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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.

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    Steve LeighSteve Leigh shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    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

    306 comments

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      • William BosackerWilliam Bosacker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Diogo, this site is out dated and stale. FYI, Microsoft has already fixed this issue in .NET Core, which released yesterday, and it should be fully supported by all products within a year. It took them less than 2 days to fix the issue, and your argument is a little silly, 36^255? REALLY?

      • Diogo PaimDiogo Paim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm with MS with this decision, threre're many other important things to do, and, let's just think... if you can't have more than 2^32 files in a NTFS File system, why would we need more than 36^255 possibilities of filenames?
        For the ones that are still trying to solve this, this workaround helped me:

        create a C:\p directory to keep short links to long paths
        mklink /J C:\p\foo C:\Some\Crazy\Long\Path\foo
        add C:\p\foo to your path instead of the long path

      • Brian HallBrian Hall commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm seeing a theme across MS products here...

        https://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/suggestions/6325774-enable-long-file-paths-aka-file-name-too-long-p

        Throw in the fact that there are also issues when dealing with NPM packages and you have a deep fundamental problem across pretty much the entire Microsoft product line. I predict that this problem will start to rear its ugly head more and more often across more and more products until it's actually fixed. I personally think this problem is indeed important enough to warrant the resources required to fix it. It's very disappointing to see this kind of approach to this issue.

      • dandan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        weird, I'm dealing with this now, trying to make it work on TFS Build Server.

      • PeterPeter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "Declined - Visual Studio UV Site Admin" 2013 -- Unbelievable answer!!

        Currently, one of my tfvc 2013 repositories has several files with paths so long they don't show in any repository browser I use. I only see it in the errors that prevent building as a path too long error. This is unacceptable. Apparently you haven't found a way to deal with this internally, as my issue should never have been released with the TFVC product.

        The VS product chain costs a lot of money and this issue has been around for a long time. As a release engineer I have to resolve this issue over and over again. I need improvements that make spending that money worthwhile.

      • JimJim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, well, I want to vote for this. Can you please re-open it or should we create a brand new suggestion?

      • Stijn SpijkerStijn Spijker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This needs to be fixed ASAP, as 255 characters is DOS era, and I'd like to think Microsoft has moved on since then.

      • mdgrkbmdgrkb commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It's really disappointing this issue being declined. You should at least consider providing an alternate mechanism that modern apps can invoke, and leave the old compatibility for older apps.

      • Matthew KrulutsMatthew Kruluts commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You mean to tell me that Microsoft doesn't implement best standards and have something like the maximum character limit set as a globally defined constant in your projects? Meaning, change it once and every where in the project it updates? I expected better from a company trying to enforce best practices on its users.

      • Na'anNa'an commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Ok. I've taken a deep breath. Commit the freaking resources! How hard can it be to increase the path length across a handful of products. Sigh.

      • William BosackerWilliam Bosacker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Now that .NET Core 1.0 supports path names up to 32,768 Unicode characters in length, when can we expect products to take advantage of the new frameworks?

      • Hung NguyenHung Nguyen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Stupid Limitation!
        Really frustrating!
        MS, this is really a stupid limitation of Windows in compared with Unix-based OS, you need to fix it, regardless how expensive / how difficult it is.

      • William BosackerWilliam Bosacker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        FYI, the changes to .NET Core have been completed: https://gist.github.com/cartermp/e2950be56ef3341ade56

        My best guess would be that it will take up to a year for this to propagate to all of Microsoft's products, and hopefully ALL versions of the .NET Framework. As stated in the proposal for this fix, making this change should have zero effect on existing code. Adding the code to the framework will just make everything silently "Work".

        This only affects .NET applications, it does not affect C++ applications which have had this ability since 2002.

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