How can i get the absolute path for a file based on the fid? Sorry if this is a repeat, I did a search but was unable to find the answer.

  • I might have figured out a way to get it using the $base_url + the remaining path to files + uri is this the best way?
    – Russ
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 2:56

5 Answers 5


Drupal 7

This is a two part process, using file_load() and file_create_url()

First, you need to turn the $fid into a Drupal URI:

$file = file_load($fid);
$uri = $file->uri;

Now, you can turn this into a URL

$url = file_create_url($uri);

file_create_url() always creates an absolute URL, either using the global $base_path that you have defined, or using the one that Drupal guessed during bootstrap.

  • 1
    I am surprised you have to load the file just to get the path, seems like a waste of resources.
    – Russ
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 3:55
  • 2
    @Russ It's loading the file object, not the file itself. You could also do a db_query to get the uri, but I try to use the API as much as possible.
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 4:05
  • Thanks, I figured that, just thought there would be a clean function that could return it in one step. Maybe something to consider in drupal 8.
    – Russ
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 13:21
  • 2
    In your example you have 'field_load($fid)', it should be 'file_load($fid)'. Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 20:47
  • 2
    @SteveMulvihill Wow, nice catch. Four+ years and 33 votes, and nobody noticed that.
    – mpdonadio
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 21:42

Drupal 8

$file = \Drupal\file\Entity\File::load($file_id);
$uri = $file->getFileUri();
$url = \Drupal\Core\Url::fromUri(file_create_url($uri))->toString();
  • It works also only by calling file_create_url($uri); which is already returning the URL as a string. Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 8:14

In Drupal 7 you can also use MYSQL query, if you don't want to load all the fields of the file

  $fid = 1; //your file ID
  $uri = db_select('file_managed', 'f')
    ->condition('f.fid', $fid, '=')
    ->fields('f', array('uri'))
  echo file_create_url($uri);

Drupal 9

All previous answers are now deprecated using Drupal 9. There is a perfect list of the up-to-date alternatives : https://www.drupal.org/node/2940031

An example step by step :

$file = File::load(15);  
$uri = $file->getFileUri();
$url = \Drupal::service('file_url_generator')->generate($uri);
// Your url as a string
$string = $url ->toString();
  • 1
    – macherif
    Commented Sep 29, 2023 at 12:43

These are both working for me in Drupal 8:

// top of file
use Drupal\file\Entity\File;
use Drupal\Core\Url;

// load the file object from some file id
$file_object = File::load(123);

// way 1
$file_uri = $file_object->uri->value;
$file_url = file_create_url($file_uri);

// way 2
$file_uri = $file_object->getFileUri();
$file_url = Url::fromUri(file_create_url($file_uri))->toString();

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