File name length limit...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by elf69, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. elf69 macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    OK at work we have to back customers data before a wipe and reinstall.

    Windows has a limit of 255 characters.

    We have a drive will files in folder, in folder, in folder.....

    So the name is too long and windows explorer cannot copy file as name too big.

    Does apple also have this limit?

    Is there a work around possible?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    OS X has 255 character limit

    KB article

    Yes, don't create file names that are so large that it approaches the hard coded limitation of the file system.
  3. elf69 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2016
    Cornwall UK
    we did not create the files, we are tasked with backing them up so we can reinstall the system.

    If they are as long as the computer says, why did it let the user create such long names in first place.

    I'm sure some of you must of had this issue with a friends computer of some such?

    Our only temp fix is make a image of the drive.
    But we still need get files back on to the fresh installed computer afterwards.
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    The filename limitations has nothing to do with the file path limitations per se, so what exactly are you asking about?
  5. Significant1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 20, 2014
    Not using Windows anymore, so my experience is a bit rusty. Windows limitation is actually 260 characters including device. That is <device>:\ <255character filename><null terminater>.

    If your limitation appear somewhere else than NTFS physical limitation, you might be able to get around by using subst command or environment variable to shorten the names. I had to do this trick get around length limitation of a compilers search path.

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