Configuring ASP.NET Applications 

Using the features of the ASP.NET configuration system, you can configure an entire server, an ASP.NET application, or individual pages in application subdirectories. You can configure features such as authentication modes, page caching, compiler options, custom errors, debug and trace options, and much more.

The ASP.NET configuration system features an extensible infrastructure that enables you to define configuration settings in XML files that are easily deployed. These files, each named Web.config, can exist in multiple locations in an ASP.NET application. You can add or revise configuration settings at any time with minimal impact on operational Web applications and servers.

For more information about what is new in the .NET Framework version 2.0, see What's New in ASP.NET Configuration.

For more information about configuring .NET Framework client applications, see Configuring Applications and Configuration File Schema for the .NET Framework.


The features of the ASP.NET configuration system apply only to ASP.NET resources. For example, Forms Authentication only restricts access to ASP.NET files, not to static files or classic Active Server Pages (ASP) files unless those resources are mapped to ASP.NET extensions. Use the configuration features of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) to configure non-ASP.NET resources. For more information, see Working with the Metabase (IIS 6.0) and IIS Metabase Properties.

In This Section

  • ASP.NET Configuration Overview
    Provides brief descriptions of the features of the ASP.NET configuration system with links to more in-depth information.
  • ASP.NET Configuration Files
    Provides information about ASP.NET configuration files, including their structure, editing methods, file hierarchy, inheritance behavior, and the features of the location element.
  • ASP.NET MMC Snap-In
    Provides information about using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in to configure ASP.NET applications.
  • Securing ASP.NET Configuration
    Provides information about the security mechanisms that are built into the ASP.NET configuration system, and issues that are of concern to administrators.
  • Configuring Applications
    Provides conceptual information about configuring .NET Framework client applications, not related to ASP.NET.