I have downloaded this pdf file with a very long name, which cannot be opened by Adobe Reader or by Adobe Professional because it has "invalid file name".

It cannot be renamed using the DOS prompt but it has "too long name or extension". I tried to delete so that my recovery program can rename then restore it, it but it won't be deleted as a file.

The only way to delete it is by deleting the folder where it was downloaded into (which I did, but restored it later). It can't also be printed or moved or copied to another folder. Is there a way to open or rename these kinds of files?

I tried to rename it by right clicking the title but what appears is a shortened version of the options with no rename function. I then discovered that it has a password protection, which is not provided by the website from which I downloaded it.

  • Edited the question. The fact that it's a protected PDF is irrelevant to your question, but I can understand you thinking it has something to do with the issue.
    – Jan Doggen
    Aug 29, 2013 at 9:09
  • 2
    This is not a duplicate because it asks how to rename the file rather than delete it. The answers in the linked 'duplicate' question address how to delete the file without retaining it.
    – Tim MB
    Apr 23, 2019 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


To rename a file with long file name you can try to rename it by using the short (8+3) windows name.

  • open command prompt and find the directory with the file
  • type dir /X
  • this command will show the short 8+3 names followed by long names
  • find the file you want to rename and use command

    rename "shortname" "newname"

  • "shortname" is 8+3 name and "newname" is name you want to rename to

Example: if you have a file named "verylongfilename.txt", it should have short name "verylo~1.txt" so you would use command

rename verylo~1.txt newname.txt

and should end up with file "newname.txt".

  • you're awesome man, clean and genious answer Oct 2, 2014 at 18:38
  • 4
    This doesn't seem to work in win10. Any ideas? Apr 17, 2017 at 3:22
  • 3
    Hi! This did not work for me. But the solution in this YouTube video solved it: youtube.com/watch?v=qQTyTprFAOg Jul 28, 2017 at 11:50
  • 3
    In case the YouTube video disappears: It says to navigate to the directory in WinRAR. There you can rename too long filenames by selecting the file and pressing F2.
    – root
    Jul 16, 2019 at 21:19
  • 1
    That was a great idea. I used 7-Zip to pack, renamed the long filenames inside the archive, and unpacked it again. Thanks!
    – dakab
    Mar 9, 2021 at 15:10

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