Using ASP.NET routing to serve static files

Can ASP.Net routing (not MVC) be used to serve static files?

Say I want to route




and I want to do it dynamically in the sense that the rewritten URL is computed on the fly. I cannot set up a static route once and for all.

Anyway, I can create a route like this:

  "StaticRoute", new Route("static/{file}", new FileRouteHandler())

In the FileRouteHandler.ProcessRequest method I can rewrite the path from /static/picture.jpg to /a/b/c/picture.jpg. I then want to create a handler for static files. ASP.NET uses the StaticFileHandler for this purpose. Unfortunately, this class is internal. I have tried to create the handler using reflection and it actually works:

Assembly assembly = Assembly.GetAssembly(typeof(IHttpHandler));
Type staticFileHandlerType = assembly.GetType("System.Web.StaticFileHandler");
ConstructorInfo constructorInfo = staticFileHandlerType.GetConstructor(BindingFlags.NonPublic | BindingFlags.Instance, null, Type.EmptyTypes, null);
return (IHttpHandler) constructorInfo.Invoke(null);

But using internal types doesn’t seem to be the proper solution. Another option is to implement my own StaticFileHandler, but doing so properly (supporting HTTP stuff like ranges and etags) is non-trivial.

How should I approach routing of static files in ASP.NET?


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

Why not use IIS to do this? You could create a redirect rule to point any requests from the first route to the second one before it even gets to your application. Because of this, it would be a quicker method for redirecting requests.

Assuming you have IIS7+, you would do something like…

<rule name="Redirect Static Images" stopProcessing="true">
  <match url="^static/?(.*)$" />
  <action type="Redirect" url="/a/b/c/{R:1}" redirectType="Permanent" />

Or, if you don’t need to redirect, as suggested by @ni5ni6:

<rule name="Rewrite Static Images" stopProcessing="true">
  <match url="^static/?(.*)$" />
  <action type="Rewrite" url="/a/b/c/{R:1}" />

Edit 2015-06-17 for @RyanDawkins:

And if you’re wondering where the rewrite rule goes, here is a map of its location in the web.config file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
        <!-- rules go below -->
        <rule name="Redirect Static Images" stopProcessing="true">
          <match url="^static/?(.*)$" />
          <action type="Redirect" url="/a/b/c/{R:1}" redirectType="Permanent" />

Method 2

After digging through this problem for a few hours, I found that simply adding ignore rules will get your static files served.

In RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes), add the following ignore rules:


Method 3

I’ve had a similar problem. I ended up using HttpContext.RewritePath:

public class MyApplication : HttpApplication
    private readonly Regex r = new Regex("^/static/(.*)$", RegexOptions.IgnoreCase);

    public override void Init()
        BeginRequest += OnBeginRequest;

    protected void OnBeginRequest(object sender, EventArgs e)
        var match = r.Match(Request.Url.AbsolutePath);
        if (match.Success)
            var fileName = match.Groups[1].Value;
            Context.RewritePath(string.Format("/a/b/c/{0}", fileName));

Method 4

I came up with an alternative to using the internal StaticFileHandler. In the IRouteHandler I call HttpServerUtility.Transfer:

public class FileRouteHandler : IRouteHandler {

  public IHttpHandler GetHttpHandler(RequestContext requestContext) {
    String fileName = (String) requestContext.RouteData.Values["file"];
    // Contrived example of mapping.
    String routedPath = String.Format("/a/b/c/{0}", fileName);
    return null; // Never reached.


This is a hack. The IRouteHandler is supposed to return an IHttpHandler and not abort and transfer the current request. However, it does actually achieve what I want.

Using the internal StaticFileHandler is also somewhat a hack since I need reflection to get access to it, but at least there is some documentation on StaticFileHandler on MSDN making it a slightly more “official” class. Unfortunately I don’t think it is possible to reflect on internal classes in a partial trust environment.

I will stick to using StaticFileHandler as I don’t think it will get removed from ASP.NET in the foreseeable future.

Method 5

You need to add TransferRequestHandler for handling your static files.Please see following answer

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x