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May
05
2013

How to troubleshoot IIS localhost startup issues

Having a local IIS setup at your computer could be useful for so many applications. You can make use of it for learning a server side language, database or to maintain a local/stage instance of your website.

To test if IIS is already running on your computer you can open a blank browser window and type the address http://localhost or http://127.0.0.1/

If you are using Windows 7 you should see the IIS startup screen like this:

 

IIS7 Startup Screen on Windows 7

IIS7 Startup Screen on Windows 7

 

If you don’t see this screen there could be variety of reasons and you can follow these steps to troubleshoot.

IIS is an optional service for Windows and by default it may not be installed. To install and start IIS follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Control Panel
  • Launch Programs and Features
  • From the left menu open up the option Turn Windows Features on or off
  • If you are installing IIS for server side languages then you may need to choose some additional options ASP.Net under Word Wide Web Services
IIS Additional Server Side Installation Options

IIS Additional Server Side Installation Options

 

Note: If the IIS was already enabled and localhost is not working then you can try to remove the IIS service and add it again using the steps above to refresh the IIS installation/services. This will not remove any of existing files/applications exist already in C:\inetpub\wwwroot directory

Once the installation is complete try to visit the http://localhost again from your browser.

If the localhost welcome screen still not appears then you can try these additional steps:

  • Restart your computer
  • Restart the localhost service
    • From startmenu search for IIS and launch IIS manager application
    • On IIS manager left menu you will notice the sites directory
    • Under sites make sure the localhost is listed and started. If not, then manually start it from the option available on the right side bar (Actions bar)

You can also use the Browse option on this Actions bar to start the localhost site. If the issue is related to the name of the site (localhost) or some ports related then browsing the site from IIS manager would be a good alternative to start the localhost site.

Manually Starting localhost site from IIS manager

 

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