Configure Settings to Use Shared Configuration Files and Encryption Keys (IIS 7)

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

Enable and configure the Shared Configuration feature when you want the Web server to use configuration and encryption keys from a central location.


To avoid unexpected behavior when you configure this feature, you should stop the management service and then restart it when configuration is completed. You must also close and reopen IIS Manager after configuration is completed.


For information about the levels at which you can perform this procedure, and the modules, handlers, and permissions that are required to perform this procedure, see Shared Configuration Feature Requirements (IIS 7).

Exceptions to feature requirements

  • None

To configure settings to use shared configuration files and encryption keys

You can perform this procedure by using the user interface (UI) or by editing configuration files directly.

User Interface

To use the UI

  1. Open IIS Manager and click the server node. For information about opening IIS Manager, see Open IIS Manager (IIS 7).

  2. In Features View, double-click Management Service.

  3. On the Management Service page, in the Actions pane, click Stop.

  4. In the toolbar, click the back button.

  5. In Features View, double-click Shared Configuration.

  6. Select Enable shared configuration to enable the Shared Configuration feature.

  7. Under Configuration Location, in the Physical path box, type the physical path or click the browse button (...) to locate the physical path of the configuration directory.

  8. In the User name box, type a user name of an account that has access to the configuration directory. Then in the Password and Confirm Password boxes, type the password associated with this user account.

  9. In the Actions pane, click Apply.

  10. In the Encryption Keys Password dialog box, in the Enter encryption key password box, type the password that is used to access the encryption keys in the configuration directory. Then click OK.


This is the password that was specified when the configuration files and encryption keys were exported.

  1. Close IIS Manager and then reopen it. In the Connections pane, click the server node.

  2. In Features View, double-click Management Service.

  3. On the Management Service page, in the Actions pane, click Start.


The procedure in this topic affects the following configuration elements:


This element is in the Redirection.config file; by default, this file is in the %windir%\system32\inetsrv\config directory.


You should use IIS Manager to configure shared configuration instead of editing the configuration file directly.

For more information about IISĀ 7 configuration, see IIS 7.0: IIS Settings Schema on MSDN.

See Also


Configuring Shared Configuration (IIS 7)