A file copy operation fails when files or folders have long paths in Windows Explorer

Symptoms

Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a computer that is running Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
  • You use Windows Explorer to try to copy files or folders in order to paste them into some other folder.
  • The files or folders that you copy have paths that exceed the maximum allowable path length.

In this scenario, the behavior of the copy operation is unreliable and fails because of the length of the file or folder path. Additionally, you may experience one of the following symptoms:
  • The copy operation fails and generates a message that states that the path (file name) is too long. The message also suggests that you shorten the file name and try to copy again.
  • The copy operation does not start. In this case, no message is generated.
  • The copy operation starts, copies a few files or folders, and then fails without generating a message.

This problem may prevent some files or folders from being copied. You may not realize the the problem occurred if you do not receive an error message. Different symptoms may occur, depending on how the files are selected for copying.

Note This problem can also occur when you try to copy files or folders from Volume Shadow Copy Service snapshots if the file or folder length in the snapshot exceeds the maximum path length.

Cause

This problem occurs because of an issue in how Windows handles the long-path errors.

Resolution

To resolve this issue for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, andWindows Server 2012, install the update rollup.
To resolve this issue for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, install the hotfix that is described in this article.

Update information for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012

To resolve this issue, install the update rollup that is dated April 2012 or November 2014.

Hotfix information for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft Support. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, go to the following Microsoft website: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Prerequisites

To apply this hotfix, you must have Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 installed.

Restart requirement

You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any previously released hotfix.

File information

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
Additional file information

References

Learn about the terminology Microsoft uses to describe software updates.
Properties

Article ID: 2891362 - Last Review: Nov 11, 2014 - Revision: 1

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