Path Depth in Windows XP, Windows 7, & Vista

FIle path
Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows XP
I have a client that receives files from one of his clients in Sweden, the files are obviously created in Windows 7 or Vista but he is running Windows XP. Now the Files and Folders full paths can run up to 13 folders deep for example this is the full path to one of the files
C:Documents and SettingstmaherDesktopTrentMaster FolderListMain FolderListVendorManuals_Docs_ DONETIEFSTACKTrent CommonRockwell_Allen Bradley ManualsInstallation InstructionsFLEX IOFLEX IOModules??????file names
The issue here is my client cannot open the files at the bottom of this path because obviously the path is way too long. Now these are my questions:
  1. Is the path to the file causing the issue?
  2. Is it the version of NTFS on windows XP that limits the path?
  3. Is there an MS fix or Path available to rectify this?
Kindest Regards, Shane Thanks

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

Okay have you tried going into the folder in question say half way through and moving that folder out of the others making the path shorter to get to the file? Also you can go almost to the folder in question and select sharing and share this folder then access it as if you were accessing a share which will make the path shorter as well. If it will not let you copy or move the folder, after sharing you should be able to.

Discuss This Question: 8  Replies

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.
  • Stevesz
    The maximum path name in XP is 260 characters. It is a limit of the Windows API according to Microsoft. Microsoft also note that using Unicode, it is possible to have a path length of approximately 32,767 characters. You do not give a reason why the files are sent with a long path. Is it possible for the sender to just send files or is the pathing necessary?
    2,015 pointsBadges:
  • carlosdl
    Just an addition: This was mentioned as one of the new features of Vista: "When accessing files with the ANSI character set, if the total path length is more than the maximum allowed 260 characters, Windows Vista automatically uses the alternate short names (which has a 8.3 limit) to shorten the total path length. In Unicode mode, this is not done as the maximum allowed length is 32,000".
    85,885 pointsBadges:
  • shanekearney
    First I would like to thank you all for you spot on answers My client has been told that the path is too long in XP and he should shorten the path length because basically (now let me get this right) he will need to click 28 times to even see what is in these folders, in my own opinion and if that were me, I would find that extremely annoying!! He will need to shorten the path lengths and that's final as confirmed here by my fellow professionals I thank you all for your input Shane
    810 pointsBadges:
  • Featured Member: FrankTheTank - ITKE Community Blog
    [...] Path depth in Windows XP, Windows 7 & Vista [...]
    0 pointsBadges:
  • csopiface
    This is a Windows* OS/file system issue.The cause is the directory paths in the system is longer than 255 characters (including spaces).You may see the error "The specified path, file name, or both are too long. The fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters, and the directory name must be less than 248 characters," under the following circumstances:Opening an assembly with .NET ReflectorExporting source code for an assembly using an add-in such as FileDisassembler, or FileGenerator.There's a lot of additional softwares which can fix this problem like Long Path Tool.
    50 pointsBadges:
  • TomLiotta
    Since this can be handled natively, there isn't much point to buying a product. -- Tom
    125,585 pointsBadges:
  • Genderhayes
    A local path is structured in the following order: drive letter, colon, backslash, components separated by backslashes, and a terminating null character. For example, the maximum path on drive D is "D:\<some 256 character path string><NUL>" where "<NUL>" represents the invisible terminating null character for the current system codepage
    10,730 pointsBadges:
  • ashleygon
    You may use the Long Path Tool to sort out this issue. I'm sure, it will work.
    10 pointsBadges:

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.


Share this item with your network: