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Old 17. May 2013, 11:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to delete empty sub-folders that have a long path

Just thought I'd share this solution. If anyone knows of a freeware program that can both locate empty folders/sub-folder and is capable of deleting them even if the sub-folders are way down, I'd like to know.

I've found the program called "Remove Empty Directories" (REM) useful for locating and removing empty folders. However if a sub-folder is way down (the path) with many other folders above it, REM is unable to delete them. In this case I right click the locked folder and open it in explorer, then copy the path and paste it in 7-Zip file managers address bar then press enter to bring it up. Then click the Delete icon and press and hold the shift key while clicking OK to confirm deletion.

While this is a lengthy process it does work. Another way is to use a program that can delete during a reboot, but that can take even longer.

Hope this helps.
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Old 23. May 2013, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Remove Empty Directories is a good program.
You might try running RED with elevated admin rights, that might bypass having to copy and paste the file name.
You can right click the Remove Empty directories .exe file and choose Run As Administrator.
Or, Start button/Accessories/Command Prompt - right click Command Prompt and choose Run As Administrator.
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Old 27. May 2013, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for that.
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Old 01. Jun 2013, 11:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I come across this annoyance quite frequently, the problem is a limit on the number of characters that Windows can handle in a file path. The actual limit is apparently 260 including spaces etc, but in practise this number can be lower though I won't pretend to really understand the issues involved.

I often have to reboot to delete stuff, or I'll use something like Paragon BR's volume browser which runs from CD, just in order to delete a few things.

Anyway, I thought I'd just share a couple of free and non-install apps which can help to avoid the problem.

The first is "Path Scan" by Miha Jakovac, it's not been updated in years and I can't find it on the author's site but it still works fine for me and is on Softpedia (

Basically you just give it a directory and a number, and it will give you a list of all the files whose paths exceed that number of characters.
You can't do anything with the list, except save it (I mean you can't use Path Scan to delete or rename etc) but I find it invaluable to make sure I have no file paths that exceed the Windows limit, especially before trying to delete any large directories.

The second is "Long Filename Finder" ( by Dcsoft which (no surprises) finds long filenames. Again you just give it a directory and a number, and it will give you a list of all the files whose names (not paths) exceed that number of characters. In this case you can also hit F2 and rename files from within the program.

Again, it's an old program but works great for me. If you download a lot of pictures for example, then you'll know it's not unusual to have pictures with a 100+ characters in the filename alone, and LFF is excellent for locating and renaming these. It was originally intended for getting around the problem of burning long filenames to CD, but it's also a great tool for avoiding the Windows file path limit.

Both of these programs are lightweight, don't need installing, seem to work fine in x86 or x64, and also do their thing very quickly.

Last edited by sicknero; 01. Jun 2013 at 12:01 PM.
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