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Important This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here.

Start Options, Web Site Property Pages Dialog Box

The Start Options property page allows you to specify how Microsoft Visual Web Developer interprets the command to run a Web page when you choose Start Debugging or Start Without Debugging from the Debug menu (or press F5 or CTRL+F5). These options are local settings and not shared with other users.


The options in this page apply only when you are testing your Web site in Visual Web Developer; they do not apply to deploying your Web site to a production server. For more information on deployment, see Deployment (How Do I in Visual Web Developer).

To access this dialog box

  1. In Visual Web Developer, in the Solution Explorer pane, click your Web site project name.

  2. Click View and then click Property Pages.

    Alternatively, you can right-click your Web site project name in Solution Explorer and click Property Pages.

    The Property Pages window appears.

  3. Click the Start Options node.

Start action

The Start action group allows you to specify what page or process Visual Web Developer launches when you run the Start command.

Use current page

Visual Web Developer launches the current page in the default browser.

Specific page

Visual Web Developer runs a specific page when you start the Web site, even if you are currently editing another page. You can specify the page here or by right-clicking the page in Solution Explorer and clicking Set As Start Page.

Start external program

Visual Web Developer runs an alternative program instead of launching the browser. The program must be an .exe file and you must either specify a full path to the .exe file or launch a program that is in your computer's current path.

Command line arguments

Specifies command-line options or other values to be passed to the external program.

Working directory

Specifies a full path to a working directory where the external program will start. The path must exist.

Start URL

Specifies a starting URL to launch. This option is typically used by Web service applications so that you can start a different Web site that will call your Web service.

Don't open a page. Wait for a request from an external application.

Specifies that Visual Web Developer should start your project in a Web server and wait for another application to make a request. This is useful for debugging Web service applications.


The Server group allows you to control what Web server is used when you test pages.

Use default Web server

Visual Web Developer launches the browser and makes a request using the server configured for the current Web site:

  • For file system Web sites, Visual Web Developer launches the ASP.NET Development server.

  • For local Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Web sites, Visual Web Developer makes a request using the URL used to open the site.

  • For remote Web sites, Visual Web Developer makes a request using the URL of the remote site.

NTLM Authentication

Specifies that NTLM authentication is required for requests to the server. By default, NTLM authentication is turned on.

Selecting this check box prevents other users on this computer from accessing your Web site and executing code using your identity and security permissions.

Use custom server

Visual Web Developer launches the current page using a specific server. This option is particularly useful for FTP Web sites. You can specify the URL of the Web server that corresponds to your FTP site. For more information, see FTP-Deployed Web Sites.

Base URL

Specifies the URL of the server to use instead of the default server. This applies only to FTP-deployed Web sites and file system Web sites. For file system Web sites, this option allows you to use your local IIS Web server instead of the ASP.NET Development Server.


The Debuggers group allows you to specify which debuggers are available when you test pages. When a debugger is loaded, it can include debugging engines for different types of code. The options you select here determine which of the engines is loaded.


Each debugging engine you load requires memory and affects the performance of debugging overall. In general, you should specify only the debugging engines that you need.


In Visual Web Developer Express Edition, only ASP.NET debugging is available.


When this check box is selected, the debugger for managed code is loaded whenever you launch the debugger. This debugger allows you to debug the server-side code in your pages and in any .NET Framework components that you call from your page.


Processes to be debugged must be compiled with debugging information.

If you disable this debugger, Visual Web Developer launches the debugger but makes no attempt to get process information from IIS and make it available to the debugger. However, you can still debug client script in the page.

For more information, see Debugging Web Pages Overview.

Native code

When this check box is selected, the debugger for native (unmanaged) code is loaded whenever you launch the debugger. This option is useful if your Web site calls a component (for example, a COM component) written in an unmanaged language such as C++. If this check box is not selected, you can debug managed code, but the debugger will skip over calls to unmanaged code. For more information, see Debugging Native Code.

SQL Server

When this check box is selected, the debugger for SQL Server stored procedures is loaded whenever you launch the debugger. For more information, see Debugging SQL.

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