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Resolve Image URL from Master Page and Content Page in Different Folder in ASP.Net– URL Rebasing

By Bala Murugan
Posted On Apr 07, 2011
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Category: ASP.Net
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Resolve Image URL from Master Page and Content Page in Different Folder in ASP.Net– URL Rebasing

It is obvious that we will segregate the related files in different subfolders in our project solution. Sometimes, we may organize the files based file types, or based on the project modules, etc. For example, we may place all the image files into a folder called Images or place all site administration related pages under an ADMIN folder, etc. This brings in some complexities when you want to link a file (IMG, hyperlink, etc) in different folder using its path. Most often, we face issues when we are displaying images or adding hyperlinks in master page when the target image or page is in different folder. Moving forward, let see more about this and the different ways of solving it in this article.

If you are already familiar with this issue, you can click here to skip to the solution directly.



Assume you have a master page created in a subfolder called Master and images in a subfolder called Images under Master folder in your solution. Since master pages are created to provide consistent look across your website, it is the right place to put your logo and your website navigation system.  With this setup, the solution will look like below,

Image in Master Page not getting displayed! Resolve Master Page image url from content Page - URL Rebasing

Normally, we will use relative path to link any file from your website pages. A path is said to be relative when the path does not start with the root web location or domain name of your website. A relative path just includes the path starting from the current folder. In simple terms, it will not be a full path that can independently identify a file in your website. A relative path is usually constructed depending upon the current page location. In our example, the path of logo.png relative to the master page is Images/logo.png. This indicates that the logo is residing under a folder called Images where the master page resides.

If the logo is directly under Master folder, then it will be just the filename (logo.png). When it is rendered, the browser will resolve the correct location based on the current page location.

Thus, you can display the logo in master page using IMG tag like below,

<img src="Images/logo.png" />


Now, create a page called Home.aspx in the root directory of your website that uses the above master page. When you execute the page, you will notice that the logo is not displayed. Refer below,

Image in Master Page not getting displayed!Resolve Master Page image url from content Page - URL Rebasing 


This is because; the IMG tag contains the path relative to the master page and not to the content page. From the content page(Home.aspx), the actual relative path of the image is “Master/Images/logo.png”.  But in the above case, the browser will try to find the logo under Images folder under the root directory (http://localhost:3989/ImageURLDemo/Images/logo.png) and it will fail.



An easy solution is, we can provide the absolute url for the images in master page which will work fine regardless the content page location. Absolute url is the one which independently can identify the resource in our website. In simple terms, it will include the protocol, domain name and the file name with folders if any. In our case, the absolute url for logo is http://localhost:3989/ImageURLDemo/Master/Images/logo.png.  As you might have guessed, the main problem of this approach is you need to change the domain name and root directory whenever you move your site to different environments.

To resolve this easily, the image url should be constructed relative to the executing page and not to the master page. Below are the solutions you can use,

1.      Using Control.ResolveClientUrl method

2.      Using the equivalent Server Control

3.      Using CSS

4.      Configure your website to run from Root “/”


Using Control.ResolveClientUrl method

Using this method, you can obtain the relative url of any resource from the executing content page. When you pass the relative url to this method from the master page, it will return the relative url of the image for the content page that is getting executed. This is called URL Rebasing.

<img alt="logo" src="<%=ResolveClientUrl("Images/logo.png")%>" />


You can also use Control.ResolveUrl method in this case. The main difference between the two are, ResolveClientUrl will return the path relative to the current executing page while Control.ResolveUrl method will return the path relative to the application root.


 Using Server controls

This is one of the very easy and most widely used methods. You can replace all your IMG and <a> tag with their equivalent server controls. Refer below,

<asp:Image ID="ImLogo" runat="server" ImageUrl="~/Master/Images/logo.png" />

<asp:HyperLink ID="hpHome" runat="server" NavigateUrl="~/Home.aspx" Text="Home"></asp:HyperLink>


The symbol (~) is must at the start of the url, it will return the root of the website.


Handle using CSS

In this technique, you can display image using css styles. You can set the image path using css url() references to a div tag in your master page to display image in any content page. The path will be relative to the style sheet location. Refer below,

Master Page

<head runat="server">


    <link href="../Styles/StyleSheet.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

    <asp:ContentPlaceHolder id="head" runat="server">




    <form id="form1" runat="server">

    <div id="dvlogo" class="logo"></div>











In the above code, the logo is inside a folder called img under Styles folder in root. The browser will render the image correctly by identifying the image location relative to the style sheet location. Refer the below solution explorer image to understand better,

Images in Master Page not getting displayed!Resolve ASP.Net Master Page image url from content Page - URL Rebasing



From .NetFramework 2.0, the Head tag is converted to a server control which provided programmatic access of head elements using HtmlHead class. Thus any style sheets you link in the head tag of master page will have their path automatically resolved in the content page.


Configure your website to run from Root “/”

This is another way where you can configure your website to run from the root directory. By default, the inbuilt web server in visual studio will use the project directory as application root directory and will include it in the path. Like below,


You can configure the visual studio to run from the root “/”. Refer the below FAQ,

How to Run your site from root "/" location in Visual Studio 2005, 2008, 2010?

When configured like above the image path will be,


Now, you can link your image with the path starting from the root “/” directory. In our example, setting the below path will make the logo will work from any content page,

<img src="/Master/Images/logo.png" />

The browser will display the logo from /Master/Images/ folder in the root directory.



Master page is one of the much needed additions to the Asp.Net framework. Many developers will have difficult time in making the images and master page links work properly. This difficulty can be addressed very easily by following any of the above approach that fits best for you.

Happy Coding!!




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it was very useful to me thanks a lot
Hi guest uncle,
Thanks for the comment! that's also one of the option which is discussed above.
uncle, no need to do soo long, just add runat="server" attribute with <img>.