Where is the IIS Express install directory

I’ve just begun learning ASP.NET through a tutorial, and I’ve encountered an issue while trying to test a page I created with WebMatrix.

The error message I’m seeing is: “The Web server is configured to not list the contents of this directory”.

It suggests enabling directory browsing and running a command from the IIS Express install directory.

However, I’m not sure where to find this directory. Can someone please tell me where it’s located?


Sure, I’d be happy to help you with this issue. It seems like you’re encountering a common error related to directory browsing in IIS Express.

Let’s go through the solution step by step:

Understanding the Issue

The error message you’re seeing, “The Web server is configured to not list the contents of this directory”, occurs when the web server is configured not to display a directory listing when you access a folder without specifying a specific file (e.g., index.html).

This is a security feature to prevent unauthorized access to your directory structure.

Enabling Directory Browsing

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to enable directory browsing for your project in IIS Express.

Here’s how you can do that:

Locate the IIS Express Configuration File:

The configuration for IIS Express is typically stored in a file named applicationhost.config.

This file is usually found in a folder like:


Locate this file in your system.

Edit applicationhost.config:

Open applicationhost.config using a text editor (like Notepad) with administrative privileges.

Enable Directory Browsing:

Find the <directoryBrowse> section within the <sites> element. It should look something like this:

       <!-- Other site configurations -->
       <site name="YourSiteName">
           <!-- Other site settings -->
           <directoryBrowse enabled="false" />
           <!-- Other site settings -->
       <!-- Other site configurations -->

Change the enabled attribute to true:

<directoryBrowse enabled="true" />

Save the applicationhost.config file.

Restart IIS Express:

To apply the changes, you should restart IIS Express. You can do this by closing and reopening your Visual Studio project or by using the command-line tool.

Open a command prompt, navigate to the project directory, and run:

iisreset /stop
iisreset /start

Accessing IIS Express Install Directory

You mentioned that you need to go to the IIS Express install directory to run a command. To locate this directory, follow these steps:

Default Installation Path:

By default, IIS Express is usually installed in the Program Files (x86) directory on a Windows system.

The path may look like this:

C:\Program Files (x86)\IIS Express

Running Commands:

Once you’ve found the IIS Express directory, you can open a command prompt or PowerShell window in that directory to run the necessary commands.

To do this, open the Start menu, type “cmd” or “PowerShell,” right-click on the appropriate result, and choose “Run as administrator”.

Then navigate to the IIS Express directory using the cd command:

cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\IIS Express"

From here, you can run any commands required by your tutorial.


By enabling directory browsing in IIS Express and locating the IIS Express install directory, you should be able to resolve the “The Web server is configured to not list the contents of this directory” error and proceed with your ASP.NET tutorial.

If you have any further questions or encounter any issues, feel free to ask for additional assistance. Happy coding!

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