Allowed characters in files and folders




  • Howard

    HI ,

    Thanks for your post and question!

    Check out this article and let us know if that helped your issue - or if not, post some more detail here so the community can assist!

    Your post seems like it may require account specific information/configuration.
    For those, you should contact Box Support to help you directly, or for other support options, visit this page.

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  • kylerlaird

    I'm looking for this, too.  I've been using FTP to transfer a bunch of files and getting failures on some.  The first problem I've pinned down is a tab character.  I suspect there will be more.  I have not seen a comprehensive list of characters which are allowed.  There's some info about allowed characters for Windows here (but it doesn't mention tabs):

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  • scottdodds

    Hi ,


    Thanks for your post!


    Did you take a look at the article Howard linked to earlier?


    An excerpt:

    Some operating systems do not support item names containing some special characters. If you attempt to sync files or folders names containing these characters, Box Sync prompts you to rename the item using the underscore character.

    • Box OS-independent restrictions: Box does not support '/' and '\' anywhere in a file or folder name or whitespaces at the beginning or end of a file or folder name.
    • Windows OS restrictions:
      • Box does not impose any additional restrictions.
      • If Windows does not support certain characters in file names, Box marks them as problem files. See the list of Windows file name restrictions. Windows file name restrictions also shown below:
        • < (less than)
        • > (greater than)
        • : (colon)
        • " (double quote)
        • / (forward slash)
        • \ (backslash)
        • | (vertical bar or pipe)
        • ? (question mark)
        • * (asterisk)
      • Windows does not support folder names that end with a . (period) character. 
    • Mac OS restrictions:
      • Box does not support opening spaces.
      • Box does not recognize Mac’s character conversion in file names (for example, Mac changes any occurrence of / to : in file names).
      • If Mac does not support certain characters in file names, Box marks them as problem files. See the list of Mac file name restrictions.

    If the item on Box has an unsupported name, rename the item on Box and Box Sync will re-process the download. If the local file has an unsupported name, rename the file locally. 


    Hope that helps!

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  • kylerlaird

    Yes, I did look at that article.  How would I know from that article that "tab" is not allowed?

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  • scottdodds

    Apologies , the tab character is not explicitly in that list. However the Microsoft article we linked to does state that:

    Characters whose integer representations are in the range from 1 through 31, except for alternate data streams where these characters are allowed. For more information about file streams, see File Streams.


    In ASCII a horizontal tab has the decimal character code of 9, which Windows does not allow in filenames.  So I would definitely pay attention to those characters, and to the other detailed notes about file/path names in the Microsoft article.


    Though I agree, that article is not as easy to parse as it could be. But it is the best sourced resource from Microsoft that we found.


    Hope that helps!

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