Long file name

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Illustration: long file names.

Sometimes abbreviated as LFN, a long file name is a computer file name that allows for a liberal number of characters. With LFN, users can give elaborate, descriptive names to their files and directories. LFN was widely introduced to consumers with the release of Microsoft Windows 95, as an upgrade to the case-insensitive 8.3 naming format of Windows 3 and MS-DOS.

Long file name restrictions

The maximum file and directory name length on Windows NTFS volumes is 256 characters. The characters are case-sensitive (uppercase and lowercase letters are differentiated). The characters ", *, :, /, \, ?, <, >, and | may not be used in NTFS names.

Non-Windows operating systems

Users running Linux, macOS and other operating systems support long file names by default.

Computer acronyms, File, File name, Joliet, Operating system terms