Error Message When You Use Run Command to Start a Program with a Long File Name

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Article ID: 281675 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q281675
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If you click Start, and then click Run to start a program that has a very long file name, you may receive the following error message:
Windows cannot find 'Path to file'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.


This behavior can occur if the total path to the file exceeds 255 characters. However, the run command only allows for 255 characters for the path to the file (entire directory structure to file) including the file name. The same issue will occur for a shortcut; the entire path cannot exceed 255 characters.


Move the file to a different location with a shorter path, or rename the file with a shorter name.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.


Article ID: 281675 - Last Review: January 25, 2006 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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