Increase the 218 character filename length limit to open files in excel
Excel can't open files with full path lengths greater than 218 characters as documented in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/213983. This is still a problem in Office 2016. It seems crazy that Excel can't open a valid file that the filesystem allows. People have been complaining about this since Office 2000. The thread below has over 11 thousand views and there are plenty others. Please fix this. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office2013release-excel/sorry-unable-to-find/595333d0-1463-499f-967e-4da8ac2e2047
I am excited to announce that we have completed the work to enable longer file name and paths in Excel for desktop. This was a significant change that required work on multiple parts of the product beyond open and save, since the file path is used in other features like external links.
Before this change, Excel for desktop could open and save files with a full path length of up to 218 characters.
Starting a few weeks ago, all Office 365 users in the monthly channel (CC – current channel, build 12624.20466 or above) are able to open and save files up to 2034 characters. However, in practice there are lower limits imposed by the file system:
- Windows local and UNC files: 260 characters
- OneDrive/SharePoint files synced to the local drive: 260 characters
- OneDrive/SharePoint files opened directly from the cloud: 400 characters
Thanks again for your continued feedback.
David [Microsoft Excel Team]
Completed so it should work... oh...
The part that I've never quite acceepted is how Excel has to directly address, through a very full and complete addres, the file in question. Why is it Excel cannot have whatever (stupid one, not some defensible one) internal limit, but then present to the file system for fulfillment? Why must it have a full, "true" address?
Anything moving out of the current directory should be immediately presented to the file system for resolution and opening the file in memory for Excel to address directly there. So I have a 12,000 character path? I alias it as "K:" and Excel sees two characters of its internal limit used.
IUn Rap music, you don't hear a lot about "OG" anymore. 'Cause there's more generations of OG artists then current artist. Excel is OG, and O-Ver when it comes to some things. They were clearly written with no vision in the days of no networking to speak of and, if you remember, with a file system that did not "do" directories. (Yeah, really.)
Those pieces need rewritten. And if that requires a ground up rewrite of Excel, I'm good with that. So long as they use a little vision this ttime.
A point about the above Completed message. Window local and UNC files... 260 characters... how about if one has activated the 32767 character version of things? Still 260 I bet. Mendacity. "Imposed by the filesystem but still a thing even if the filesystem does NOT impose that limit" is simply a way of lying.
Hopefully, they will expand on the above and show that no, that's not so, if you activated it, you can do whatever Excel can (2,034 characters, apparently — wonder how THAT number is derived???). My apologies, sort of, then, but seriously, does anyone expect that is so?
Presumably the first SharePoint limit above reflects the first limit above, and the second SharePoint limit reflects SharePoint's own limit (which, again presumably, will be changing SOON to allow much longer paths).
You know: presumably.
Wonderful. However, this is why excel can't open my sharepoint files:
Yup, that is the "filename" that excel tries to open from a Teams or SharePoint site. 320 characters.
This is stupid. My file name including a directory structure for this file in Teams is only 131 characters. Yet, the path including the URL is well over the character limit.
However, if I select "download" from within SharePoint, and then select "Open" and use Excel as the app to open it, then it will open. WTH Mircrosoft? I can open it using download, but can't open it in the app directly?
Why can't Microsoft do things that allow for their applications to work well together. It is baffling to me why they put this limit on length and then create a URL that exceeds it, so the files can't be opened even though the options to open in the App from SharePoint and Teams is an option.
Leave it to Microsoft to ignore the obvious.
And, don't get me started on the Excel Online version. It's garbage. MS says it operates just like the app with some limitations. Yeah, those limitations make it useless. Some formulas don't work, or are not available in the Online version. I guess for the average user who really doesn't use Excel to do real work won't care, but there are many of us who go beyond keeping a shopping list that really need to do work.
Microsoft again proving it's out of touch with it's users. Still can't open excel files that exceed the character limit.
One drive lengthily name certainly didn't help.
Stephen Rutherford commented
Great to know that work started in October 2019.
I am writing this in April 2020.
What is the expected release date for the fix?
Use the Long Path Tool which will let you easily delete, copy or rename long path files. Works for me all the time!
Please Microsoft, give us an indication of progress on this... 'Started' is meaningless unless you also give an estimated availability. If it is on the Office 365 roadmap, it would be great to know where it is along the route. This is a big issue thanks to the ridiculously verbose path lengths created by sharepoint / Onedrive. The low Excel character limit just puts a spotlight on it. Please fix it SOON.
Has there been progress on this in the last 6 months? This is still a problem for me.
This creates issues when migrating to sharepoint online/Onedrive.
Please fix this issue.
Is there any new information on this?
I'm on 2003 same build fresh install today; but saving a new file to a url with only 211 chars in total (https://xyz.sharepoin.com/sites/..../file.xlsx) gives the dreadful warning. Uploading it via the browser and then opening it in Excel desktop works however..
Just for clarity. By 'working' what do you mean? SharePoint Online supports up to 400 characters and I would expect (my customers require) that Office 365 Applications like Excel should support the same.
Ahh... "working machines"... gotcha.
Mine, and I guess I, are just diletantes and MS apparently recognizes this and lets us in on the updates late in the month. 'Til then we just get 2002, but not the special advanced version you had earlier when you WERE the same guy.
FOAD with your "what working machines are currently running" insult... just to clarify.
@Roy - just to clarify I'm not the same poster as the previous Anonymous guy, hence the difference in 2002 vs 2003. I'm just letting you guys know that it does seem to work for me ;) Hopefully it gets to you soon
Version 2003 (Build 12624.20224) = what working machines are currently running
260 and under works for me on 2003 as well, just like it did on 2002. I tested at 245 and it works, tested at 300 and got the error that the path length exceeds 260.
Well, we'll see.
Until then, you're the only person in the world that says so, including MS.
And earlier, it didn't take 2003, it worked for you with 2002. Hmm.
I can confirm that this issue is no occurring for myself on version 2003 - it does seem to have been remediated (we hope!)
I’ve compared both updated and non-updated machines.
Any 2003 updated machines are able to open files successfully, while previous versions still present the 218 character limit error
Target Resolution Date...
Target Resolution Date found:
"Until the Twelfth of Never and that's a long, long time..."
(with apologies to Johnny Mathis for associating him with MS)
Daniel Hilby commented
Please provide an update on the progress. Do you have a target resolution date? Thanks!
If you want to switch to monthly channel easily, try changing the following registry key (no need to reinstall office). This worked perfectly fine for our organization.