I was pleased to see with the latest Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 the old 260 character restriction for folder and file names can be overcome.

I've just installed Windows 2016 on a new machine and have followed the steps to enable long paths (as detailed here), and am still getting messages telling me files cannot be copied or folders created because they would create a long path name.

What have I done wrong is there something more I need to do?


The description of the setting, as seen in the very article that you linked to, says:

Enabling NTFS long paths will allow manifested win32 applications and Windows Store applications to access paths beyond the normal 260 char limit per node. Enabling this setting will cause the long paths to be accessible within the process.

This means that even after you turn this on, not every application is going to magically start being able to access long paths. Each specific application still has to be coded so as to "opt-in" to this support.

As of the time of this writing, Explorer.exe and cmd.exe are not taking advantage of this yet. (But they will, eventually... just give it time.)

But I have seen Powershell taking advantage of the new feature:

powershell long path

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    Okay, so let me get this straight. Microsoft have finally introduced a way for some apps to get past this problem, and the standard Windows File Explorer isn't one of them ?! – userSteve Apr 28 '17 at 15:30
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    @userSteve Could possibly be because there are so many third-party plugins available for Explorer, each of which probably assumes the old maximum path length. I suspect quite a hard engineering solution would have to be developed to make this work - if it's even possible at all (a lot of plugins do really bad scrounging around in undocumented data structures that make them incredibly hard to keep working when changes are made to explorer. Now imagine what changing the maximum size of a very fundamental piece of data would do...) – Muzer Apr 28 '17 at 15:39
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    @userSteve The shell is a very complicated beast with decades of legacy code paths and backwards compatibility that it needs to maintain... I can assure you that Microsoft has Top Men working on it, though. :) – Ryan Ries Apr 28 '17 at 16:15
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    @Muzer You may be right, but that suggests that no application which uses so much as a standard "Open File" dialog box can safely opt in. – hvd Apr 28 '17 at 20:27
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    @JesseSlicer Top... Men... – Ryan Ries May 1 '17 at 18:54

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