Sometimes when you move files or folders from another system to a Windows PC, you may notice that you cannot work with those files or folders in the usual way.
While the files and folders may be transferred without incident to the system, for instance by downloading and extracting an archive on it, it may not be possible to delete, rename, move or copy these files.
The main reason for this is that the maximum path length of the Windows API, with some notable exceptions, is 260 characters.
If a path uses more characters, access to file operations will be blocked in Windows Explorer and many other programs running on the system.
Long Path Fixer is a free software for the Windows operating system that has been designed to overcome the Windows API character limit so that you can manipulate those files and folders on the system directly.
Using the program
Long Path Fixer is a portable program that you can run right after you have downloaded its archive and extracted it on your system.
It displays a basic interface that consists of a file and folder browser at the top and an action bar at the bottom.
You can drag and drop folders into the interface or browse to a select drive and folder manually from within the application.
All files and folders are displayed automatically here and you can load any of them with a double-click.
The move, copy and delete buttons at the bottom are applied to the selected file or folder on click. If you select delete, a confirmation prompt is displayed, while a target browser is displayed for both the move and copy operation.
A right-click on a file displays these options and additional options. Here you can use the unlock command, provided that you have installed the company's Lockhunter application.
The two remaining context menu entries can be used to copy the short or full path of the file or folder to the clipboard.
The program is bare bones. It is for instance not possible to select more than one file at once, which can be problematic if you want to move several files or folders to another location on the system.
The second feature that it lacks is an option to rename files or folders. Sometimes you may want to reduce the character limit of the path manually, and one of the better ways to do it is to rename long folder or file names.
Long Path Fixer lacks several features that you may require from a program of its kind but the features that it makes available make it an interesting option nevertheless, especially since it is a portable program that does not take up lots of space on the system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.