet effective. Thank you admin for the post also. Good luck!

  13. Ross Gram

    I would like to suggest you, try LongPathTool software to resolve this issue. This tool is very helpful to resolve the issue.

  14. Jeremy Scherbert

    I know this is old, but there is an easier solution. Just Map to the computer one or two folders up from the file, then move it. instead of \\server\c$\folder1\folder2\folder3….\folder24\folder25\file.txt map from a different computer to
    Y:\ = \\server\c$\folder1\folder2\folder3….\folder24
    The file then become “Y:\folder25\file” then move it somewhere with a shorter name.

  15. Tim Hangton

    I suggest you Long Path Tool will let you easily delete, copy or rename long path files, you can try it for better service.

  16. Shaggy C

    What are these comments, an Advertisement for that tool? 99% of the time the person created ridiculously long folder and file names. Unless they actually need long names or really deep files, it’s better to fix their naming habits. Only if they don’t want to do that would you suggest a program to fix the issue.


Leave a Reply to BarnessCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.