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Enable or Disable Directory Browsing in IIS 7

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

Enable directory browsing when you want client browsers to display a Web page that lists the contents of a directory when a request does not specify a document name and IIS cannot return a default document. A default document cannot be returned when IIS does not find a file in the directory that matches a file name specified in the IIS default document list, or when the Default Document feature is disabled in IIS.


By default, directory browsing is disabled in IIS so that users cannot see the contents of directories. To enhance security, you should leave directory browsing disabled unless you have a specific reason to enable it. If you enable directory browsing, make sure that you only enable it on the particular directory or directories that you want to share.


For information about the levels at which you can perform this procedure, and the modules, handlers, and permissions that are required to perform this procedure, see Directory Browsing Feature Requirements in IIS 7.

Exceptions to feature requirements

  • None

To enable or disable directory browsing

You can perform this procedure by using the user interface (UI), by running Appcmd.exe commands in a command-line window, by editing configuration files directly, or by writing WMI scripts.

User Interface

To use the UI

  1. Open IIS Manager and navigate to the level you want to manage. For information about opening IIS Manager, see Open IIS Manager (IIS 7). For information about navigating to locations in the UI, see Navigation in IIS Manager (IIS 7).

  2. In Features View, double-click Directory Browsing.

  3. In the Actions pane, click Enable if the Directory Browsing feature is disabled and you want to enable it. Or, click Disable if the Directory Browsing feature is enabled and you want to disable it.

Command Line

To enable or disable the directory browsing, use the following syntax:

appcmd set config /section:directoryBrowse /enabled:true|false

By default, the enabled attribute is set to true, which means that directory browsing is enabled. When you set the enabled attribute to false, directory browsing is disabled.

For example, to disable directory browsing, type the following at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:

appcmd set config /section:directoryBrowse /enabled:false

For more information about Appcmd.exe, see Appcmd.exe (IIS 7).


The procedure in this topic affects the following configuration elements:


For more information about IIS 7 configuration, see IIS 7.0: IIS Settings Schema on MSDN.


Use the following WMI classes, methods, or properties to perform this procedure:

  • DirectoryBrowseSection.Enabled property

For more information about WMI and IIS, see Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) in IIS 7. For more information about the classes, methods, or properties associated with this procedure, see the IIS WMI Provider Reference on the MSDN site.

See Also


Configuring Directory Browsing in IIS 7 Configuring Default Documents in IIS 7