File name of 255 characters and path up to 32,727 symbols are supported by Automation Workshop

There are certain limits of file name and path lengths in the Microsoft Windows. These limits are very high for most practical purposes, thus not encountered very often, and because of that, are somewhat vaguely understood. In this discussion I am mainly going to refer to NTFS file system as the currently most advanced file system supported by Windows (some parts or this article may also be true for FAT32 or exFAT); and Unicode as UTF-16 or in some places may be UCS-2 (only 65,535 chars). One well known limit is that filename cannot be longer than 255 Unicode symbols. Another popular limit is 260 Unicode characters – maximum whole path length under Windows.

By putting these two constants together you can model various examples of path limits, for example, you can create the following paths:

  • C:\1\2\3\4\5\6\7\8\9\0\a\… [about 16,383 similar folders] …\your-file.txt
  • C:\[Folder name consisting of 255 chars]\[Another long folder]\some-file.txt
  • C:\Text\From\Average\Wikipedia\Article\As\File\Path\Easily\Fits\Here\…
  • \\Server\Share\Very\Long\Path\Is\Supported\For\UNC Paths\…

So how many is these 65,535 symbols/characters? As you can see in the above examples, the whole Wikipedia article (average English) fits into path name, even when every word is separated with backslash character (\). And actually you need to separate words in the path with backslash, because of each file / folder name has a limit of 255 characters.

If you try to create such file, folder or path in the Windows Explorer, you won’t succeeded. Windows Explorer won’t let you do that, and it may not show any error, it simply may limit how many symbols you can enter. But this part depends on the Windows version. For example, Windows 8.1 Pro sometimes show an error:

The file name(s) would be too long for the destination folder. You can shorten the file name and try again, or try a location that has a shorter path.
The file name(s) would be too long for the destination folder. You can shorten…
Different error, if using Windows 7 Ultimate - Destination Path Too Long
Different error, if using Windows 7 Ultimate – Destination Path Too Long

Even latest Microsoft OSes – Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 cannot display / manage these folders correctly. It won’t allow you to click on the last folder that is visible, and it does not show path longer than ~512 chars. It simply does not show up, but it is there. Also, it does not refresh the folder content, so it shows the last “state”. In our case it is the same folder that we are inside. See the screenshot below:

Windows Explorer can not handle long path
Windows Explorer can not handle long path

Also, Windows Explorer does not allow you to delete such folder. It shows the following error on Windows 8.1 Pro:

Source path too long - The source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system. Try moving to a location which has a shorter path name, or try renaming to shorter name(s) before attempting this operation.
Source path too long

Also, it says “The source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system…”, which is a bit misleading. It is not supported by Windows Shell, not the file system. But perhaps that message is meant for novice users, not administrators and PC experts.

Windows Shell is not the only sub-system that can’t handle such paths. For example, CMD.exe, also can not:

cmd.exe - The filename or extension is too long
cmd.exe – The filename or extension is too long

Even newest PowerShell gives up:

PowerShell The fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters, and the directory name must be less than 248 characters
PowerShell The fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters, and the directory name must be less than 248 characters

There are plenty of situations where 260 characters is not enough. For example, HTTP request has limits from 2,083 to 8,192 characters, and you want to use file system directory structure for your web application. Or perhaps your a backup application is configured to backup all user files to location “C:\Username\2014-Aug-27\Some-other-folder\” and what happens when user have already created path with a maximum of 260 characters? A Backup program should never fail, and so we must be able to overcome this limit.

What about Automation Workshop?

All file / folder actions and triggers, and many other actions and services of Automation Workshop support very long file and path names. Even more, the free edition also supports this all right out of the box. There are some limitations here and there. For example, it may be cumbersome to enter very long path in the standard input fields. However, there are very handy means to overcome this. The Variable Wizard’s “Read from file” is one of them:

Read from file - Variable Wizard
Read from file – Variable Wizard


  • Filename length of 255 characters is not hard-coded. Windows API GetVolumeInformation can return greater values in future, however I have never seen lpMaximumComponentLength to be more than 255.
  • Another program that supports very long paths is newer versions of Far Manager (open source application). I believe, that most file managers are not limited as Windows Explorer, but I have not tried them.
  • Microsoft article about File naming, Paths, including 8.3 filenames, reserved characters, Namespaces. Read here.
  • Another article from Microsoft – Windows Fundamentals. Particularly section 1.3 Support Long File Names and UNC paths.

Freeware edition of the Automation Workshop is available


Today (Aug 13, 2014) we are proud to announce the release of free edition of our flagship software product – Automation Workshop. We believe that our step will attract much more attention, and to not confuse commercial and freeware communities, we have created dedicated website for it. is a new official home for Automation Workshop Free Edition.

When you visit, the first thing you notice is the counter, besides that it is very beautiful site with very pleasant typography. The counter does not show zero as you have expected for the software that has just been released. It shows a little more than 300,000 downloads.


The count comes from all Automation Workshop downloads, not just these of Freeware kind. We celebrated 100,000 downloads a little more than two years ago. Also, the version number is not v1.0, but the same as for commercial version – v2.1.0. File is signed with cryptographic certificate and some popular cryptographic hash check-sums are provided. The official download page is here.

For more screenshots, visit the screenshot section.

Automation Workshop Free Edition works on all Microsoft Windows versions including Windows 7, Vista, Windows 8 and 8.1, and Servers 2003, 2008, 2012.

What’s next? Get involved! Here are some ideas on how you can help us to spread the word about this awesome piece of software.

Automation Workshop v2.0 released

Automation Workshop v2

After more than a year of development we are proud to announce release of a new major Automation Workshop version — v2.0.0. This release introduces two new action categories — Compare and Flow. From now on it is easier than ever to create tasks, that have easy to use comparison logic included right into the task without writing a single line of code. You can use comparison actions to check for file / folder existence with various options, such as, folder is empty, file is accessible, and much more. Also, you can use generic IF, that supports various data types out of the box, for example, strings (text starts with, text ends with, text contains, etc.), numbers (equal, grater than, less than, etc.), and even PCRE compatible Regular Expressions for advanced users.

IF file action
IF file action
IF folder action
IF folder action

Read more about conditional branching: action flow explained.

If you are one of Automation Workshop users that has many tasks in multiple folders, then you can take advantage of Task Finder — a new tool that allows you to quickly find task by name, trigger/action count, and more.

Version 2.0 is fully compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, and also introduces a numerous bug-fixes and improvements.

Use links below to check out new features, and download the latest version!

Febootimail v5.1 released, and refreshed website


New version of Command line email is available for download. We have added support for Message-ID, and for backward compatibility -NOID command.

Official download location: 32-bit / 64-bit
Learn: Online help & commands
More information: Command line email

Also, we’ve refreshed our website, it now has a new look. Some old pages removed, some old but useful pages moved to Legacy section.

Version 3.5 of the Febooti Hash & CRC is available


Febooti Hash & CRC v3.5 is available for download now. Febooti fileTweak Hash & CRC is freeware cryptographic hash value calculator that allows computing MD5, SHA-1, CRC32 and other popular hash checksums of files.

Hash & CRC now features Hash checksum highlighting both from Clipboard and from hash files. As always you can download Hash & CRC for free, and don’t forget to read What’s new in Hash & CRC.

Enjoy gallery of the screenshots below.

Febooti Command line email v5.0 is available


Febooti Command line email v5.0 is available for download now. We have made some new command line parameters and many improvements, including ability to use separate log file for email sending success/failure, added support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, updated OpenSSL and many more. See release history for more details.

Download latest version: 32-bit / 64-bit
More information: Command line email