I got a "path too long" error message while trying to unzip my file

Getting an error message "Error 0x80010135 path too long" while unzipping a file can be very frustrating! Here's some info on why that could be happening and how to fix it.

Usually this error is caused when Windows Explorer is used to extract files and it encounters a file path that exceeds the maximum character limit. This built-in archive utility app has limitations unfortunately, and when a path is too long and the character count exceed the limit, it can't extract the file. What does that actually mean? If you have the zip file stored on your hard drive or network that's stored inside many sub folders, all those folder names plus the zip file name is adding to the path length which is probably exceeding the character limit.

Here are a few things you can try to resolve the problem:

  • Temporarily move the zip files out of the subfolders to a main "root" folder to avoid a long path - you can usually see the path of the zip file and which folder and subfolder/s it's stored in at the top of the window, if you have many "folder name > folder name > " before the zip file name, chances are your path is too long.
  • Use a different decompression utility such as 7-Zip, or any other utility can handle long file paths.
  • Rename the zip file to a much shorter name like PC1, PC2 etc. - this may not work if the zip file is still inside all the subfolders, but worth a try.
  • If the zip file is in on a Network try moving it onto your Computer hard drive but make sure it's just on the Drive as a the "root" folder and not sitting in many sub folders.

The above suggestions should do the trick. If you continue to have unzipping issue I highly recommend investing in a better decompression utility app such as 7-Zip (free) or WinRAR.

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