What is the maximum file name and symbols in Mac OS and iOS?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hajime, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I recall that Windows does not support long filename but Linux does. However, when I used a PC with both linux and Windows installed, there were issues when I copied files either from linux to windows or from linux to external hard drive. How about Mac OS and iOS? What is the maximum file name?

    Another thing is when I changed the file name of a file under Mac OS, I clicked on the name under the icon and typed. For example: this is the apple's user, that is the #$.

    Do space, ', # and $ on the filename get messed up if I copy the files from Mac OS/iOS to Windows, Android or Linux systems?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    MacOS doesn't care much which symbols/characters you use, but some apps might. You would want to be careful about special characters if you share files with other operating systems.
    Personally, I try to avoid all special characters, with the exception of an underscore (_), which I usually use in filenames to replace any spaces. Just something that I have always done, so might be a bit of overkill for most folks, but it leaves a nice, safe file name.

    Good information here - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202808

    Windows filenames have been limited for some years to (only) 129(?) characters, with the total path name for the file limited to 260 total characters, including spaces and slashes.
    I understand that Windows 10 can ignore that limit, so there is now no effective limit to filenames in Windows 10.
     
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #3
    Thanks DeltaMac. Under MacOS, is there a limit on the total path name?

    Do you mean even with long filenames on the MAC, there shouldn't be any problem if I transfer the files to Windows 10 as it also has no limit on the length of the files?
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    The filename, the actual characters that you use, the number of characters, and the total path are all considerations whenever you want to use files on more than one file system.
    So, my suggestion is that you limit the filename and pathname size as much as you can if you are going to share files between file systems.
    That article that I posted does have some information that should answer your question.

    From what I can find out, in HFS+ (current Apple file system) the filename is limited to 255 characters. The pathname limit suggests that it has no practical limit. I read a short report where someone tried to test that, and the Finder started to behave oddly when the pathname went beyond 1024 characters.
    So, not really any practical limit on the pathname length.
    The new file system from Apple (APFS) doesn't have enough information out that offers any information about filenames and limits. It's coming soon, but nothing seems to be out there with the details that you might want.
     

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