limited to 8 characters with a 3 character file extension


In the early days of Microsoft Windows, file names were limited to 8 characters with a 3 character file extension such as .DOC, a limitation inherited from the earlier MS-DOS operating system. Starting with Windows 95, however, this was increased to 256 characters, which was heralded as a major improvement at the time. But this improvement came with a catch. The 256 character limit was for the entire path name. With liberal use of folders and subfolders, it can be surprisingly easy to exceed it. What few people realise is that Windows has a “secret” internal character limit of 32000 characters that can be unlocked using the right software. Long Path Tool is that software.

The Problem

When you run up against this 256 character limit, it can lead to all sorts of problems. You could be trying to copy, delete or rename a file and receive an error message such as “The path you entered is too long”, “The file could not be accessed” or “Could not find this item”. This applies even if you are trying to rename a file using a shorter name than the one it currently possesses, because Windows is reacting to the current file name, not the new one.

The Solution

The solution to these problems is the Long Path Tool, available to download as a free trial from It comes as a Zip file, meaning that it is very small (1.5 MB) and should only take a few seconds to download over a reliable broadband connection.

The Long Path Tool can help you delete, copy and rename files with names up to 32000 characters long. But that’s not all. It can also seek out such files, so that you know where to find them on your Windows PC. It can also help you delete system locked files from anywhere on your network, even from mapped network folders. And it can act as a task killer, closing applications that use files with long path names.

The Long Path Tool is compatible with any Microsoft Windows operating system of the 32-bit or 64-bit eras, that is, from Windows 95 onwards. Its interface is very simple and intuitive to use, as it closely resembles Windows Explorer, familiar to any PC user. For a simple deletion or renaming, you simply perform the operation exactly the same way you would in Windows Explorer.

More advanced features, such as unloading the locking process or deletion after reboot may take a little while longer to master. However, the good news is that once you purchase the full version of the Long Path Tool, you can add free lifetime support. So someone will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Pricing for the full version starts at just $18. Just go to and click on “Order Now” to get started. Or click “Download Now” for your free trial. You will never be limited by path name errors again.

Download Long Path Tool — Version 5.1.6