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Windows 10 1903: support for filenames and folders with beginning dot character

The next feature update for Windows 10, Windows 10 version 1903, will support filenames and folders that begin with a dot character in Explorer.

The news may not be super exciting for users of Linux or other operating systems that supported filenames  or folders with dots in the beginning for decades, but for Windows, it is certainly a milestone.

When you try to create a filename or folder that begins with a dot character, you may notice that Windows won't allow that filename or folder to be picked for the file if you use Explorer to do so.

The error "you must type a file name" is displayed (yes also for folders) and the only option the dialog provides is to select ok to restore the old filename or folder name (if you create a new file on Windows using Explorer, a file extension is added automatically).

you must type a file name

The limitation applies only if you don't add at least one additional dot to the file. Windows' File Explorer won't allow the creation of ".htaccess", but it does allow the creation of ".silly.filename.txt", or ".htaccess.". Similarly, it won't allow the creation of the folder ".test" but it does allow ".test."

Windows Explorer makes the creation of filenames without extension difficult. The file manager adds a file extension to new files that you create automatically. While you may remove the file extension to create a file without one, it is probably not something that most users of Windows do regularly.

Webmasters and developers might, especially if they work with web servers or Linux systems. It is not possible to create a .htaccess file from scratch using the Windows file manager, but you can copy a file like .htaccess to the Windows system and use it just like any other file that is on the system.

A double-click opens the file, and it saves just fine as well once you are done with the editing.

The same is true for names such as.gitignore or .nomedia which some users may make use of.

Windows 10 users who run Insider Builds can test the new functionality already; the change is live in the most recent Windows 10 version 1903 Insider Build and in the Skip Ahead build as well.

The change does not remove the limitation to use reserved names for files:  CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, and LPT9. Files or folders with these included cannot be created.

Now You: What is your take on the change? Did you run into file name or folder name creation issues in the past?


This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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