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Windows 7: Cannot remove folder - filename or extension too long


27 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Cannot remove folder - filename or extension too long

This happened on a Windows XP SP3 32-bit computer. I am trying to delete the backup files created by the Memeo program that comes with Seagate GoFlex Home NAS. I selected the root folder of the backup files and pressed delete, which started the deletion process of some 30 GB sized backup. After the deletion went for a while, the error message popped up saying "Cannot remove folder <folder_name> - the filename or extension is too long". I checked in Windows Explorer and saw that all the files are gone except just a few which are some 20 folders deep, and have filenames that are around 60 characters long.

After looking around on help sites, I am guessing that this happened because Windows can't handle file paths that long. So, how can I delete those files and folders? Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2013   #2

 

I'm not sure about this, but I think this is fixed by renaming all of them. In the folder where the files are located, press Ctrl+A and then press F2. Type a short name and press Enter. After this, try to delete them again. If this doesn't work, then we will find a way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

You can also drill down in the folder hierarchy a bit to shorten the path name and delete from there down, then move up in the hierarchy deleting as you go. A lot slower but it should work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2013   #4

 

He only has a few to delete. They just happen to be about 20 folders deep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2013   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

Your solution should work.

Curious to know if he originally named the folder or if windows did, which would make no sense as windows is now saying it`s too long.

I did not think windows would even let you name a folder or file if the name was too long.

I see it was created by the Memeo program, but still odd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 

I have had this happen a couple of time.

I think that I may have renamed an existing folder (i.e. given it a longer name), which meant that the path to files, deeper down the tree, became too long.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I first tried renaming the long filenames at the bottom of the 20 deep folder tree, but there was no response. Then I went up the folder tree looking for a long folder name, and tried renaming the longest name. That folder was just four deep, and I could rename it. Then I went back down to the files at the bottom and I could delete them. After that I could delete the root folder and that cleaned up the whole thing. Thanks for the tips.

BTW, the LongPathTool trial version simply identifies the long file paths, and you got to buy it for it to make it work. I didn't think it was worth for this just one rare occasion I ran into.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 

Good to hear that your problem is fixed.

If you are sure your problem is fixed, you should mark this thread as "Solved".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2013   #9

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

Thanks for the info on LongPathTool. As I said, I've never used it and will not recommend it any more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cannot remove folder - filename or extension too long




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