I am currently trying to write an application using C# that accesses a file stored on a SharePoint server programatically using the REST API. For that purpose, I want to check out a file. The file exists at this path:


When I paste this line in my browser, I see the file.

Next thing I do is to use REST like this:


According to the REST-documentation, this should work. However, when I paste this path to my browser, I get the following error:

<m:error xmlns:m="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices/metadata">
<m:code>-2146232832, Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException</m:code>
<m:message xml:lang="en-US">
The file /sites/MyCompany/012_MyDepartment/Shared%20Documents/rm/MyToolConfig/config.xml does not exist.

So the question is: is it possible that the server maps the physical path of the file internally to another location? How can I figure out what the correct path is that needs to be passed to the function "GetFileByServerRelativeUrl"?

Please note that I do not administrate that SharePoint server, I only have to use it as a "black box" to store and get files from.

EDIT: Here is some sample code I currently use:

const string serverName = @"http://myserver.mydomain.com/sites/MyCompany/_api/web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl('/sites/MyCompany/012_MyDepartment/Shared%20Documents/rm/MyToolConfig/config.xml')/CheckOut()";            
HttpWebRequest req = WebRequest.Create(serverName) as HttpWebRequest;
req.Method = "POST";
req.Credentials = CredentialCache.DefaultCredentials; 
req.Headers.Add("X-RequestDigest", GetFormDigest());
req.ContentLength = 0;
HttpWebResponse myWebResponse = (HttpWebResponse)req.GetResponse();
  • Try doing a REST query on the document library, /_api/web/lists/getbytitle('Shared Documents')/items. Find the list item pertaining to your document, and it should tell you the REST request for it's file.
    – wjervis
    Jun 15, 2015 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


You should do it like this:


And Request should be POST.

Hopefully this helps.

  • Thanks for your answer, I tried this, but when I do it this way I get a 403 error (Forbidden), although authentication works basically. Any other idea why this fails? I have edited my start post with my C# code so you see that I use POST instead of GET already.
    – Erik
    Jun 15, 2015 at 12:25
  • First try this URL in your browser. If you're doing it in C# you'll first need to do something about authentication. Oauth. msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dn198245.aspx Jun 15, 2015 at 14:03
  • In general I would recommend you to look at the PnP project provided by Microsoft - hosted on github. There are samples that'll be useful to you github.com/OfficeDev/PnP Jun 15, 2015 at 14:09
  • Is it possible that my FormDigestValue is wrong? It looks something like this when I get the String from GetFormDigest(): "0x78156822542D32C05156C84CEB8B03525C74106452223E51FF3B956C80AF1FC0901719279A28C9F4BA6F582F32484AC24472D47929DDDDFB1692D593F6790A71,17 Jun 2015 12:47:47 -0000" Is it correct, especially containing the Date value in the string?
    – Erik
    Jun 17, 2015 at 12:50

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