How to Delete a Long File Name in Windows

by Matthew Burley

Windows users have long been familiar with the ability to create a name for a file or folder and then rename the file or folder at any point if they so desire. This naming flexibility offers a simple way to ensure that a particular file can easily be found with the search function or amidst a folder containing many similar files. The importance of a file naming system varies depending upon the amount and complexity of files a person deals with, but complex file systems can necessitate long file names. The Windows "Rename" box is small, which can make deleting a long file name difficult. Fortunately the process can be simplified.

Navigate to the location on your computer where the file whose name you wish to delete is stored. If you are unsure of the location, consider searching for the file with the search function found by clicking "Start" at the lower-left corner of the screen.

Right-click on the file and choose "Rename."

Click inside the file name box and press "Ctrl" and "A" on your keyboard to select the entire file name.

Press "Backspace" on your keyboard to delete the file name and then type a new name for your file.


  • check Windows does not allow special characters in file names and spaces in file names can be problematic if a file needs to be uploaded to a Web server. Consider using the underscore ("_") to represent spaces between words in long file names.

About the Author

Matthew Burley has been a writer of online content since 2005. You can view many of his articles on Burley holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Arizona State and a Master of Science in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.