A Summary Task name that contains a slash or backslash cannot sync with a SharePoint server


Consider the following scenario: 

  • In a Tasks list in a Microsoft SharePoint workspace, you click New and then click Summary Task.
  • Then, you type Due 6/30 in the Name field and then click Save & Close.
In this scenario, SharePoint Workspace saves the task locally. However, at some later time, the Summary Task item is marked with an error icon (Error icon ), and the Resolve (Error Tools)tab appears. When you click Resolve Conflict or Error, you receive the following error message: 

The Server did not upload this item.

This operation can only be performed on a file; "URL formed from name" is a folder.

Any name that contains a slash (/) or backslash (\) will generate this error. 

Note If you are connected to the network, and if the SharePoint server can be accessed, the Resolve (Error Tools) tab may appear almost immediately.


There are many special characters that cannot be used in the name of a folder on SharePoint. In most cases, SharePoint Workspace checks for these characters when you save the form to create a folder. However, the Summary Task is a special case. Although a Summary Task is structurally a folder on the server, SharePoint Workspace treats it as a list item and does not check that the characters in the task name are valid for a folder. When SharePoint Workspace sends the Summary Task name to the SharePoint server, the server cannot create the folder and responds with an error. You receive the error message that corresponds to that error when you click Resolve Conflict or Error.

If you use an invalid character other then the slash or backslash in the name of a Summary Task, SharePoint will return an error that explains that the name contains characters that are not permitted. However, the server interprets a slash or backslash as part of a path and not as an invalid character in the folder name. Because of this ambiguity, the error message for a slash or backslash is less clear than the error message for other invalid characters.


To resolve this issue, do not use the following characters in a Summary Task name:

  • Ampersand (&)
  • Angle brackets (< and >)
  • Asterisk (*)
  • Backslash (\)
  • Braces ({ and })
  • Colon (:)
  • Number sign (#)
  • Percent (%)
  • Pipe (|)
  • Question mark (?)
  • Quotation mark (")
  • Slash (/)
  • Tilde (~)

More Information

An invalid character other than the slash or backslash returns the following error: 

The Server did not upload this item.

The file or folder name contains characters that are not permitted. Please use a different name.

For more information about special characters in SharePoint fields, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
905231 Information about the characters that you cannot use in sites, folders, and files in SharePoint
For an example of how these restrictions can affect automated input, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 
2411811 Error message when you try to synchronize an external list with SharePoint WorkSpace 2010: "This list doesn't have items to display"

Article ID: 2712005 - Last Review: May 24, 2012 - Revision: 1