Posted on June 1, 2016 · Posted in Windows 10

How to Remove 260 Characters Limit for NTFS Paths in Windows 10

When working with files, most Windows users and administrators have come across the “path too long” error. This error appears when the full path to a file (containing its name) exceeds 260 characters. Many applications, including Windows Explorer, work with such long file names incorrectly refusing to open, move or delete them. This is a restriction of  Win32 API library, not NTFS.

In the new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14352 available to the participants of Windows Insider program, a new opportunity has appeared to disable the restriction of the maximum path length.

You can disable the MAX_PATH restriction in two ways: using the Group Policy Editor or the Registry Editor. Let’s consider both of them.

  • Start Local Group Policy Editor by pressing Win+R and running the command gpedit.msc
  • Go to Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Filesystem -> NTFSEnable NTFS long paths - group policy
  • Open the policy Enable NTFS long paths
  • Enable the policy by checking EnabledHow to enable paths longer than 260 characters in Windows 10
  • Save the changes

When using Windows 10 Home Edition without Group Policy Editor, the same changes can be made throw the Registry Editor.

  • Run the Registry Editor regedit.exe
  • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\{48981759-12F2-42A6-A048-028B3973495F}Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Policies
  • In this branch, create a new Dword (32-bit) Value with the name LongPathsEnabledLongPathsEnabled - Registry
  • To disable the MAX_PATH restriction, change the value of the key to 1

In order the changes to come into force, in both cases you need to restart your computer. After the restart, users and programs will be able to work with files, which paths exceed 260 characters, with no restrictions. Now only NTFS restriction of 32,767 characters affects  on max file path.

According to the comments of Microsoft experts, this feature will be available to all users after the installation of Windows 10 Anniversary Update, to be released in summer and arranged to coincide with the anniversary of Windows 10, and in RC Windows Server 2016.

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