I noticed today that whenever I view a document in Word Online, I see ":w:/r" in the URL path like this: https://[tenant].sharepoint.com/:w:/r/sites/[site]/_layoauts/15/wopiframe.aspx...

Why has this appeared and what does ":w:/r" mean? What is "/_layoauts"? ANyone else notice this?

2 Answers 2


Those are new link conventions in SharePoint Online.

/:r - indicates a read-only link

/:e - edit link

/:f - means Folder sharing

/:w - means Word document sharing

/:x - means Excel document sharing

/:p - means PowerPoint document sharing

/:b - means PDF document sharing

Correct me if i am wrong.


The “_layouts” is a mapped folder. Mapped folders is the folder in the SharePoint project that correspond to the physical location of the files in the SharePoint Server installation. The SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service and hosted by Microsoft. The mapped folders are hosted in the cloud.

For the “:w:/r” in the path, try using other browser to see if it happens.

  • 1
    Thank you. I am familiar with "_layouts", but it was actually "_layoauts". I'm starting to wonder if it was just a typo in their part. “:w:/r” Aappears in every browser for multiple users, although it does not happen in one of our other tenants. I'm starting to think that something happened to our tenant. May have to contact microsoft support Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 15:34

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