I'm converting a SharePoint 2013 solution to 2016. Back when 2013 was introduced I recall all the _layouts/ -> _layouts/15 issues, and immediately looked out for this.

In my SharePoint 2016 solution there is an icon image on this location:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\TEMPLATE\IMAGES\FGIMG.PNG

I would expect the mapped url to be:


However that is NOT the case. The image is found here:


This confuses me.

Why is this so?

I can't seem to find any official documentation about this...

(It is a clean 2016 RTM install and that file is a part of SharePoint itself)

  • How was the image deployed to SharePoint? Is this a DB upgrade to a new server, or was 2013 installed to your server before 2016? Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:19
  • No upgrade - it is a clean install and that file comes with SharePoint.
    – mhbuur
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 6:21
  • Btw this issue is not only with images - but any file you deploy to _layouts
    – mhbuur
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


Alright, got answers elsewhere. Here is an excerpt:

A standard installation of SharePoint Server 2016 will only create a 14 folder and a 16 folder. There is no 15 folder in the hive (i.e. at ...\Web Server Extensions\15). The reason they did this was to not break compatibility with v15 sites.

Furthermore there's no compatibility level available in 2016 (yes the switch is there, but there's no point). All sites are v15 and there is no backwards compatibility with v14.5. This was for ease of migration.

This was essentially a feature for Microsoft and is why all sites must be in v15 compat mode prior to upgrading to 2016.

The _layouts/16 doesn't work because it doesn't exist nor does it need to exist. The virtual directory points _layouts/15 -> \Program Files\Common Files...\16. You can look at this in IIS.

Source: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/68547ab9-4c8f-423f-911f-ef926ad7a2e2/layouts-strategy-changed-again-in-sp2016?forum=SP2016

  • hi mhbuur A standard installation of SharePoint Server 2016 means what?If i want the 14,15,16 folder how can i install SharePoint server 2016 ?
    – Elina
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 10:16

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