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I found a way to disable the infinitely annoying web development server that pops up for those of us who use IIS to develop ASP.NET applications. I often attach to the w3wp.exe process in order to debug my MVC controllers and whatnot and I always get a million little tray icons for the stupid web development server.

Now, I’m sure many people know you can click into the properties of each individual web application and set the project to run in IIS, or a custom web server. If you configure a project so that visual studio knows it’s an IIS application, visual studio becomes even more annoying. If you open a project that hasn’t been mapped in IIS it will bug you until you do it, and if you don’t the project will be unloaded. I say, screw you Microsoft, let me do my job. I know what I’m doing.

Now that I’ve gotten the rant out of the way, on to the solution. All you have to do is:

  1. Select all of the web projects in your solution.
  2. Open the properties pane if you don’t already have it open.
  3. Change the option “Always Start When Debugging” to false.

That’s it, say goodbye to 15 million development server icons in your tray.



  1. Do you know where this setting is stored? I am using TFS and would like to check in the update so that all my teammates get it as well. But it doesn’t seem to be in the csproj or sln file.

    • I’m pretty sure the setting is stored in the csproj.user file, so you probably don’t want to check that into TFS.

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