Windows Path Length Limit Reached


In many cases, Windows has a default limit of how many characters can make up a complete path to a file. That includes the length of the folder names. The limit is supposedly 260 characters for a path name. But, we've seen it actually stop at 255.
To get around this limit, Windows allows you to make a change in the registry that will allow you to have a much longer path (in terms of number of characters in the path name) up to 32767 characters. A big increase!
NOTE: These steps are to increase the path name size limit specifically for the Windows operating system itself. However Windows applications might choose to impose shorter path names. So, even though you'll increase the path name size length for Windows, you might might have a Windows app that might be programmed to not let you go past 255 characters.

Make A Registry Edit To Increase Path Length

Two ways to make the change. Either:
Run the registry editor yourself (Method 1)
Run a prepared script to do it for you (Method 2), the easy method.

Method 1: Edit The Registry By-Hand If You Are Comfortable Making Registry Changes

  • Become an admin user on your system.
  • Run regedit
The key to change is located at:
Set the key’s DWORD value to “1”
  • Reboot to activate the change.

Method 2: Run A Script To Make The Change For You

  • Download the script to enable long pathnames on your windows system by clicking:
  • Unzip the downloaded file
That will result in a file called LongPathsEnabled.reg
  • Double-click LongPathsEnabled.reg to run that file.
You may be prompted for admin account credentials. So, enter those to continue.
  • Reboot to activate the change.