Mike Laurencelle

I'm a SharePoint & Server Systems Administrator for Sears Home Improvement Products, headquartered in sunny Longwood, Florida. My primary functions revolve around SharePoint and Virtualization technologies.

I've been in the IT industry now for about 18 years. For me, IT is more than a job to make a living, more than a career to call my own. It's my passion. I am a self proclaimed geek and have interest in all things technology. I can't imagine being in any other field - I absolutely love what I do.

Back to posting! Illegal characters in SharePoint


Posted on : 11:30 PM | By : Mike Laurencelle | In :

After the birth of my baby daughter two days after my last post, I've been a little preoccupied (see: sleep deprived) so many extra-curricular activities had to be cut. Now, as she is sleeping through the night allowing me to get a decent night's sleep, I'm getting back to normal and ready to start posting again!

As we've been moving more and more documents from network file shares into SharePoint, one of the things we realized pretty quickly that we had to work with our users on is the use of illegal characters in file names. Some jumped out at me right away as favorites that everyone loves to user like the ? question mark or # pound sign. There were others that came along occasionally but I wanted to find a complete list so that I could provide it to my users for some pre-move clean up work. So, after searching, I found this link on Microsoft's site that has a nice document on moving files from file shares into SharePoint. In the document, it points out the list of illegal characters. They are:

/ \ : * ? " < > # { } % ~ &

Additionally, I found that a lot of users accidentally have two periods between the file name and the extension. For example "myfile..doc" and apparently SharePoint doesn't like this either so the 2nd period has to be removed. This too is covered in the document along with a lot of other gotchas that I found out the hard way. I only wish I'd found a document like this one sooner. So, hopefully someone will find this document useful and it will give them some additional information to help make their file migration a little smoother.