How do I change the IIS Express 8.0 installation directory so that it does not use & ldquo; My Documents & rdquo;


Is it possible to change IIS Express 8.0 so that its install and configuration directory is not under "My Documents"?

In our environment, "My Documents" is mapped to a network share.

The problem is that this makes local development in Visual Studio .NET 2012 dependent on being on the network.

When I run my ASP.NET MVC 4 application in Visual Studio .NET 2012, it spins up IIS Express 8.0.

To be quite honest, I'm not sure how IIS Express 8.0 originally got on my development machine. I did not install it directly. However, I have installed both Visual Studio .NET 2012 and Microsoft WebMatrix 2.0 and suspect it came with one (or both) of these.

I tried uninstalling IIS Express 8.0 from Programs and Features, going to Microsoft Download Center - IIS 8.0 Express, downloading iisexpress_8_0_RTM_x64_en-US.msi, and reinstalling it.

However, during the install process, I did not see any options for selecting an installation directory.

If anyone has any experience on changing this, I would be very appreciative of advice or insight. Thank you very much.

Sadly, I think the answer is: this can't be done...yet.

I wanted this myself, so I dug deep into Process Monitor to see if there was some key or file config that could control it. It looks like that key is: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\IISExpress\CustomUserHome (REG_SZ). You can set this to your own custom path on your local drive, and IISExpress will honour it perfectly.

Alas, Visual Studio doesn't use it properly. I think this is a bug. ProcMon shows Visual Studio (briefly) making use of the CustomUserHome entry, but then still going and looking for necessary config files in the %UserProfile%\IISExpress\config\ folder.

Thus, if you were to try this fix (with the as-of-now current Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 at least), it might sorta look like it's working, but in reality it's still using the same %UserProfile%\IISExpress\config\ folder. If you delete or move that folder, your project won't even open at all.

If there's a way to tell Visual Studio what IISExpress user directory to use, I haven't found it, but would be happy to be enlightened.

This blog post shows a somwhat-similar situation affected by the same bug: