What is the use of Short Names (8.3 Name) for files/folders ? I'm aware the registry makes use of it but how & are there other uses for this shortname ?

  • Windows 7 disables them by default. – user1686 Dec 16 '14 at 9:09

Simply for compatibility of 16Bit programs which still can be run in 32Bit Windows.

  • Win 95 allowed long file names. Which means the DOS that loaded it, had to be able to use long file names as well. Win 95 and the underlying DOS are 16 bit programs. Short file names are for old programs (prior to 1995) running on the current version of Windows. – LDC3 Dec 16 '14 at 6:11
  • 64-bit Windows cannot run 16-bit applications because a processor in 64-bit long mode cannot run applications for real mode or virtual 8086 mode. As such, this answer doesn't seem to be correct. – bwDraco Dec 18 '14 at 6:43

Backwards Compatibility. It started that way and persists today. Many DOS programs will still run in a Windows command prompt because of this feature. It can be turned off.

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