Naming Dropbox files and folders

Updated Dec 08, 2023

To ensure the best experience with Dropbox across all platforms and operating systems, we recommend following these guidelines when naming files and folders in your Dropbox account. This includes Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, and Linux. Each operating system has its own file and folder name limitations, but the recommendations below cover all of them.

Learn how to rename a file or folder in Dropbox.

Even if you don’t get an error message when you name a file on your operating system, if you don’t follow the guidelines below, it could cause a problem when you try to open or sync the file on another operating system.

File and folder name recommendations

 Don’t use more than 260 characters in a file or folder path

File and folder paths must have fewer than 260 characters.

For example, the file path “C:\Users\Panda\My Documents\Dropbox\Creative Nonfiction\My Autobiography\Favorite Things\Favorite Foods\Bamboo\Family Recipes\Fresh Leaves.doc” has 142 characters.

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Note: Double-byte characters count as one character. Double-byte characters such as “箱” would only count as one character toward the 260-character limit.

☑ Don’t use special characters in file names

☑ Don’t use the following characters in file or folder names

  • / (forward slash)
  • \ (backslash)
  • < (less than)
  • > (greater than)
  • : (colon)
  • " (double quote)
  • | (vertical bar or pipe)
  • ? (question mark)
  • * (asterisk)
  • . (period)
  • emojis or emoticons

☑ Don’t add a space at the end of a file or folder name

For example, don’t name a file or folder “Panda  .png”.

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