Yesterday when extracting a ZIP file created with WinRAR I received dozens of errors during the process. The file I was extracting was generated from the entire Documents and Settings folder on a Windows XP computer and I was extracting it to the Desktop of another user on another computer. The issue is the fact that the path and/or filename exceeded the 260 characters which is set by WinRAR. Below I show some output from the errors received as well as two tips that should help resolve the problem.

WinRAR ZIP File Extraction Error Logs:

!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Tmage;kw=body%20image%20issues;!c=sex-love-life;!c=2008;!c=09;!c=10-things-hes-thinking-when-youre-naked;!c=list;sz=120x60;dcopt=ist;tile=2;ord=1561529965128864[1].5
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Tmage;kw=body%20image%20issues;!c=sex-love-life;!c=2008;!c=09;!c=10-things-hes-thinking-when-youre-naked;!c=list;sz=728x90;dcopt=ist;tile=1;ord=1561529965128864[1].5
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Tn;chan=love;sect=lnsunderstandmen;sub=whathethinks;pageid=83pt4j0s;cont=12;tandomad=none;sz=970x66,728x90;pos=1;tile=1;dcopt=ist;pm=1;qsg=D;uvi=0;pc=0;ord=550602[1]
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Tove;sect=lnsunderstandmen;sub=whathethinks;pageid=83pt4j0s;cont=12;tandomad=none;sz=120x600,160x600,300x600,300x250;pos=5;tile=5;pm=1;qsg=D;uvi=0;pc=0;ord=555802[1]
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Trstandmen;chan=love;sect=lnsunderstandmen;sub=whathethinks;pageid=83pt4j0s;cont=12;tandomad=none;sz=468x60,728x90;pos=11;tile=11;pm=1;qsg=D;uvi=0;pc=0;ord=550602[1]
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Trstandmen;chan=love;sect=lnsunderstandmen;sub=whathethinks;pageid=8k0fpvx7;cont=12;tandomad=none;sz=468x60,728x90;pos=11;tile=11;pm=1;qsg=D;uvi=0;pc=0;ord=333702[1]
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Ttive%20body%20image;kw=body%20image%20issues;!c=sex-love-life;!c=2008;!c=09;!c=10-things-hes-thinking-when-youre-naked;!c=list;sz=4x1;tile=3;ord=2333175297282204[1]
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Tve%20body%20image;kw=body%20image%20issues;!c=sex-love-life;!c=2008;!c=09;!c=10-things-hes-thinking-when-youre-naked;!c=list;sz=4x1;tile=3;ord=3924917962762420[1].5
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5HQ7Q8J5Tve%20body%20image;kw=body%20image%20issues;!c=sex-love-life;!c=2008;!c=09;!c=10-things-hes-thinking-when-youre-naked;!c=list;sz=4x1;tile=3;ord=4045017525028294[1].5
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5IA3OYESB\0s0FWnlY98EmUp_WyMSsYSubryOOdoMVYNCQBVXBTvG7OgzvV5NKpY-uDPRYr2PWo3YT21ajxaPlmSQXz4BeN8VtMTe9v0Sp0uzVn2T9B7pX9GU5uBtsdRhynTuX_j2uoaI91sW0POWSNt59OK5QEDlGKqkNk[1].gif
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5IA3OYESB;sz=300x250;klg=en;kt=K;kw64=bGEgbG9iYSBzaGFraXJhIGVuIGVzcGHDsW9s;kga=-1;kr=F;kgg=-1;kcr=us;dc_dedup=1;kmyd=ad_creative_1;tile=1;dcopt=ist;ord=4215402616522453[1].5
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.
!   C:Documents and SettingsShopDesktopsierra.zip: Cannot create MarcusLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5JDN6BX8Hsize=728x90;noperf=1;alias=93301008;kvpg=tvlistings[1].aol%2Flistings%2Fky%2Flouisville%2Finsight;kvmn=93301008;target=_blank;aduho=240;grp=155673390;misc=155673390
    Total path and file name length must not exceed 260 characters
!   The system cannot find the path specified.

As you can see above the files and folders being extracted were deep into one of the users Temporary Internet folders which would explain the extra long paths and the winrar error. Use the tips below to shorten the path that files and folders are being extracted to and this should resolve any errors during the uncompress process.

Tip Number One: Rename WinRAR File

In this example I was extracting a file named sierra.zip which then generates a folder for the files to be extracted to called sierra/. Sometimes the file name will be longer thus adding more characters to the extraction path. You should first rename the ZIP or RAR file to something shorter such as a.rar or a.zip. So in my example it only saves us 5 characters from the length of the path but depending on the name of the file this could save many more characters from the length of the path.

Tip Number Two: Extract To Root Directory

Also in this example I was extracting to a users desktop on a totally different computer but because I was doing this it adds “C:\Documents and Settings\User\Desktop” to the path. Instead if you extract to the root of the C directory this will save a bunch more characters. In this example we save 33 more characters in length.

After using both of the tips above I was able to extract the ZIP file without issue.

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63 Responses to “WinRAR Extract Error: Total Path And File Name Length Must Not Exceed 260 Characters”
  1. CG Diksha says:

    you are using Desktop for extract. (C:/Documents and Settings/Shop/Desktop/sierra.zip)

    use only drive name to extract. (C:/ierra.zip)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello CG Diksha,

    Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. The article is about exactly what you say in your comment….

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    Lucas Reply:

    You can also have winrar make a self-extractor (.exe) file that will make it work.

    [Reply]

  2. rio says:

    THANKS A LOTSSSSS!!!!
    you really saved my day..
    it works PERFECTLY..
    thank you thank you.. (^_^)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello rio,

    No problem at all. Thanks so much for taking the time to post feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  3. tran says:

    Extracting to the root is the best way to do it. Less hassle, then just move the extracted files back to where you want. Thank for the wonderful tip.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello tran,

    No problem at all. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  4. Sean V says:

    Thanx Alex for the advice on renaming the RAR file to a shorter name, solved my problem, now I know, thanx….

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Sean,

    No problem. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  5. mihaiarte says:

    try with 7 zip. It work perfect!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello mihaiarte,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  6. boyo says:

    Thanks mate, this saved me going mad…… :-)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello boyo,

    No problem at all. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  7. david says:

    okay, i got this error too, and i knew how to fix it by the time i even saw the error message. but that isn’t my issue, when i broke the operation because of the error, the folder i was trying to extract wasn’t there, but the space was still taken up from my hdd.

    any way i could get that space back? i kinda need it.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello David,

    What specific operating system? Have you rebooted? … sounds like WinRaR still has the file open.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  8. Dark says:

    My friend, this is good advice. Nevertheless, I still have issues. When I decompress the file into C: root drive everything is Ok but when I try to move the extracted file to another location it says that “certain files could not be dleted nor moved because the name is too long” any ideas? Cheers

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Dark,

    You are running into the exact same issue. You will either need to reduce the number of directories in the extracted files, shorten the names of the directories, or some combination of both.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  9. Amal says:

    Thanks for Posting………..
    Save my time…………..

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Amal,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  10. Yumi says:

    Thanks ^_^

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Yumi,

    No problem. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  11. nahrafqifahs says:

    Thanks man… u save my day!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello nahrafqifahs,

    No problem. Glad we could help save the day!

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  12. dizzo says:

    thanks a lot, people like u make the internet awesome

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello dizzo,

    No problem at all. Thanks for leaving feedback!~

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  13. yce says:

    thanx alot !

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello yce,

    No problem. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  14. bo0x says:

    thanks a lot, awesome tip number 2. You save my day too, thanks again

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello bo0x,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  15. scarface says:

    it works properly,

    thank you very much,

    have a nice day.. :-)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello scarface,

    Great to hear. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  16. David says:

    Thanks tip 2 great

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello David,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  17. NIkola says:

    Thanks man It works :)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello NIkola,

    No problem. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  18. Thanks says:

    Thanks a ton for the solution. No doubt its a very simple tip but it helped me a lot & saved lots of time.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Thanks,

    No problem at all. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  19. Ashwdeep says:

    I have an error msg while extracting files using winrar. The msg is
    “The system cannot find the file specified”

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Ashwdeep,

    That would seem to indicate that whatever file you are attempting to extract does not exist. You might try renaming the file, right click it, and extract from that menu that will appear.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  20. mm says:

    Thanks man…its work.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello mm,

    No problem. Thanks for leaving feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  21. VVen says:

    I’m in a fix: I use Windows 7, and I downloaded a .rar archive which was split into 7 parts, and I’m pretty sure it was created under the Linux OS, so within the archive itself some file path names were longer than the 260 character limit for windows. Even when I moved the part files to the root directory, some files just won’t extract. I even renamed the part files to single character names, but long folder names within the archive cannot be renamed, the rename option is greyed out in winrar. Is there a “combine part files” option within winrar to ‘unsplit’ the archive WITHOUT extracting? I’ve succeeded in combining them using 7zip, but neither winrar or 7zip would let me rename folders within the combined archive, and some files were also missing in the combined archive, most likely skipped due to long path names. Just in case it matters, the archive is also password protected, but I have the password. Any helpful advice? Like third party programs I could use to rename those folders within the archive? Or any other workaround methods. Sorry for the wall of text. Thanks in advance.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello VVen,

    You might try installing VMWare Player and launch a version of Linux to extract the file? You can get configured versions of Linux such as Backtrack Linux that come in the VMWare Player format already.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  22. Appreciated says:

    Thank you worked great for me :)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Appreciated,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  23. Verne says:

    Great tip! Thank you, using the root worked great.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Verne,

    No problem. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  24. Killer says:

    Thanks..Extract to root worked for me..

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Killer,

    Great to hear! Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  25. betterTips says:

    Well… these tips are useless since they save just a few characters. I have a better solution for ya: use total commander. It can handle long paths. WAY longer paths than 260 characters.

    cheers

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello betterTips,

    That would always be an option but for a quick work around I personally would still prefer the solution in the article. Thanks for taking the time to offer your opinion.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  26. suresh says:

    two tips not worked,it is showin same error,all songs are playing,i cannot unzipping it,how can i do this

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello suresh,

    This would mean that the length is still longer than what is allowed. You might try unpacking on a different OS if you continue to have the same issue.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  27. salll says:

    thanks the Root direcroy top helped :D

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello salll,

    Great to hear the article helped you resolve your issue. Thanks for taking the time to post feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  28. SIDDU abadboy says:

    Very useful article. after reading this, I applied and its working. thanks

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello SIDDU abadboy,

    No problem. Thanks for posting feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  29. sree says:

    hey alex thanks a lot man for your useful tips.both ur tips worked g8t 4 me…

    [Reply]

  30. tObz says:

    thanks … tip number two works … :))

    [Reply]

  31. Ethan says:

    Thanks. Tip #2 worked.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Ethan,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  32. Lucas says:

    You can also have winrar make a self-extractor (.exe) file that will make it work.

    [Reply]

  33. Eoghain says:

    Hi Alex,

    You’re clear 2 prong step-by-step instructions provided me with the quick resolution I needed.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to post those clear useful notes on this issue.

    Sound. Good luck.

    [Reply]

  34.  
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