What is /:f:/r in shared URLs?

Frequent Contributor



When I click on "get a link" on a document, the URL looks like this:[Path to document]


What is the purpose of "/:f:/r" in that URL? Most of the time it doesn't make any difference whether I keep it in the URL or not, and sometimes users get "url not found" because of that.

14 Replies
best response confirmed by Christophe Humbert (Frequent Contributor)
It's just part of how they are treating links to documents in SharePoint nowadays through their new link system. If you share it with others using invite or anyone link it'll change to :x:/s: instead of r to signify it's a sharing link. But it's something with the link system when access files putting it there.
And by the way, I think you are having some temporary issues when accessing files...those kind of links should work with no problems

We're experiencing this same issue. When created with 'Company we have certain people in our organization (Internal) that cannot access. When the links is created with 'Company then they can access. I wanted to understand how the first  link with the r was created so we can prevent creating links that way!

I should note the link with the 's' is much shorter than the link with the 'r'. 

We had a problem with these links late last year (2018), users would click on them and it would take them to a log on screen every time. Very frustrating for everyone and many saw SharePoint as the problem. 


It turned out that the problem was that users with new Windows 10 machines had a problem with their account on those machines. Even though it had their name in the account, that account was not connecting to the logged on person with the same credentials, so any time they clicked on one of those links it didn't recognise them and asked them to log on. The fix was to disconnect the existing account and re-connect it via the same 'Manage your account' - 'Work or school account' settings. I have had to fix at least 200 of these and I know that there are many more (we have 9000 staff). 

Just a reply on what the letter stands for: 


/:f - designates a folder


:/r - indicates a read-only link

:/e - edit link



@Fred Y  You seem to know stuff -  what does :x: mean in my SharePoint url it comes right after the company name in the url like this:


  • :f” means Folder sharing
  • “:w” means Word document sharing
  • “:x” means Excel document sharing
  • “:p” means PowerPoint document sharing
  • “:b” means PDF document sharing

@Fred Y what does :/t represent.


If I had to guess probably the new "Team" sharing option coming to the new Teams sharing links.

Has anybody found a comprehensive list or dictionary of the :?: file types?


I'm specifically after what an :o: refers in decoding a potential phishing url - kinda tricky when not a direct Sharepoint user tho...

@JonnyiPhonenot really.  This page from Microsoft talks about what R: means, which means Private.


My impression is the O: means Outlook.

Are there downsides to removing these characters from the url before sharing it?  I saw this user voice requesting these be removed from links, so I'm wondering what the value is they provide?

@Murphybp79 There is no business benefit to users or customers for these various URL paths. It's for Microsoft's internal benefit to mine data. The different URLs allows Microsoft to to identify which linking method is more popular. This can assist with aligning internal development resources with customer usage patterns.