How to: Find the Name of the ASP.NET Process

This topic applies to:


Visual Basic




Web Developer


Topic does not apply Topic does not apply Topic does not apply Topic does not apply Topic does not apply

Pro, Premium, and Ultimate

Topic applies Topic applies Topic does not apply Topic does not apply Topic applies

To attach to a running ASP.NET application, you have to know the name of the ASP.NET process: 

  • If you are running IIS 6.0 or IIS 7.0, the name is w3wp.exe.

  • If you are running an earlier version of IIS, the name is aspnet_wp.exe.

For applications built by using Visual Studio 2005 or later versions, the ASP.NET code can reside on the file system and run under the test server WebDev.WebServer.exe. In that case, you must attach to WebDev.WebServer.exe instead of the ASP.NET process. This scenario applies only to local debugging.

Older ASP applications run inside the IIS process inetinfo.exe when they are running in-process.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Working with Settings.

To determine whether project code resides on the file system or IIS

  1. In Visual Studio, open Solution Explorer if it is not already open.

  2. Select the top node that contains the name of the application.

  3. If the Properties window title contains a file path, the application code resides on the file system.

    Otherwise, the Properties window title will contain the name of the Web site.

To determine the IIS version under which the application is running

  1. Find Administrative Tools and run it. Depending on your operating system, this might be an icon inside Control Panel, or a menu entry that appears when you click Start.

    In Windows XP, Control Panel can be in Category View or Classic View. In Category View, you have to click Switch to Classic View or Performance and Maintenance to see the Administrative Tools icon.

  2. From Administrative Tools, run Internet Information Services. An MMC dialog box appears.

  3. If there is more than one computer listed in the left pane, select the one on which the application code resides.

  4. The IIS version is in the Version column of the right pane.

See Also


Prerequistes for Remote Debugging Web Applications

ASP.NET Debugging: System Requirements

Other Resources

Preparing to Debug ASP.NET

Debugging Web Applications and Script