Windows–The source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system.


You are trying to delete a file, possibly maliciously created and you run into this error:

The source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system.  Try moving to a location which has a shorter path name, or try renaming to shorter name(s) before attempting this operation.

Solution 1:

Use an auto-generated 8.3 name to access the file and delete it from the command prompt.  This means, every long file in windows still can be referenced by it’s 8 character name with a 3 dot extension.  E.g. this file “mm_backup.cfg” could be referenced by using “mm_bac~1.cfg”.  Take the first 6 characters, then put a tilde and a 1 (if it’s the first in order) then the dot extension.  A command might look like “del mm_bac~1.cfg”.

Solution 2:

Create a new user account, try to move the file into that account and then delete the account (this hinges on whether the operating system will let you move the file).  Alternatively, you can create a new user account, migrate all of your files and settings there and then delete your account (taking that file with it).  You want to be certain to backup all of your files before you do this.

Solution 3:

Map a drive to a folder inside the structure of the path of the target file or folder. This method shortens the virtual path.

For example, suppose you have a path that is structured as follows:


In this path, the total character count is over 255 characters. To shorten the length of this path, to 73 characters, map a drive to SubfolderName4.

Microsoft also recommends other alternatives that may or may not work for your scenario.  Reference this support article: