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Fix 260 character file name length limitation

The 260 character limit on file paths really gets in the way of having a deeply-nested project hierarchy. It's only there as backwards compatibility with the old school APIs, and has no place in any sort of modern development environment.

We should be able to work with file paths of whatever size we want.

2,999 votes
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    Steve LeighSteve Leigh shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    declined  ·  Visual Studio UV Site AdminAdminVisual Studio UV Site Admin (Admin, Microsoft) responded  · 

    Hello everyone and thank you for the feedback and for voting on this issue. We understand that this can be a frustrating issue, however, fixing it requires a large and complicated architectural change across different products and features including Visual Studio, TFS, MSBuild and the .NET Framework. Dedicating resources to this work item would come at the expense of many other features and innovation. Additionally, if we removed this limitation from our first party tools it will still likely exist elsewhere in Visual Studio’s ecosystem of extensions and tools. For these reasons, we are declining this suggestion and returning return everyone’s votes so they can be applied to other items. In the interest of delivering the most value to our customers we sometimes have to make very difficult cuts, and this is one of them.

    Thank you,

    Will Buik,
    Visual Studio – Project and Build Team

    183 comments

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      • Simon JSimon J commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is such a frustrating limitation. Lost count of the number of hours we've lost rationalising a large number of enterprise projects and branches in an attempt to overcome this problem.

      • ReidcaReidca commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have just tested Windows Server 10 technical preview build 9481 (which is Windows version 6.4) and I am astonished and disappointed to say this limitation still exists in the operating system so there is no chance of it being fixed in Visual Studio or TFS.

        Here is hoping this is going to be resolved before the final release however this is such a low level thing you would think it would be in the preview.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Geez. Despicable. I know you're being honest, Will, but this is just disgusting. So much effort put in by Microsoft over the past decade on "innovation" that few people wanted, but we had crammed down our throats anyway. Even more effort trying to repeal that "innovation" in many cases. Meanwhile, probably just about every business of even small size and complexity (easily millions of them) has encountered this problem, and it's been there forever.

        It's not like WE have some sort of problem; we're trying to make things more organized in our company by having logical, comprehensible information arrangement. How many tens of billions of dollars have been been cumulatively wasted by companies trying to figure out workarounds to this ONE problem? How many more billions of dollars have been wasted in inefficiency working with the kludges necessary to get around this ONE problem? I'm not exaggerating these numbers; some simple conservative math can tell you have many collective hours are probably spent on this.

        ***** the "innovations." They're pushed to everything as well. Instead, start NOW on pushing out the fix to this long time problem, and then advertise that the "new character limit" will make file organization a million times easier. Yes, it's going to be a huge undertaking, but THAT'S the "innovation" we all want in the next Windows, not a bunch of changes to things that already worked or backtracking and corrections of mistakes in judgement.

      • Rafael ColucciRafael Colucci commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        That´s just sad. I think that someone should get fired. Will Buik; you should have said that customers dont matter to Microsoft since the questions has more than 3k votes. You guys keep doing things no one cares instead of fixing bugs in things that were already delivered to customers. You better say that there is no one qualified to fix this at Microsoft.

      • ProxyProxy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        And who the DUMB just declined this post...
        Well these people are the result of the HOLY TRUTH that "Microsoft can't do anything correctly"

      • ProxyProxy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Well we all understand that Microsoft cannot do anything correct !! including Visual Studio, and all
        "architectural change across different products and features including Visual Studio, TFS, MSBuild and the .NET Framework.".

      • FGranadosFGranados commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hello
        You can also use Long Path Tool to sort out this problem.

        ______________________

      • ADDADD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        coming across internet to find out we still work with 8 bits

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        PS: Have Bill Gates pay for it out of his own pocket. Hire extra help and get it resolved ASAP across the various applications and their plugins/tools.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am sorry but that's bull****. Microsoft receives horrible perceptions from various people due to the lack of true customer service. Why do you think Apple is still a huge competitor? Even though they have their issues as well, Microsoft has been on a track record for years. Hopefully this is fixed in Windows 9. But I highly doubt it.

      • ReidcaReidca commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Will Buik - This is a ridiculous answer to a problem that everyone using Windows in a professional way comes across. I am astonished that you feel this problem is not important enough to fix.

        This is 2014 and problems like this should simply not exist in a modern operating system. It reminds me of the problem with VARCHAR in SQL server - the limit of 8000 characters was a pain and using TEXT columns was not an acceptable answer. Now we have VARCHAR(MAX) and (almost) everyone is happy. You have to stop carrying the technical debt into new versions and draw a new base line at some point. That point is now.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Absolute crock of cr*p, this is typical - oh it's too hard, and we're adding stuff nobody asked for or really needs rather than fixing critical stuff in the background... *sigh*

      • William BosackerWilliam Bosacker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This issue has been around for over 12 years, so I have created an issue on Microsoft Connect to fix this BUG! If everyone would go to the URL below, login, and Click the up arrow to vote for this, Microsoft will be forced to respond. While these uservoice forums are helpful, they aren't actually tracked in Microsoft's issue system. Microsoft Connect is the public portal to their issue system. PLEASE VOTE!

        https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedbackdetail/view/932051/long-filepaths-260-characters-are-not-supported

      • Arjen van PuttenArjen van Putten commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is there anyone with a workaround for this issue? I changed my IntermediateOutputPath already to almost root..

      • MichaelMichael commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This limitation is such a pita to work around. Pretty much adding 1 or 2 folders to your VS project and you risk hitting this in TFS.

        So because it is a lot of work the feedback is declined? That is pretty poor customer service. Delivering the most value to your customer would be delivering that which is being asked for by your customer.

      • Colin BowernColin Bowern commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think you need to start chipping away at this problem. Node.js re-introduces this as well:

        http://stackoverflow.com/questions/23351294/file-path-character-limit-error-in-windows-and-node-app
        https://github.com/joyent/node/issues/6960#issuecomment-46704998

        I had to write a TFS build activity that could handle cleaning up node modules:

        https://gist.github.com/colinbowern/bde095da68f6ee47d296

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