Exceeding MAX_PATH causes path too long error

What is path?

Path is a fully -qualified file name or directory name, it actually consists of several components separated by a specific character like a backslash. Each component may be a directory name and a filename. For example if you have a file D:\ExampleFolder\fileABC.txt the name of the file will be fileABC, but the path (fully-qualified file name) will be D:\ExampleFolder\fileABC.txt. Filename is the last component of the path. Each path component has its own maximum length limitations specified for different file systems.

Maximum Path Length Limitation and file path too long error

MAX_PATH is the maximum length of a path according to the Windows API and is limited to 260 characters. Path names can be divided into short and long. When MAX_PATH length exceeds 260 characters, the target file becomes inaccessible, meaning it can’t be copied, deleted, opened, renamed, etc. What is long path? The answer is quite easy – it’s a path exceeding MAX_PATH 260 allowed characters. In its turn long file name is not the same as long path this term defines 8,3 names used long ago in MS DOS.

Windows 260 pathname limitations may cause a lot of problems in scalable production systems due to this limit. In Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 a server directory structure may be expanded over MAX_PATH due to accessing server share and creating files and directories via the network. If the server administrator tries to access these files locally on the server via Windows NT Explorer he will obtain the following error messages: Can’t access this folder. Path is too long - file name is too long to delete. If you try to create a new folder you may get Unable to create the folder or The filename or extension is too long errors. These errors are caused by Win32 programs 256-characters limitations.

In this case a long path error demands specific solution as it can’t be reproduced by NTBACKUP (a built-in backup application in Windows NT used to back up files utilizing appropriate backup format). ABTO’s Path too long software was designed specifically to solve all those long path errors and long file name errors regardless of which Windows operation system is installed on the computer.

One Response to Exceeding MAX_PATH causes path too long error

  • Bill Kramer says:

    You built some reasonable points generally there. I looked online for the situation and observed most folks will get along with with your web site.

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