SharePoint 2016 Durable Links

I recently had a question in class about “Durable Links”. I did a search of the Microsoft sites to find anything official on SharePoint 2016 “Durable Links”, and basically only found a beta vintage blog article.
While I did find a number of other blog articles from the beta period, mostly of the “what’s new in SharePoint 2016” type, I found no TechNet articles. So… I thought I’d share part of one of my courses that has a section on Durable Links. This course is available from many Microsoft Learning partners, and of course, from MAX!

Course 55198A: Microsoft SharePoint Server Content Management for SharePoint 2013 and 2016

SharePoint 2016 Durable Links

Prior to SharePoint 2016, renaming or moving a file would break all of the links and shortcuts that pointed to the file. In SharePoint 2013 you might have had a file named “FinancialStatementFY14Q2.xlsx” that had no spaces in the name. This is both an ugly filename and a name that will cause problems with search. (Users searching for “Statement” or “FY14” would never find it based on the title.) The 2013 URL would look something like this:
Renaming this file to include spaces in the name would create the following URL. But, users with links to the old file will no longer be able to find it.
http://yourServer/sites/yourSite/Shared%20Documents/Financial Statement FY14 Q2.xlsx
Note the spaces in the URL will be replaced with “%20”.

Durable Links
SharePoint 2016 now appends a “d” query string to the URL with a unique ID that will not change even if the file has been renamed. (But not always… see notes below…)
After renaming, SharePoint will still find the correct document as it looks for the Durable Link ID first to find the document.
To find the Durable Link in SharePoint 2016, or the SharePoint Online “Classic UI”, click the “…” next to the filename.

  • Durable Links are not a feature and cannot be enabled or disabled.
  • Durable Links require Office Online Server to be part of the farm.
  • Works with Office documents like Word, Excel and PowerPoint (i.e. things displayed in Office Server), but not other files like .jpeg, .png, etc.
  • At the time of this writing, the Office 365 / SharePoint Online “Modern Library” pages do not offer a way to copy the URL that includes the Durable Link query string.
  • Documents that are moved (drag and drop or cut/paste) will preserve the Durable Link ID. Documents that are copied and pasted will get a new Durable Link ID.
  • The Publishing site Content and Structure feature does not preserve the SharePoint 2016 Durable Link. (A new ID is assigned after a Move.)


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