According to this article Windows 10 should allow filepaths longer then 260 characters. I saved several documents with a long filepath in a previous installation (which was upgraded from Windows 7 and probably inherited some tweak to allow longer paths).

My problem is that I have the Home Edition of Windows 10 and I don't have access to group policies. I tried a few registry hacks from this and this page, but I still have to find a working solution.

How can I allow filepaths longer then 260 characters in Windows 10 Home Edition?

[ Windows 10 Home Edition V. 1511 b. 10586.420 ]

I realized the long path was in the external hard-disk form which I was trying to copy the folder, I changed it there and I moved my files. Even then, I will leave the question for anyone who may be interested.

  • It is trivial to add the executable that adds the ability to edit the group policy, have you tried that? There is an existing question here that explains how In detail.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 8, 2016 at 11:59
  • Be sure your using the correct build of Windows 10. Update question with that relevant indirmation
    – Ramhound
    Jul 8, 2016 at 12:00
  • @Ramhound By searching I only found an old question of mine solved by using a Linux LiveCD, I must be looking for the wrong keywords, could you direct me to the question or to the executable (do you mean an official executable from Microsoft or a 3rd party solution)?
    – maja
    Jul 8, 2016 at 12:12
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2 Answers 2


"Version 1511" build 10586 doesn't support Filepaths longer than 260 characters. This is a new feature of the Anniversary Update, "Version 1607". This free update will be released on August 2nd 2016. Now you can use this feature.


The problem is that apps need to use the correct API to get long paths; some APIs are limited to 260 characters and probably will always be, even if for mere compatibility. There are other options though.

First, if you have something like C:\Users\UserBadCloopLongName\...\something, you may work around by prefixing the path with \\.\, that is, \\.\C:\Users\UserBadCloopLongName\...\something. \\?\ may also work, and I'm not sure which one is more "preferable".

I thought there were POSIX APIs that would work around this much better than the above hackery (which btw also allows you to use NUL and other reserved device names on NTFS; I'm not saying it's a good idea though), however I find that they are not really there (if I'm wrong, go ahead and correct me).

  • The change the article describes is actually invisible to programs unless they check for the length of a path themselves. Its similar to how WoW64 folder redirection works.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 8, 2016 at 19:23
  • @Ramhound Either way I've seen in CMD itself that I could access files with long paths only through the tricks in the answer, as well as those specially-named ones. Jul 8, 2016 at 19:24
  • The length of the path only effects Windows Explorer. 256 character limit never applied to a command prompt. Which is the reason third-party software like say TeraCopy could handle it.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 8, 2016 at 19:28
  • In my experiences cmd was affected (perhaps on xp). @Ramhound Jul 9, 2016 at 9:56

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