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 naming convention in data management plan
  • Do not exceed 260 characters for 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 are:

  • 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


Article ID: 3985
Tue 5/4/21 4:05 PM
Tue 4/19/22 8:47 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Granite State College (GSC)
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office