You may get this error when trying to browse an ASP.NET application.
The debug information shows that “This error can be caused by a virtual directory not being configured as an application in IIS.”
However, this error occurs primarily out of two scenarios.
- When you create an new web application using Visual Studio .NET, it automatically creates the virtual directory and configures it as an application. However, if you manually create the virtual directory and it is not configured as an application, then you will not be able to browse the application and may get the above error. The debug information you get as mentioned above, is applicable to this scenario.
To resolve it, right click on the virtual directory – select properties and then click on “Create” next to the “Application” Label and the text box. It will automatically create the “application” using the virtual directory’s name. Now the application can be accessed.
- When you have sub-directories in your application, you can have web.config file for the sub-directory. However, there are certain properties which cannot be set in the
web.configof the sub-directory such as authentication, session state (you may see that the error message shows the line number where the authentication or session state is declared in the web.config of the sub-directory). The reason is, these settings cannot be overridden at the sub-directory level unless the sub-directory is also configured as an application (as mentioned in the above point).
Mostly, we have the practice of adding
web.config in the sub-directory if we want to protect access to the sub-directory files (say, the directory is admin and we wish to protect the admin pages from unauthorized users).