Disallowed Characters for Filenames

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 11 Oct. 2016 / Last Updated on 11 Oct. 2016]

A tip about an easy way to find out what characters are not allowed in Windows filenames.

Here's an easy way to find out what characters are not allowed in Windows filenames:

  1. Click on any file in Explorer
  2. Press the F2 function key (or click again on the file)
  3. Press the backslash ("\") character (or any other disallowed character)
  4. A balloon popup will display a message listing disallowed characters for Windows filenames.

Unfortunately that's not the whole story. If you've got SharePoint deployed in your environment then there are some additional restrictions concerning characters you can't use in site names, folder names, and filenames:

And if you plan on syncing SharePoint libraries to your computer through OneDrive for Business, you also need to be aware of the following:

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to http://www.wservernews.com/subscribe.htm and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see http://www.mtit.com.


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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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