CLA Technical Services

File Path Length

What is file path length?

  • This is how files are stored by your computer. It looks like this:
    • C:UsersusernameDownloadsFall09Phys300.txt
  • There are certain folders that your computer sets up automatically such as Documents and Favorites. However in these you have the freedom to create files with unique names such as:
    • C:UsersusernameDocumentsCFDHW2plus.m
  • Now at some point the number of characters that a file path can be 250 characters. After that the computer has problems finding a doing just about anything with that file.
  • Here is an example of a bad file path length (242 characters):
    • C:UsersusernameDesktopOld DesktopNew DesktopDesktop 3000Science ClassesFall2012Science2012Science102Varian MidiVac Ino Pump Controller2012Sunday Science Conference Papers 2012Conference 2012Varian MidiVac Ino Pump Controller.pdf

How to check if your files are too long

  • To check to see if this is a current problem on your computer follow these simple steps:
  • Go to the Start Menu.
  • In the bottom search bar type: 'cmd'. This will open the command window.

Start Menu Command

  • Now type the following into the command window: 'dir /s /b > out.txt'. Then hit Enter. This is going to output a file that you can see every file path length in your account.

out filefile out end

  • Now go back to the Start Menu and click on your name at the top right. There should be an 'out.txt' file.

Where to Find the out file

Out file

  • Double click the 'out.txt' file.
    • If it does not open then right click the file and go to 'open with' and select 'Notepad'.

out file

  • Here you will see all of the file path lenghts that are managed by your account. Please ignore of the 'AppData' files; those you cannot change.

Good File Path Length AppData Ignore

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