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Posted 7 Feb 2012

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Running a 32-bit application under IIS on a 64-bit machine

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7 Feb 2012CPOL

The Problem

When you try to access a 32-bit application that is running under IIS on a 64-bit machine you will most probably end up with an error. This is because, by default, IIS launches CGI applications on 64-bit work process if you're running it under a 64-bit Windows.

If you are using IIS 6+ on an operating system no older than Win2003 SP1, you’re in luck. IIS 6+ enables us to run 32-bit Web applications on 64-bit Windows using the Windows-32-on-Windows-64 (WOW64) compatibility layer. IIS 6.0 using WOW64 is intended to run 32-bit personal productivity applications needed by software developers and administrators, including 32-bit Internet Information Services (IIS) Web applications. For more info, read MS Technet article regarding this problem.

The Solution 

To configure IIS to run 32-bit applications you must follow these steps:

  1. Open IIS
  2. Go to current server – > Application Pools
  3. Select the application pool your 32-bit application will run under
  4. Click Advanced setting or Application Pool Default
  5. Set Enable 32-bit Applications to True

If this option is not available to you, follow these next steps:

  • Go to %windir%\system32\inetsrv\
  • Execute the appcmd.exe tool:
    appcmd set apppool / /enable32BitAppOnWin64:true

If that doesn’t work, these will most definitely work:

  1. Go to %systemdrive%\Inetpub\AdminScripts
  2. Execute cscript.exe adsutil.vbs set W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32BitAppOnWin64 “true” 


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Ovidiu Tudorache
Chief Technology Officer Zurply
Romania Romania
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

QuestionEnable 32 bit stopping the app pool Pin
ptMujeeb6-May-18 17:36
professionalptMujeeb6-May-18 17:36 

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