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By: Liviu       
Date: May 25,2020 at 21:13
In Response to: File as a ZEP (Tim Mongeon)

> I have no doubt about what you say in terms of some older 32 bit programs,
> but I have not experienced this under 64 bit OS.

I don't run Win10 with long path names enabled by default, but last I checked it in a virtual machine, Explorer still had various problems with paths longer than 260 characters. A quick search for `windows 10 "explorer" "longPathAware"` brings up many recent results that seem to confirm that the problems still exist. One thing I checked first hand on my Win10.1909 machine is that Explorer.exe has neither an embedded manifest nor a separate .manifest file declaring it to be "longPathAware". This means that, even if you have long paths enabled at the OS level, Windows does not recognize Explorer as supporting paths longer than 260 characters, and therefore falls back to the pre-Win10.1607 behavior.

This does not necessarily mean that Explorer fails on *all* paths longer than 260 characters. What it means, however, is that as far as Explorer is concerned nothing changed since the Win10.1607 update. Whatever support Explorer may have had for long paths before, that still exists now, but it does not support or take advantage of the extended limits available at the OS level since Win10.1607.

> If it were true that turning it on did something permanent, Microsoft would have
> removed the option, but if anything, it has had stronger support. They moved the
> option from it's original setting in Group Policy but that's about it.

IMHO it is more telling what they did *not* do. The manifest requirement is still in place for an app to be eligible to take advantage of the extended path limits. Otherwise, unleashing >260 char paths onto unsuspecting and unprepared apps would have wreaked complete havoc. While necessary, this also means that each individual app will need to be updated and marked "longPathAware" before they can take advantage of the extended limits. Just because it's turned on at the OS level doesn't mean it's available to everything that's running.

Cheers,
Liviu

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