How To: Stop “Access Denied” errors in MVC Intranet Applications VS 2012/IIS Express [Field Notes]

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  • Using Visual 2012 and IIS Express
  • Building an MVC4 Intranet project
  • Authentication Doesn’t appear to work; I always get an “Access Denied” screen on every page.


This happens because IIS Express isn’t configured by default for Windows Authentication.


  • Run your project.
  • While it is running / showing you the error, find the IIS Express Icon in your system tray
  • Right-click the icon and select Show all Web Applications.
  • Click on your web application.
  • Look at the Config property to find where your applicationhost.config file is stored.
  • Stop your web site and open that applicationhost.config file for editing.
  • Find the section where WindowsAuthentication enabled is set to false and change it to true.
  • Save the file.


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