Re: Cannot delete file

John Wunderlich wrote:
FromTheRafters<erratic@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in

So, if you're getting the "path too long" message or the "cannot
delete file" message, and need a utility that will quickly
eliminate the problem, the Long Path tool is the way to go.
You'll be able to delete or rename your files in no time.

I've never encountered this problem, but I am curious that if it
is an "Explorer" problem whether an alternate shell or the command
line would be able to fix it as well.

It is a Windows API limitation. When programmers write programs for
Windows, they use standard Windows functions to deal with files.
Many of these standard functions have the 260 character limit on the
path. Some programs can be written specifically to avoid API
functions with limitation. Among them are NTBackup and Robocopy.
With some programs, you can avoid the limitation by specifying the
file using an extended-length path syntax (ie \\?\C:\Documents and

Refer to the following article, Paragraph "Maximum Path Length
Limitation" (about 1/3 the way down).

"Naming Files, Pathes, and Namespaces"

Thanks John. I guess the OP was not correct in the assertion that it was an "Explorer" problem, and the command line can indeed be used if you avoid the sanity check by //?/.

If I do come across a problem with files using reserved words (or path too long) I use Linux's support of NTFS to access them.

Relevant Pages

  • Re: File size limits and workarounds?
    ... But remember an archive has the same size limitation, ... *if* using the new unicode file format ... I've run into the 2 gig file size limit on Outlook 2000 a couple times ... Is there a way to clean the files so I can avoid this in the future? ...
  • ALT + Enter and Wrap Text
    ... Thanks for the advice, even if it wasn't necessarily what I wanted to ... I can work around this limitation and still avoid the dreaded Merge ...
  • 16GB Limitation Notification
    ... we're running echange 2000 standard edition. ... we just hit the 16gb limitation. ... to avoid it from happening again. ...
  • Re: I get "too many recipients" when sendin a newsletter
    ... Obviously your provider has limited the number of receipients in one ... To avoid this limitation you may use a tool like ...