How Do I Start IIS Express Web Server?


Larry Thompson

Starting the IIS Express web server is an essential step when developing and testing web applications locally. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of starting the IIS Express web server on your machine.

Step 1: Install IIS Express

If you haven’t installed IIS Express yet, you can download it from the official Microsoft website. Make sure to choose the appropriate version for your operating system.

Step 2: Open Command Prompt

To start the IIS Express web server, we need to open the Command Prompt. You can do this by pressing Windows key + R on your keyboard, then typing cmd and hitting Enter.

Step 3: Navigate to IIS Express Installation Directory

In the Command Prompt, use the cd command to navigate to the directory where IIS Express is installed. The default installation directory is usually C:\Program Files\IIS Express.

Step 4: Start IIS Express

To start the IIS Express web server, enter the following command in the Command Prompt:

  • iisexpress.exe /path:[path_to_your_web_application]

Note that you need to replace [path_to_your_web_application] with the path to your web application’s folder.


  • If your web application is located in a different drive than where Command Prompt is currently pointing, use the drive letter followed by a colon before entering the path.
  • If there are spaces in the path to your web application’s folder, enclose the entire path in double quotes.

Once you enter the command and hit Enter, IIS Express will start and display information about the web server, including the port number it is running on.

Step 5: Access Your Web Application

Finally, open your preferred web browser and access your web application by entering the following URL:

  • http://localhost:[port_number]

Replace [port_number] with the actual port number displayed by IIS Express when it started.


  • If you want to specify a custom port for IIS Express to run on, add the following argument to the command when starting it: /port:[custom_port_number].
  • If you need to stop IIS Express, go back to Command Prompt and press Ctrl + C.

Congratulations! You have successfully started the IIS Express web server and accessed your web application locally. Now you can continue developing and testing your website with ease!

We hope this tutorial was helpful in getting you started with IIS Express. For more advanced options or troubleshooting, refer to Microsoft’s official documentation on IIS Express.

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