Basically, I have a list item with a field for a shortcut. I need to link to a file on a network drive. I have that part working via:

"File://corporate.com/division/stuff more stuff/file.xls".

When I paste the full link into my internet browser it pulls open the file. When I click the actual link created in the sharepoint list item after saving, I get this error:

"Cannot find path ____ Make sure path or internet address is correct"

I'm managed to determine that it is due to the spaces in the file path (the folder names). What I'm still stuck on is how to work around this without renaming all my folders.

Is there a way to prevent it from encoding this in the first place? Is it due to my browser needing the link encoded? Is there a way to properly decode it so that it recognizes the correct path again?

  • 1
    If spaces are the problem try using %20 instead of a space. %20 is the code for spaces. Ie stuff%20more%20stuff. After checking your edit history it seems you know this already! But if you make the link using %20 should work
    – Roland
    May 30, 2016 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


Agree with Roland - I'd try putting the link as: file://corporate.com/division/stuff%20more%20stuff/file.xls

That should work OK within the browser.

  • You are my hero! Thanks!!! I never even thought to try manually putting the %20 in to replace the spaces. This is going to be interesting to explain to the IT guy who was trying to tell me yesterday that this is simply impossible to do... :) May 31, 2016 at 15:03
  • Oh, Here is a follow up question then - currently it works and it downloads the file. Is there a way to force it to open the file instead so that all changes made are saved to the original on the network drive? May 31, 2016 at 15:09
  • No, by using a URL/hyperlink, the browser is downloading the file, and saving local - Downloads folder. If you really want to have the edit access functionality - you could put those files WITHIN SharePoint - that's the best place for them - not a file share. Jun 1, 2016 at 12:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.