Bypassing the Windows Explorer 255 Character File Path Limit

It's well know that if you attempt to copy files in Windows 7 and earlier and to a directory in which the file name and folder path will comprise more than 255 characters, Windows Explorer will not be able to complete the task. This can turn out to be a real problem if you're trying to replicate the network paths of data collected from a client, or merely trying to set up a space on your own directory which is very descriptive.

As you can see in this example we have a directory which has 247 characters.


When we try to copy a file into it with 14 characters, an error message is received.

The Litigation Support Tip of the Night for October 10, 2015 discussed how to use the subst command to get around this problem.

Code Sector has developed software, TeraCopy, which makes it even easier to get around the 255 character that Windows Explorer (but not Windows 7 itself) imposes. TeraCopy can be downloaded here. After TeraCopy is installed, when you try to copy files from one directory to another in Explorer you'll be prompted to complete the task with either Explorer or TeraCopy.

TeraCopy will successfully add new files to a folder even if the total length of the directory is more than 255 characters.