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Summary :

the source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system

When you want to copy or delete a file or folder, you may encounter the error of Source Path Too Long with a message saying the source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system. MiniTool collects some solutions in this post. You can read them and then select one to help you out.

At times, when you are trying to copy or delete a file on the computer, you may receive an error message saying Source Path Too Long with the explanation of the source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system.

Source Path Too Long

This error appears mainly because one or more files that are kept in a series of subfolders that have long names, but Windows only allows 258 characters at most in the folder path subfolder. This will prevent you from moving the files or folders that are saved in this folder.

The suggestion given by this error window is that you can try moving to a location which has a shorter path name, or try renaming to shorter name(s) before attempting this operation.

Now, press the Cancel button on the error window and then try the following solutions to get rid of this issue.

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Solution 1: Delete the File/Folder by Bypassing the Recycle Bin

You know that when you delete files from your computer, these files will be first moved to the Recycle Bin and they will stay there until you delete them permanently.

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If your file deletion is stopped by the error of the source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system, you can choose to delete it by bypassing the Recycle Bin.

You can follow these steps to delete the file or folder:

  1. Click on the file or folder that is bothered by the Source Path Too Long error.
  2. Press the SHIFT and Delete buttons at the same time to permanently delete the file or folder.

Solution 2: Delete a Tree by Creating a Decoy Directory

Some users report that they solve the issue by deleting a folder tree that is bothered by the error of the source file names are larger than is supported by the file system.

You need to create a decoy folder located in the same directory as the folder that can’t be deleted. Users can temporarily move the items of that folder to the decoy folder and then delete the entire directory tree that is bothered by this Source Path Too Long error.

You can do the job like this:

  1. Go to the root directory of the drive that contains the folder tree that can’t be deleted. For example, we want to delete a folder in Documents on C drive, the root directory should be C:\.
  2. Create a folder with a single letter name.
  3. Cut and paste the files and folders to that folder you have just created.
  4. Delete the folder you have created with a single letter name.
  5. Go back to the original directory and this time you can delete it without receiving the source file names are larger than is supported by the file system

Solution 3: Use Microsoft Robocopy.exe

If you are a specialized person, you can also use the Microsoft Robocopy.exe tool to get rid of the error.

You can create an empty folder and then use RoboCopy to copy this empty folder to the folder that contains the long filenames.

Here is a guide:

1. Create a new folder and name it as Empty.

2. Press Win + R to open Run.

3. Type cmd and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter at the same time to open an elevated Command Prompt.

4. Click Yes when you see the UAC (User Account Control).

5. Type the following command into the elevated Command Prompt and press Enter to copy the empty folder to the targeted folder and facilitate the latest deletion:

robocopy /MIR c:\*empty* c:\*targetedfolder*

Here, *empty* and *targetedfolder* means the actual names in your cases.

Solution 4: Using SuperDelete Command-Line

The SuperDelete command-line utility can also be used to delete the file or folder that is bothered by the Source Path Too Long error.

You can follow these steps to do the job:

1. Download SuperDelete to your computer.

2. Extract the zipped SuperDelete folder and then move the SuperDelete executable file to somewhere convenable.

3. Press Win + R to open Run.

4. Type cmd and press Enter to open Command Prompt.

5. Use the CD command to navigate to the location of SuperDelete.exe. For example, if the root directory is C, you need to type cd C:\ in Command Prompt.

6. Type the following command to continue. You need to replace *FullPathToFileorFolder* with the exact path according to your actual situation.

SuperDelete.exe *fullPathToFileOrFolder*

7. Press Y to confirm to deletion.

After trying these methods, the error of the source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system should be disappeared.

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