Resolved: Destination Path Too Long (when Moving/Copying a File)

Have you encountered an error on your Windows PC, “Destination Path Too Long,” while trying to copy, move, create or rename a file/folder? The extract error you might see is, “The file name(s) would be too long for the destination folder. You can shorten the file name and try again, or try a location that has a shorter path.”

You may receive this error because File Explorer can not copy/delete/rename any pathname longer than 256 characters. However, there is a way to overcome this issue on Windows.

“Destination Path Too Long” error is not the limitation of the NTFS file system but the Win32 API library. In Win32 API, the MAX_PATH value is 260. Most standard applications, including built-in Windows Explorer (File Explorer), do not work correctly with long path files exceeding 256 characters. Windows understands the entire path, starting with the origin of the drive, ending with the last subfolder, and the file name itself as a file/folder name.

This gearupwindows article will guide you in fixing the “Destination Path Too Long” error. The instructions provided in this post have been tested in Windows 11 and Windows 10; however, you can follow the same directions for its predecessors Windows XP, 7, 8, Server 2003, Server 2008, and Server 2012R2/2016/2019.

The above-mentioned error not only comes when you move a file/folder, but you may also encounter this error while extracting its contents from an archive file if the file/folder name or path is too long. Luckily, there is an easy fix that you can perform using Windows Registry or Group Policy. In this post, we will talk about both; you can use any of the methods according to your convenience.

How to Fix “Destination Path Too Long” error on Windows 11/10 using Registry Editor?

Step 1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keys simultaneously from the keyboard.

Step 2. In the Run box, type the following and hit Enter from the keyboard to open the Registry Editor window:-

Step 3. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following path from the left side pane:-

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem

Step 4. On the right side of the FileSystem folder, look for the DWORD (32-bit) Value LongPathEnabled. Double-click on it to open its settings. Set Value data as 1.

Step 5. Click OK.

Step 6. Reboot your computer.

Now, try to move/copy the folder which was throwing the error. You should no more get an error message, “Destination Path Too Long.” To restore the default settings, repeat the above steps, and in step 4, change the Value data from 1 to 0.

How to Fix “Destination Path Too Long” error on Windows 11/10 using Local Group Policy Editor?

Gentle Reminder: Local Group Policy Editor is not a part of Windows 11/10 Home Edition. Either enable gpedit.msc first on your PC, or use the registry method.

Step 1. Open Local Group Policy Editor.

To do so, simultaneously press Windows + R keys from the keyboard to launch the Run command box. In the Run box that appears, type gpedit.msc and press Enter from the keyboard.

Step 2. In the Local Group Policy Editor window that opens, navigate or browse for the following path from the left side pane:-

Comuter Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Filesystem

Step 3. On the right-side pane of the Filesystem folder, double click on the policy name, “Enable Win32 long paths,” to open its settings.

The full description of this policy is, “Enabling Win32 long paths will allow manifested win32 applications and Windows Store applications to access paths beyond the normal 260 character limit per node on file systems that support it. Enabling this setting will cause the long paths to be accessible within the process.”

Step 4. Select the Enabled option.

Step 5. Click Apply.

Step 6. Click OK

Step 7. Restart your computer or laptop.

Once you complete the above steps, the restrictions of 260 characters are no more. That means while playing with files/folders; you will not see an error message, “Destination Path Too Long.”

If you want to apply the 260 characters again on your computer, repeat the above steps, and in step 5., select the Not Configured or Disabled option.

One thought on “Resolved: Destination Path Too Long (when Moving/Copying a File)

  1. Mike_Jacob says:

    nice article , and I would to say , it is easy to do in windows 10 , but it is not easy in the other windows , so “LONG PATH TOOL” or Gs Richcopy 360 are ideal for this case

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