M365: Naming Conventions for Files and Folders


This article describes the best naming practices for files and folders in OneDrive, Teams, or SharePoint.




File & Folder Naming Conventions

Descriptive file names are an important part of organizing, sharing, and keeping track of data files. Develop a naming convention based on elements that are important to the project.


File naming best practices

  • Files should be named consistently
  • File names should be short but descriptive (<25 characters)
  • Avoid special characters or spaces in a file name
  • Use capitals and underscores instead of periods or spaces or slashes
  • Use date format: YYYYMMDD
  • Include a version number
  • Write down the naming convention in data management plan
  • Do not exceed 260 characters for the total folder & file character count. C:\Users\Panda\My Documents\Dropbox\Creative Nonfiction\My Autobiography\Favorite Things\Favorite Foods\Bamboo\Family Recipes\Fresh Leaves.doc (142 characters)


Elements to consider using in a naming convention

  • Date of creation (putting the date in the front will facilitate computer-aided date sorting)
  • Short Description
  • Work
  • Location
  • Project name or number
  • Sample
  • Analysis
  • Version number


Need additional help?

For assistance concerning site creation, content sharing, file synchronization, or other common SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, or Office app activities, we recommend our Microsoft 365 Learning sites:

Learn more about the great tools our Microsoft 365 Learning sites offer!

Visit the Technology Help Desk Support page to locate your local campus contact information or to submit an online technology support request.  For password issues you must call or visit the Help Desk in person.  

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Article ID: 3985
Tue 5/4/21 4:05 PM
Mon 5/6/24 11:09 AM
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