How to delete, copy, move or rename a file or folder with a long path in Windows.

The chronicles of a System Admin or Desktop Support Tech would be a thrilling lot to go through. From the funny things that users do and the “fix your computer” you are required to magical administer though while trying to diagnose the issue the user vehemently denies any link to the cause thereof.

Actually there is SysAdmin day now to celebrate the Geeks that always come to the rescue of the user. Watch out for the day next year July 27 2018 and make some Geek feel good.

If you or your users are still using pre-Windows 10 version you will still be plagued by MAX_PATH. This is the maximum number of characters allowed in a file path. This was limited to 260 characters in all pre-win10 versions. Howbeit in Windows 10, Microsoft finally managed to rid itself of this limit. This limit means that you can not read, copy, rename or delete any file which exceed the MAX_PATH value. Never mind how it manages to exceed  the limit in the first place and then start denying you those function.

So if you are still in any of those versions that are limited to MAX_PATH=260, you can employ tricks like using Robocopy which may sometimes prove a senior geek tool. You can also map the immediate folder which cuts the path though sometimes the flawed folder structure may be a requirement.

Example long path name

C:\Folder1\Really Long Path\Such boring long path\So Deep\Wow\Still Going\I just dont know what to call it\I am so messy with my file namimg\But this will catch up with me\so lets see how this will go\some random generated number here\Almost there\Tax Returns\2017\2017_cyber_security_pdf.pdf

Now to the rescue tools or long path names

1. Longpathtool   is a paid solution

2. Long Path Fixer is a free cool tool

3. Lock Hunter is a hunter for long path names