Solution for “too large for the destination file system”

I was helping a dear friend today with a peculiar problem. A file was stuck in her Pictures folder in Windows 10 (it was a screenshot she had taken at one point – a small picture). It was 26kb in size (so really small) but she could not delete it. On attempted deletes (and I wish now I had taken a screenshot), it would respond with “the file xxxxx is too large for the destination file system”. Elsewhere in the pop-up, it said ‘sync pending’.

I did all the usual things:

  • Disabled all services, antivirus, OneDrive and other file syncing services – nope
  • Booted into safe mode – nope
  • Looked on the Google – found only one thread that was closed/locked without a solution (peculiar … I was simply going to state the solution that worked for me there but because it is locked, I’m left with having to blog about it here (as such, I hope this helps someone else)

What did work:

I found and used this tool “Unlocker” which did the trick. Yep, pretty simple once I tried that. Hope this helps someone.

2 responses to “Solution for “too large for the destination file system”

    1. Thanks Sean. Yep, for this one, it wasn’t so much the choice of unlocking tool but the fact that the error was completely bogus and misleading and no amount of localized tweaking or forced command line deletes helped.

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