Enable or Disable Default Documents in IIS 7

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

Enable default documents when you want a specific file to be returned to client browsers when a document name is not specified in requests. Disable default documents when you enable the Directory Browsing feature and want to return a directory listing page instead of a default document.


The Default Document feature must be enabled to add file names to the default document list and to serve default documents to client browsers. If both default documents and directory browsing are disabled, client browsers receive a 404—File Not Found error when a request does not include a document name.


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 Default Documents Feature Requirements in IIS 7.

Exceptions to feature requirements

  • None

To enable or disable default documents

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 Default Document.

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

Command Line

To enable or disable default documents, use the following syntax:

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

By default, default documents are enabled, but you can disable the feature by specifying false for the enabled attribute. For example, if you want to disable default documents, type the following at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:

appcmd set config /section:defaultDocument /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:

  • DefaultDocumentSection.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 Default Documents in IIS 7