Destination Path Too Long Fix (when Moving/Copying a File)

If you are receiving an error Destination Path Too Long when trying to copy or move a file to a folder, try the quick trick below. The reason you are receiving the error is because File Explorer failed to copy/delete/rename any path-name longer than 256 characters.  The instructions below apply to Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012.

This is not the limitation of NTFS file system, but the Win32 API library. Most standard applications, including Windows Explorer (File Explorer), do not work correctly with such long file names. Under the file name Windows understands the entire path, starting with the root of the disk, ending with the last subfolder and the file name itself.

When using Unicode API functions, it is possible to use a path of up to 32767 characters. Thanks to this, many third-party programs (the popular file managers, for example FAR and Total Commander) process files/folders without any difficulties, the path length to which exceeds 256 characters.

Destination Path Too Long Fix

Full Error: “The file name(s) would be too long for the destination folder. You can shorten the file name and try again, or try a location that has a shorter path.”

Screenshot of Destination Path Too Long error on Windows Server 2008

destination path too long

Screenshot of Destination Path Too Long error on Windows 8:

destination path too long windows 8

Solution 1. Rename parent folder to decrease full path

The simplest way is to shorten the name of the parent folders, decreasing the total path length (but not always applicable) by simply renaming it.

Solution 2. Create a symbolic link

Another option is to create a symbolic link to a part of the path, thus shortening the total path length. To create link you can use the following command:

mklink /d c:\home\link “C:\verylongpathhere……”

Next, perform file operations with the directory to which the symbolic link is assigned (c:\home\link in our case).

Solution 3. Use Subst utility

Another option is to associate the problem folder to a virtual disk (in our example, Z:), using the built-in utility Subst. Thus, you can also shorten the path length:

Subst Z: “C:\verylongpathhere……”

Now you can work with the data on the Z: drive, the path to the files in which will not exceed the limit. After the work is finished, you can delete the virtual disk:

Subst Z: /d

Solution 4. Hidden share path

Step 1

The quickest fix for this, especially if you are needing to simply migrate a lot of folders from one place to another is to map a drive to the drilled down folder.

What you should is to browse to the hidden share path and copy it to your clipboard.

destination path too long folder

Step 2

Then browse to “Computer” or “My Computer” and click on Map Network Drive. Depending on your OS it might appear under the tools menu.

destination path too long map network

Step 3

Then simply paste your long path and hit Finish.

destination path too long network folder

Step 4

Now you will be able to copy the files/folders into this location without receiving the error.

Solution 5. How to Enable Long Path Support in Windows 10 (1607) and higher

In Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607), it became possible to disable the MAX_PATH limit on the system level. By default, this feature is disabled.

To enable the built-in support for long paths, you can use the Regedit.exe editor to set the LongPathsEnabled parameter of REG_DWORD in the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem key with a value 1.

destination path too long paths enabled

Or through Group Policy Editor (Win + R \ gpedit.msc) Computer Configuration-> Administrative Templates->System-> Filesystem. Enable the policy Enable NTFS long paths.

enable NTFS long paths

For the changes to take effect in both cases, the computer needs to be rebooted. After a reboot, users and programs will be able to work without restrictions with files, the length of the path to which exceeds 256 characters. Now the files will only be affected by the NTFS file system limit of 32767 characters.

Tip #1

There also is a great tool called “Long Path Tool” that works great to fix this: However it isn’t free, the method above is.

Tip #2

Thank you Colin Albright for the comment below. Yes, you can also use 7-zip or any zip utility to fix Destination Path Too Long problem. Sometimes on single files, this could be a better and faster solution. Just zip the folder up, and your good to go.

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