When trying to archive a 3ds Max scene file using the Archive feature, an error message appears:

File Save Error

File archive failed (code 1)

"File archive failed (code #)" error when trying to archive a scene in 3ds Max
File Save Error

This error may be preceded or followed by another error regarding the creation of the archived MAXZIP file:


MAXZIP Error: Nothing to do!

"File archive failed (code #)" error when trying to archive a scene in 3ds Max


Windows Operating System


There are several reasons the archive may be failing:

  • Insufficient drive space.
  • Archive is performed within a Temp drive or folder.
  • Insufficient permissions in Windows to the save location.
  • Archive name or save location exceeds the Windows 256-character path limit.
  • Duplicate bitmap files found in different folders.
  • Special characters or non-English characters being used in file or folder names. (E.g. @, #, $, %, &, * and +)
  • Scene file or externally reference files (such as bitmaps) are too large and exceed 2-4GB.


In order to use the Archive feature and save a zipped folder containing the 3ds Max scene file and its external bitmap assets, check the following:

Run 3ds Max as Admin

First, ensure Windows has the proper permissions for the desired save location. In some instances, permission issues may be bypassed using the “Run as Administrator” option.

  1. Right-click the 3ds Max shortcut icon (or 3dsmax.exe file).
  2. Choose Run as administrator.

Sufficient storage space

Make sure the drive being saved to has sufficient space to include the final archived file.

Duplicate bitmap names

Check if there are duplicate bitmaps (bitmaps that are identically named) being used as textures in the scene that are accessed from different folders or hard drives. One example of this occurrence would be:


To check for duplicates in 3ds Max:

  1. Go to the File menu.
  2. Choose Reference.
  3. Select Asset Tracking Toggle.
  4. In the Asset Tracking dialog, review the file paths used for the bitmaps within the scene to see if there are duplicate bitmap names list that have different path location.
  5. If there are duplicate bitmaps being accessed from multiple folders, delete or “re-path” the bitmaps using the Paths menu options so that only one copy of the bitmap is being used inside the scene from one folder location.

Windows 256-character limit for files, folders, and directories

In the Asset Tracking window, ensure bitmaps or folder paths do not exceed the 256-character Windows path limit. If bitmaps are being accessed across a network from a series of nested folders with longer directory names, this can cause the archive to fail.

For example, by default path convention limits in Windows, a path with the following name will cause the Archive to fail:
\\Manager Machine\Textures\Project XYZ\XYZ-099876\<Today’s Date>\Building Textures\Concrete\Rough\New_07\Concrete Aggregate Pebbled Gray ABCDEFG.jpg. 

To avoid possible errors from character path limitations in Windows:Shorten directory paths for bitmaps

  1. When possible, move any bitmaps used in a 3ds Max scene file to a single folder. For example, C:\Textures\ProjectName.
  2. Re-path the assets using the Asset Tracking Dialog as needed.

Extend the Windows 10 character limit
If users wish to extend the  character limit for directory paths in Windows 10 (only), use the following article:  How to change the default 256 character path limitation (MAX_PATH) in Windows 10.

Special characters or non-English characters used in file and folder names

Ensure that external assets, including bitmaps, have file and folder names that  do not contain special characters. For example:  C:\!Textures@.

If special characters are used within file or folder names, rename them and re-path the assets in 3ds Max using the Material Editor or the  Asset Tracking Dialog respectively.

Temp folders

Make sure that the archived file is not being saved to a Temp folder.

Scene data exceeding 2 GB in file size

If the 3ds Max scene file (or any externally referenced files such as bitmaps) are too large and exceed the 2GB file size range, the archive can fail. To ensure that the archive does not fail try the following:

See also:


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