Simon Hibbard's Web Apps Blog


Visual Studio – Attach to running local web site process to debug (and cannot see w3wp.exe?)

I had this problem where I wanted to attach my Visual Studio debugger to and already running website on local host.

From a bit of Googleing I found the process I needed to attach to was the IIS worker process called w3wp.exe, but this was not in my list. I noticed if I refreshed the site and then looked quickly in the process list it was there but then dissapeared shortly after – so a timeout I guessed.

This is what was happening, so I needed to stop it from timing out or at least delay it.

The answer was to change a setting in the applicaiton pool – ‘Shutdown Time Limit’.

Solution Summary:
– Goto IIS and find the website or application you want to modify.
– Click advanced settings to find the applicaiton pool it is using (or as I did create a new application pool and assign this website to use it)
– Goto your application pool list – selected advanced settings
– Change the ‘Shutdown Time Limit’ to something like 1000 (seconds) its default is 90

w3wp.exe should now hang around long enough to attach to it with the debugger 🙂