Windows NT Global Groups Are Limited to 20 Character Names

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Article ID: 131417 - View products that this article applies to.
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Custom applications that creates Windows NT Global Groups with names longer than 20 characters appear to work correctly. However, when you attempt to view, modify, or delete these global groups with User Manager for Domains, the following message appears:
The following error occurred accessing the properties of the group <Large Group Name>:

The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.

The group properties cannot be edited or viewed at this time.


Windows NT 3.1, 3.5, 3.51, and 4.0 do not support Windows NT global groups with names longer than 20 characters. This limit is imposed to allow for interoperability with OS/2 LAN Manager, DOS LAN Manager, IBM LAN Server, and Windows for Workgroups.


Limit the length of global group names to 20 characters (as defined by the constant LM20_GNLEN in LMCONS.H). Local groups are not limited to 20 characters so they may be used where large group names are required.

The following functions should use global group names that are no greater than LM20_GNLEN bytes in length.

There is no function to rename a global group name.

Other APIs that manipulate global groups should not be used with global groups that have names exceeding 20 characters as the results are unpredictable.


Article ID: 131417 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 3.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft LAN Manager 2.2 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbapi kbnetwork kbui KB131417

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