August 2015 CU Error – “File names can’t contain the following characters”

Update October 2015: This issue is resolved in security update KB3085582, SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server, and Project Server 2013 Cumulative Updates. Update to one of these patches rather than using the below method.

As noticed on a TechNet forum post, the August 2015 CU for SharePoint 2013 has a new regression with attaching files to List Items. This can be reproduced with a Custom List (possibly others) by creating a new List Item, clicking “Attach File”, identify any file that contains characters not listed in KB905231, then click OK. The error message “File names can’t contain the following characters” will appear:


A temporary workaround is available for this issue, but involves editing files in the 15 hive. Prior to performing this, make backup copies of these files. These backups must be in place prior to installing the next SharePoint patch.

There are two JavaScript files that must be edited:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\FORM.debug.js

C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\FORM.JS

For Form.debug.js, change the text starting on line 5307 from:

    else {
        if (IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName(filename) != -1) {


    else {
	var filNameOnly = filename.substring(filename.lastIndexOf('\\') + 1);
        if (IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName(filNameOnly) != -1) {

And for FORM.js, find the following string:

``js else{if(IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName(c)!=-1)

Change it to:

else{var j=c.substring(c.lastIndexOf("\\")+1);if(IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName(j)!=-1)

Once completed, clear the browsers cache and re-test. If the error still exists, try using Inprivate browsing mode, which will not use the cache from the regular session.

A second workaround is also available, this does not involve any file editing.

In a List, create a List Item and save it without attempting to attach a file. On the List, highlight the specific List Item that was created. In the ribbon, click on Items -> Attach File. This dialog will allow you to successfully attach a file to a List Item.

A PSS case has been opened for this issue and the above solutions are the current official workarounds.

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him on Twitter and in /r/sharepoint.