Difference Between Absolute and Relative Path (With Table)

As in this generation, an online platform for business is being constantly rising. The link that takes place to another internet is being categorized in two types that is an absolute path and a relative path whose differences are based on their location path which is described how.

Absolute Path vs Relative Path

The main difference between an Absolute path and a relative path is that the absolute path defines the exact place of a file or a folder on the other hand relative path defines the place of a file or folder which is relative to the present working directory.

Absolute path refers to the complete details that are needed to locate a folder.it is used on the website to locate folders. All the required information that is needed to locate is available in the absolute path. It is used anywhere for linking any type of folder or file on any website.

Relative path refers to a type of hierarchical path which locates folders or files on a file system starting from the current directory. <img src =”../images/images- 1. Jpg” alt = “img 1”> . In these, it states or expresses the file path which points to the image folder located in the folder which is one level up than the current folder. 

Comparison Table Between Absolute Path and Relative Path.

Parameters of ComparisonAbsolute PathRelative Path
DefinitionIt specifies the location from the root directory.It specifies or relate the current from the directory.
Used of URLUses absolute URLUses relative URL
ReferredAbsolute path is known as full path or file path.The relative path is known as a non-absolute path.
PointsIt points to a particular location in the file system, regardless of the current working directory.It points to the position of a directory using the present directory as a reference.
ExampleIf our picture is in C:\sample\ picture and index in the path for pictures is c:\sample\picture.If your picture is in c:\sample\picture and index in c:\ Sample\Index, the relative path is “..\pictures”.

What is an Absolute Path?

An absolute path is a path that defines the position of a folder or a file. It points to a precise location in the file system. It is known as a file path. It is used to link content from another website

The absolute path includes the complete location of the folder or file, including which drive it is on. It is also denoted as absolute full path. It begin from the root directory.

When it comes to URLs an absolute URL every time it points to the precise location of the web and it hold all the essential information. The absolute path contains all the relevant information to find the resources.

Different operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac os, etc.) uses a different syntax to write an absolute path.

Several characters are involved in the absolute path that carries a different meaning in the computer language such as a single “\” or “/” mean directory separator.

For example, C:\sample\Picture and index in the path for pictures are C:\sample\Pictures.

What is a Relative Path?

It defines the place of a folder or file relative to the existing working directory. A relative path contains data that is only relative to the existing document within the same website which ignores the need to provide a full absolute path. It helps the developers in writing lengthy code.

In simple terms, a relative path means a path relative to the position of the existing page.

Based on URL relative path is easier to use because they are relative to the page they are on it, a relative path is a URL that contains a portion of the full path. It is alternatively denoted to as a non-absolute path or partial path. On windows, the relative path holds a partial address of the absolute path based on its relation with the directory to which it’s connected.

 A Relative pathway usually begins with “..” representing the parent directory and the tickles down to the specific location. However, they are much shorter than the full pathway.

Relative path writes it concerning another point in the file system. It must be combined with another path in other to access the file. It is also known as the non-absolute path or partial pathway.

Main Difference Between Absolute Path and Relative Path.

  1. Absolute path specifies the locations from the root directory whereas relative path is related to the current directory.
  2. The absolute path always includes the domain name of the websites, including http://www., whereas relative links only point to a folder or a folder path.
  3. An absolute path is the exact address of the file in the file system starting from the root whereas relative file write is with the respect to another point in the file system.
  4. An absolute path starts with delaminating characters whereas a relative path never begins with a delaminating character.
  5. The absolute path uses an absolute URL whereas the relative part used a URL.
  6. An absolute path starts with “/” or “\” but a relative path never starts with “/” or “\”.


From the above discussion, we can say that both of them have significant differences between the two routes which make them useful separately. An absolute path is always used to link content from the other website but in the other case relative path is used to link something the same on the website. Absolute path and relative path are mostly used by the programmer to link as well as hyperlink pages off and on websites. The absolute path always begins with a delimiting character that is “/” or “.” while relative paths begin with “..” but never begin with “/”or “”.


  1. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.1793931
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0095895682900363