How to Enable or Disable Win32 Long Paths in Windows 10
Informationby default, the maximum path length limit in Windows is 260 characters. A local path is structured in the following order: drive letter, colon, backslash, name components separated by backslashes, and a terminating null character.
Starting with Windows 10 build 14352, you can enable NTFS long paths to allow manifested win32 applications and Windows Store applications to access paths beyond the normal 260 characters limit per node. Enabling this setting will cause the long paths to be accessible within the process.
Starting with Windows build 1607, this policy has moved and is now called Win32 long paths.
This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable Win32 long paths to have paths longer than 260 characters for all users in Windows 10.
You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to enable or disable Win32 long paths.
- Option One: To Enable or Disable Win32 Long Paths using Group Policy
- Option Two: To Enable or Disable Win32 Long Paths using a reg file
OPTION ONETo Enable or Disable Win32 Long Paths using Group Policy
1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.
2. In the left pane of local group policy editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)
3. In the right pane of Filesystem in Local Group Policy Editor, double click/tap on the Enable Win32 long paths policy to edit it. (see screenshot above)
4. Do step 5 (enable) or step 6 (disable) below for what you would like to do.
A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)
a) Select (dot) Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)
note: Not Configured is the default setting.
7. When finished, you can close the local group policy editor if you like.
OPTION TWOTo Enable or Disable Win32 Long Paths using a reg file
NoteThe .reg files below will add and modify the dword value in the registry key below.
(delete) = disable
1 = Enable
1. Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.
A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.
note: this is the default setting.
A) Click/tap on the download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.
4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.
5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.
6. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.
7. If you like, you can now delete the downloaded .reg file.
8. Restart the computer to apply.
Firstly, I know the information in this tutorial applies to the new Insider preview build, but what would happen if one adds the DWORD to an existing WIN 10 system using option2? Does the OS simply ignore the option or will it cause problems?
The only reason I am asking this is because I have a backup HDD with many files on it that refuse to open because the path names are too long? At the moment I have to use all sorts of tricks to get around the restriction, by moving and renaming the files before they can be opened on a PC running Win 10.