The Problem With Long File Paths
Posted By: Ryan Richardson - 1/8/2020 12:00:00 AM


This is a topic that is not often discussed, but the length of your file path could be causing major issues with your files. Different teams have different folder structure methods. Some don’t mind a lengthy stack of documents in a single folder, and some like to make a sub-folder for nearly every document. Regardless of how you organize your work, the length of your file paths is a non-negotiable factor to keep in mind.

Many users are unaware that a file name can’t exceed 256 characters, in part because Windows allows you to save these long file names without an outright error message. 256 characters may seem unrealistically long, but keep in mind that a file name is made up of the full folder structure that leads to that file. This means excessive use of sub-folders and long file names is something we have to be cautious of.

Issues caused by long file paths usually look like trouble opening, saving, or moving files.
Some file sync applications will also reject these files when you attempt to sync them.

Here are a few tips on preventing this issue:

  • Avoid spaces, and unique characters when possible
  • Use abbreviations that are easy for your staff to understand
  • Re-organize folder structure to cut down on the number sub-folders.

It can all be summed up in 4 words; The shorter the better.