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I am unable to zip a folder if the folder is too deep in subfolders. My company uses Dropbox, so we have a lot of folders in folders. For example, a path to a folder might look like this:

C:\Users\Computer Username\Company Dropbox\Company Folder\Folder 2023\Event Name 2023\Event Name 2023 Branding\Print

I want to zip the folder "Print". When I try, nothing happens. If I move the folder to Downloads, then I can zip the folder and move the zipfile to the folder I want it in.

Question

Can I change a setting that lets me zip the folder even when it's many sub folders deep?

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    @ChanganAuto no, windows can natively do this in multiple ways. Third-party software is not necessary.
    – LPChip
    Oct 5, 2023 at 15:48
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    The question is tagged 7-zip, but 7-zip has supported long paths since well before version 15 (from the year 2015), and you should be using a much more recent version than that. Oct 7, 2023 at 14:17
  • Why would it be difficult to first Copy '… \Print' to anywhere more susceptible? Oct 8, 2023 at 19:00

2 Answers 2

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If this is something you will be doing frequently, it may be worth your while to create another drive, using SUBST. Open up a command prompt (I'm not sure offhand, you might need to be elevated to do this "As Administrator" to deal with "User Account Control" restrictions) and try running something like:

SUBST N: "C:\Users\Computer Username\Company Dropbox\Company Folder\Folder 2023"

Now your

C:\Users\Computer Username\Company Dropbox\Company Folder\Folder 2023\Event Name 2023\Event Name 2023 Branding\Print

can also be accessed as:

N:\Event Name 2023\Event Name 2023 Branding\Print

(I picked N: to represent the word "Now", thinking you may update that with every year. Since the question was asked in 2023, I'm considering the references to 2023 as being intended as a reference to the current year. You can pick a different drive letter as long as it isn't used.)

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    subst does not need admin to work. This also means that you can navigate with explorer to the folder you want to substitude, and in the addressbar simply type subst n: . and a new driveletter N: appears that links to that folder.
    – LPChip
    Oct 5, 2023 at 15:47
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    Wow! I remember the SUBST command from decades ago; I forgot how handy it could be for a variety of situations, like this. Oct 5, 2023 at 16:32
  • Can this be done on a virtual drive? Or do I need to make a new drive? This tutorial seemed similar to what you're talking about Create Permanent Virtual Drives with SUBST on Windows 11
    – AndrewH
    Oct 5, 2023 at 16:50
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    @AndrewH: To answer your equestions: You can define a "drive" multiple ways (e.g., a "drive letter" may be a drive, or a physical object, or a filesystem, or a virtual device...) In the sense that you create a drive letter, I would say SUBST makes a new drive. In general, I am not aware of a specific restriction regarding a virtual drive, but virtual drives do sometimes impose restrictions, so it may depend on how the virtual drive (which you are referring to/thinking about) is implemented. That tutorial uses SUBST in a way like my answer does. (Looks sensible/safe to do.)
    – TOOGAM
    Oct 5, 2023 at 23:55
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Dropbox does warn that:

Even if you don’t get an error message when you name a file on your operating system, if you don’t follow the guidelines below, it could cause a problem when you try to open or sync the file on another operating system.

File and folder name recommendations

- Use less than 260 characters in file or folder paths.

https://help.dropbox.com/organize/file-names


You can try enabling longer folder paths in the windows registry (disabled by default):

  • Open Regedit
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  • Open the LongPathsEnabled value, and change its data from 0 to 1
  • Restart your PC

It can also depend on how exactly you're zipping those folders. 7-Zip does support long folder paths even without the registry change (especially using the graphical interface). However, many other programs (possibly dropbox?) can struggle with file paths longer than 260 characters.

Other suggestions:

  • In the 7-Zip interface, make sure to the Path mode is set to Relative pathnames
  • Use a shorter path for the destination .zip file
  • Use extended-length paths using the \\? prefix like \\?\C:\long\path\to\folder\
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