Microsoft keeps a limit of 258 characters for the name of a ‘file or sub-folder path.’ If this limit is exceeded, you might not be delete, move, or rename the sub-folder/file. In such a situation, attempting to copy-paste or delete the file or sub-folder would give the following error:
The source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system. Try moving to a location which has a shorter path name, or try renaming to shorter name(s) before attempting this operation.
The source file name(s) are larger than is supported by the file system
This situation typically happens when you create a lot of sub-folders, and the path address becomes long. In this situation, the folder would keep occupying valuable space in the system. However, it can neither be used nor deleted.
To resolve the problem, you could proceed with the following solutions sequentially:
- Permanently delete the file/sub-folder
- Use third-party software to delete the file/sub-folder.
1] Permanently delete the file/sub-folder
You wouldn’t be able to send the troublesome file/sub-folder to the Recycle Bin since you are changing its path which is not possible. However, you can delete the file/sub-folder permanently.
Select on the main folder and press SHIFT+DEL to delete it permanently.
2] Use third-party software to delete the folder
Unlike Windows’ in-built functionality, DeleteOnClick software neither sends the file to the Recycle Bin nor does it merely sideline space on the drive for more software (which SHIFT+DEL) does. Thus, you could use the freeware to delete the file/sub-folder.
You could use other third-party free file deleter software products designed to delete locked files for resolving the issue in discussion. These freeware products are specifically meant to help when the file cannot be deleted using the usual mechanism.
Some users have also suggested that mapping a network drive to a shorter path could help to force deletion of the file/sub-folder. However, this didn’t work for me.