by Barry Dysert
(last updated April 2, 2019)
Believe it or not, file name limits aren't all that easy to come by. The reason it's difficult is because you have limits imposed by NTFS itself, limits imposed by the Windows operating system, and limits imposed by the application dealing with the files (e.g., Windows Explorer or File Explorer).
Experimentation reveals that for a file created at "C:\", you can create a file name with at most 255 characters. If you were to try to create a file with a longer path (e.g., "C:\Documents"), the length of the file name would have to be reduced accordingly. This implies that in addition to the length of the actual file name, you also have to deal with the name of the path, which, according to Microsoft, is set at 260 characters for local files.
File names can use any character in the current code page, including Unicode characters and characters in the extended character set (128–255), except for the following:
This tip (5835) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.
You can easily determine how many files and folders there are within a folder by making quick use of Windows Explorer or ...Discover More
If you need access to files on a network but aren't always on the network, you may find that the offline files feature of ...Discover More
Windows allows a great deal of flexibility in what programs it associates with different types of files. If you want to ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."