Manu Manu - 7 months ago 36
ASP.NET (C#) Question

Server.MapPath("."), Server.MapPath("~"), Server.MapPath(@"\"), Server.MapPath("/"). What is the difference?

Can anyone explain the difference between



Server.MapPath specifies the relative or virtual path to map to a physical directory.

  • Server.MapPath(".")1 returns the current physical directory of the file (e.g. aspx) being executed
  • Server.MapPath("..") returns the parent directory
  • Server.MapPath("~") returns the physical path to the root of the application
  • Server.MapPath("/") returns the physical path to the root of the domain name (is not necessarily the same as the root of the application)

An example:

Let's say you pointed a web site application ( to


and installed your shop application (sub web as virtual directory in IIS, marked as application) in


For example, if you call Server.MapPath() in following request:


  • Server.MapPath(".")1 returns D:\WebApps\shop\products
  • Server.MapPath("..") returns D:\WebApps\shop
  • Server.MapPath("~") returns D:\WebApps\shop
  • Server.MapPath("/") returns C:\Inetpub\wwwroot
  • Server.MapPath("/shop") returns D:\WebApps\shop

If Path starts with either a forward slash (/) or backward slash (\), the MapPath() returns a path as if Path was a full, virtual path.

If Path doesn't start with a slash, the MapPath() returns a path relative to the directory of the request being processed.

Note: in C#, @ is the verbatim literal string operator meaning that the string should be used "as is" and not be processed for escape sequences.


  1. Server.MapPath(null) and Server.MapPath("") will produce this effect too.