How to: Find the Web Application Root
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A Web application is a core structure of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). It represents an available URL namespace (for example, http://example). The Web application root is the folder on your hard disk that corresponds to this URL namespace. For example, placing a file called file.htm in the Web application root folder results in an available URL at http://example/file.htm.
A site created with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services builds on top of these Web applications. In most cases, the files that show up in the namespace for a Windows SharePoint Services site are stored in the database and do not physically reside in the Web application root. However, the Web application root does contain some files that are used by the SharePoint site or by Web Parts built with ASP.NET, as follows:
The web.config file, which stores ASP.NET configuration options
Any .NET Framework assemblies that have controls or parts that the SharePoint site uses, which are stored in the bin folder
Any Web Part definitions (.dwp or .webpart files) used throughout the Web application, which are stored in the wpcatalog folder
Any resources for Web Parts specific to the Web application, which are stored in the wpresources folder
Typically, the default Web application root for port 80 is stored at c:\inetpub\wwwroot. A Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 installation normally took over the default Web application; therefore, the default Web application root for a SharePoint site created with Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 was located there.
An installation of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 typically provisions a new Web application, most often called SharePoint (80). The physical location of this path is c:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\<guid>.
There usually are at least two <guid> directories in VirtualDirectories—one for the central administration application, and one for the default content application. To find out which application is which, use the following procedure to determine the root directory of your Web application. This procedure applies to Windows Server 2003 running Microsoft Internet Information Server 6.0.
To work with the files in your Web application, right-click the root directory of your application and select Explore. Doing so changes the right pane of IIS Manager into an Explorer window, in which you can right-click files to open or edit them, or view their properties.
To determine the Web application root directory
Click the Start menu on the Windows desktop, click Control Panel, and double-click Administrative Tools.
In the Administrative Tools window, double-click Internet Information Services.
In the Internet Information Services window, expand the node that corresponds to your computer, and then expand the Web Sites node.
Right-click the Web application you more information about, such as SharePoint (80), and then click Properties.
In the Default Web Site Properties window, click the Home Directory tab.
The Local Path field in this tab shows the Web application root folder.