Remove/Delete an existing SharePoint File C# RPC

This one deals with the removal of a document from a SharePoint site. Though this can also be achieved using CSOM but there’s one situation where the CSOM won’t be of any help, i.e., deleting a file from the root folder of a Web(SiteCollection/SubSite). Since, the root files do not belong to any List, these files cannot be handled using standard CSOM logic. For this, I am going to rely on the RPC call to the author.dll. In my previous two posts, , I have demonstrated how a document (residing in the root or anywhere else) can be uploaded, moved, or renamed using RPC.
private void RemoveDocument(string documentName)
    string requestUrl = this.ctx.Url + "/_vti_bin/_vti_aut/author.dll";
    string method = GetEncodedString("remove documents:");
    string serviceName = GetEncodedString(ctx.Web.ServerRelativeUrl);

    string url_List = GetEncodedString(String.Concat("[", documentName, "]"));
    rpcCallString = "method={0}&service_name={1}&url_list={2}\n";

    rpcCallString = String.Format(rpcCallString, method, serviceName, url_List).Replace("_", "%5f");

    HttpWebRequest wReq = WebRequest.Create(requestUrl) as HttpWebRequest;
    wReq.Method = "POST";
    wReq.Headers["Content"] = "application/x-vermeer-urlencoded";
    wReq.Headers["X-Vermeer-Content-Type"] = "application/x-vermeer-urlencoded";
    wReq.UserAgent = "FrontPage";
    wReq.UseDefaultCredentials = false;

    Uri targetSite = new Uri(this.ctx.Web.Url);
    SharePointOnlineCredentials spCredentials = (SharePointOnlineCredentials)this.ctx.Credentials;

    string authCookieValue = spCredentials.GetAuthenticationCookie(targetSite);
    wReq.CookieContainer = new CookieContainer();
        new Cookie("FedAuth",

    using (IO.Stream requestStream = wReq.GetRequestStream())
        byte[] rpcHeader = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(rpcCallString);
        requestStream.Write(rpcHeader, 0, rpcHeader.Length);


private string GetResponse(HttpWebRequest webRequest)
    string responseString = String.Empty;
    using (WebResponse webResponse = webRequest.GetResponse())
        using (StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(webResponse.GetResponseStream()))
            responseString = reader.ReadToEnd();
            byte[] fileBuffer = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(responseString);
    if ((responseString.IndexOf("message=successfully") < 0) && (responseString.IndexOf("msg=Save Conflict") < 0))
        throw new Exception(responseString);
    return responseString;

Now, let’s evaluate this.

  • Here we are using method “remove documents” and, “” is server extension version.
  • Service name is server relative URL of your site.
  • documentName is the name of the document to be deleted. For ex. if the doc ToBeDeleted.aspx resides in the root folder of the site then, documentName will be ToBeDeleted.aspx.
  • For authentication, we’re using the CookieContainer of HTTPWebRequest.

Here is the example of how will you call this upload method.


One utility method has been used here for encoding of string. Here it is for your reference.

public string GetEncodedString(string sourceString)
    if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(sourceString))
        return HttpUtility.UrlEncode(sourceString).Replace(".", "%2e").Replace("_", "%5f");
        return sourceString;

2 thoughts on “Remove/Delete an existing SharePoint File C# RPC

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