Deleting a folder with path that is too long

Just a quick tip I came across today after having a problem where I found a directory where some tool went nuts and kept on creating subdirectories recursively. Trying to delete this directory will give you an error – something like ‘Path is too long…’

Lets say the path is something like d:\directory1\directory1\directory1\directory1…..\directory1

Windows Explorer and even Command prompt won’t allow you to delete d:\dir1 (No not even right-click delete will work).

A simple solution is to recursively go and rename all the directories to something much shorter so the overall length is less that the maximum (260 characters).

Like this: rename d:\directory1 0  , rename d:\0\directory1 0 etc.

The end result should be like this: d:\0\0\0\0… \0

Now you can simply delete it in Windows Explorer without any ‘Path Too long’ errors.

  1. 1) veeeeery long path
    cmd>RmDir /S /Q “D:\directory1”

    2) reserver word in folder/file name {com1,lpt1,con…}
    cmd>RmDir /S /Q “\\.\D:\directory1\lpt1”
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/120716

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