I am trying to retrieve Images using the REST API from iOS/Android.

The issue I’m running into is when the images are stored in the /sites/siteName directory, the REST call does not work. Let me explain further:

My REST call: //tenant/_api/web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl('/sites/siteName/PublishingImages/image.jpg')/$value

  • That call does not work. I get a Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException - The file /sites/siteName/PublishingImages/image.jpg does not exist.
  • The file does indeed exist because inside the web browser I can view the image using: //tenant.com/sites/siteName/PublishingImages/image.jpg

The REST call that does work is:

  • //tenant.com/_api/web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl


    • That returns the image as expected.

I’m not a SharePoint developer so my knowledge is very light. But, I’m confused to as why those calls do not work.

Any help is very appreciated.


1 Answer 1


You can use below mentioned code to get file using REST API call.

url: http://site url/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('<list title>')/items(<item id>)/File/$value
method: GET
    Authorization: "Bearer " + accessToken


HttpClient client = new HttpClient();
client.DefaultRequestHeaders.Authorization = new AuthenticationHeaderValue("Bearer", accessToken);

var response = client.GetAsync("https://tenant.sharepoint.com/_api/web/lists/getbytitle('Documents')/items(1)/File/$value", HttpCompletionOption.ResponseHeadersRead).Result;
var fileContent = response.Content.ReadAsByteArrayAsync().Result;

GetFolderByServerRelativeUrl Examples

//The root folder of the Shared Documents library
_api/web/GetFolderByServerRelativeUrl('/Shared Documents')

//The file a.txt from the Plans library

Please check here for more information

  • Have you got it working?
    – Hardik
    Jun 2, 2016 at 15:21
  • Thanks for the suggestions. The first bit of code unless I'm missing something requires javascript to get the SP.AppContext working. I'm doing this in native iOS and Android. When I use PostMan to test the call as you suggest it states there's no appContext. The other examples do not work as well, still says the files do not exist.
    – Karl Barek
    Jun 2, 2016 at 17:48
  • Check my updated answer... If it will help you
    – Hardik
    Jun 2, 2016 at 17:54
  • If I only know the file name and path, how do I get the item Id of the file?
    – Karl Barek
    Jun 3, 2016 at 12:47
  • Use this _api/web/GetFolderByServerRelativeUrl('/Plans')/Files('a.txt')/$value
    – Hardik
    Jun 3, 2016 at 12:48

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