I have a big zip file (approximately 650 MB) that I want to unzip. I already shortened the name of the zip file to just 1 letter and stored it directly on the C: folder. So I can´t shorten the path anymore. However I get thousands of error saying that the path is longer than 260 letters. What can I do?

Is this a limitation of Windows? I.e. can I unzip it with MacOS?

  • Open it with whatever tool you use to extract (winzip, 7zip) and check the contents. It may, for whatever reason, have stupidly long directory structures.
    – Rob
    Oct 12, 2011 at 19:22
  • 1
    Yes it has long content ;) But i need this structure. Oct 12, 2011 at 19:25
  • If the extracted structure is longer than 260 characters, there isn't much you can do.
    – Rob
    Oct 12, 2011 at 19:26
  • Hmm it is the Jazz Team Server source code. There must be a way to use this? Oct 12, 2011 at 19:27

4 Answers 4


Alternatively, try using 7zip to pack (and unpack) your path-length sensitive files. I've used it to transport several IDE installations (those Eclipse plugin paths, yikes!) and piles of autogenerated documentation and haven't had a single problem so far.

Not really sure how it evades the 260 char limitation set by Windows (from a technical PoV), but hey, it works!

More details on their SourceForge page here:

"NTFS can actually support pathnames up to 32,000 characters in length."

7-zip also support such long names.

But it's disabled in SFX code. Some users don't like long paths, since they don't understand how to work with them. That is why I have disabled it in SFX code.

and release notes:

9.32 alpha 2013-12-01

  • Improved support for file pathnames longer than 260 characters.

4.44 beta 2007-01-20

  • 7-Zip now supports file pathnames longer than 260 characters.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For this to work properly, you'll need to specify the destination path in the 7zip "Extract" dialog directly, rather than dragging & dropping the files into the intended folder. Otherwise the "Temp" folder will be used as an interim cache and you'll bounce into the same 260 char limitation once Windows Explorer starts moving the files to their "final resting place". See the replies to this question for more information.

  • 1
    Thank you very much. The problem I have been facing is that I drag directly from 7zip to the target folder, and then through the temp folder, which causes the length to exceed the limit! ! !
    – Lancer.Yan
    Feb 4 at 13:37
  1. Create a copy of the archive.
  2. Browse the archive until you have located the subfolder which contains the items which are causing problems. Delete that set of files/folders from the archive.
  3. Extract the archive using the method you have started to use, putting it in your C: folder.
  4. Open the other copy of the archive and extract the subfolder which has the items which are causing problems, extracting it into C:.
  • But what if I have to maintain the structure? Oct 12, 2011 at 19:46
  • Move the files to their proper location afterwards. If that doesn't work then the folder structure will not work on Windows 7 at all and you are going to be unable to use it. Oct 12, 2011 at 19:53
  • You could also find an OS with a filesystem that supports longer paths and extract it there. Oct 12, 2011 at 19:54
  • Thanks. Do you know if Lion (OSX) supports that? Oct 12, 2011 at 19:55
  • Most linux filesystems support a max path length of at least 4096 characters so you could try that. Oct 12, 2011 at 19:56

Use 7zip. It is also WAAAAY faster. Extracting magento 1 took about 15 minutes with windows and about 30-45 seconds with 7zip and no errors were thrown.


Change value from 0 to 1 for LongPathsEnabled under Computer > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > FileSystem.

and try again

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .