How Do I Fix Unable to Launch the IIS Express Web Server?


Angela Bailey

Are you facing the issue of being unable to launch the IIS Express web server? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we will walk you through some common troubleshooting steps to help you fix this problem and get your web server up and running again.

Step 1: Check for Conflicting Processes

If you are unable to launch the IIS Express web server, it could be due to a conflict with another process that is using the same port. To resolve this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt: Press Win + R, type “cmd”, and hit Enter.
  2. Type Netstat Command: In the Command Prompt window, type “netstat -ano” and press Enter. This command will display all active network connections and associated processes.
  3. Find Port Usage: Look for the port number that IIS Express uses by default, which is usually 8080.

    You can find it under the “Local Address” column.

  4. Note Process ID: Take note of the process ID (PID) associated with that port number.
  5. Kill Conflicting Process: Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. In the Task Manager window, go to the “Details” tab and find the process with the matching PID. Right-click on it and choose “End Task”.

Step 2: Check ApplicationHost.config File

If Step 1 didn’t resolve your issue, it’s possible that there is a problem with your ApplicationHost.config file. Follow these steps to check and fix it:

  1. Open File Explorer: Press Win + E to open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the IIS Express Folder: Go to the folder where IIS Express is installed. By default, it is located at “C:\Program Files (x86)\IIS Express“.
  3. Edit ApplicationHost.config File: Locate the “config” folder and open the “ApplicationHost.config” file with a text editor (e.g., Notepad).
  4. Check for Errors: Look for any errors or misconfigurations in the file.

    Pay attention to syntax and missing elements.

  5. Backup and Modify: Before making any changes, create a backup of the original file. Then, modify the file if needed, fixing any errors you have identified.

Step 3: Reinstall IIS Express

If you’ve reached this step and are still unable to launch the IIS Express web server, it might be necessary to reinstall it. Follow these steps to reinstall IIS Express:

  1. Uninstall IIS Express: Press Win + R, type “appwiz.cpl“, and hit Enter. In the “Programs and Features” window, find “IIS Express”, right-click on it, and choose “Uninstall”.
  2. Delete Remaining Files: After uninstalling IIS Express, delete any remaining files or folders associated with it.
  3. Download and Install IIS Express: Go to the official Microsoft website and download the latest version of IIS Express. Install it by following the on-screen instructions.

After reinstalling IIS Express, try launching the web server again. Hopefully, these troubleshooting steps have resolved your issue and you can now successfully launch the IIS Express web server.

If you are still facing difficulties, it might be worth seeking help from a professional or consulting relevant online forums for further assistance.

Remember, troubleshooting technical issues can sometimes be complex, but with patience and persistence, you’ll eventually find a solution. Good luck!

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