I just installed IIS7, but whenever I want to start it, the following error occurs:

Cannot start service W3SVC on computer '.'

What's wrong with it ?

I have Windows 7 64-bit build 7600 and have installed .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and .NET Framework 4 before installing IIS7.


15 Answers 15


Go to Task Manager --> Processes and manually stop the W3SVC process. After doing this the process should start normally when restarting IIS

  • 7
    It's svchost, so go to Services, Right-Click, Go To Process to find the right svchost to terminate. Aug 21, 2013 at 17:26
  • 3
    This is a better solution and doesn't need restart.
    – nima
    Oct 10, 2013 at 21:09
  • 3
    It's w3wp.exe in my case.
    – yazanpro
    May 19, 2016 at 22:15
  • My services list says W3SVC is "being terminated" ... for half an hour ... it doesn't allow me to perform any actions on it. Aug 16, 2016 at 10:22
  • Ok, solved this with the help of this answer, as described in my question/answer. Aug 16, 2016 at 10:38

I found the solution:

  1. Run -> appwiz.cpl -> Turn windows features on or off -> Uncheck "Internet Information Services" and "Windows Process Activation Service"

  2. Restart your machine.

  3. Run -> appwiz.cpl -> install both "Internet Information Services" and "Windows Process Activation Service"


  • 1
    Where is "Internet Information Services" inside "Turn windows features on or off"> I can not find it.
    – Alvaro
    Jun 16, 2015 at 9:53
  • no need to restart, kill the W3Svc process in the task manager as @Andy J stated
    – H A
    Feb 23, 2017 at 1:36
  • 1
    @Alvaro Goto Control Panel->Add And Remove Program & you see Turn windows features on or off Apr 22, 2017 at 3:51

I came across the same problem. It got solved with following steps:

  1. Go to admin DOS command prompt --
  2. (Ctrl+X) will give the option to go to admin DOS prompt
  3. use command "iisreset"

This will solve the problem.

  • Just spent a whole day trying at least 15 "solutions" across the whole of the Stack Exchange and other forums...THANK YOU! This solved it in a blink.
    – SKidd
    Apr 13, 2022 at 16:42
  1. Go to services.msc
  2. Check World Wide Web Publishing Service.
  3. If disabled, right-click change the Startup type to Automatic.
  4. Start the service.

This commonly occurs when port 80 is being used by something else. If this is a dev box, do you also have Apache or Skype installed? These are a common culprit.

You can check if port 80 is in use by running netstat -ab|find "80" in an elevated command prompt. This may take a minute or two to run depending on what network activity is occurring on your PC.

  • Thanks for the reply, I've done what you said and this is the result : picfront.org/d/7Mdg Aug 16, 2010 at 19:32
  • BTW: I've been installed Apache and Mysql via XAMPP on my system before installing IIS7. Aug 16, 2010 at 19:34
  • It doesn't look like anything is running on port 80 there. What does your event log say?
    – MDMarra
    Aug 16, 2010 at 19:51
  • How should I check event logs? Aug 17, 2010 at 0:38
  • @Mohammad - Perhaps this question is better suited for superuser.com
    – MDMarra
    Aug 17, 2010 at 0:52

A bit different from Mohammad's solution:

  1. Run -> appwiz.cpl -> Turn windows features on or off -> Check "Windows Process Activation Service"

  2. That's all.

It solved my problem.

  • 1
    This actually didn't work for me but Mohammad's did. Just sayin'
    – Vazgen
    Dec 23, 2012 at 20:19
  • This worked once I manually started the service after installation. No reboot required.
    – kampsj
    Mar 17, 2014 at 14:20
  • Didn't work for me.
    – Randell
    Jun 5, 2017 at 1:18

The solution to this issue was different for me.

After following the solutions to check that the Window Features where there I was still having the same problem.

The error message was the same and I noticed the Windows Service "World Wide Web Publishing Service" which was set to automatic was not started.

This service was dependent on "Windows Process Activation Service" (You can check dependent services by right clicking > properties > dependent tab)

I received a file/assembly missing error when I tried to manually start "Windows Process Activation Service". According to this blog the apppools folder had gone missing. Like the author of that page I have no idea what caused it to disappear...security software?

I added the directory c:\inetpub\temp\apppools and started the services in the correct order. Both are now set to automatic and all work fine.

  • This is actually the only solution which worked for me! And yes it all worked before, but needed to disable the services for Xamp. May 17, 2016 at 14:48

I had this issue because I forgot I was debugging the w3svc process in Visual Studio when working on a website, and I was paused at a breakpoint. :P


You should check to see that all of the following services are started, or at the very least, not disabled: HTTP, Windows Process Activation Service, DCOM Process Launcher, and RPC Endpoint Mapper.

You should also verify t hat no other process is listening on port 80. The simplest way to do this is to issue the following in a command window:

netstat -a -o|findstr 80
  • With the default settings Skype also uses ports 80 and 443 as an alternative for incoming connections. Check whether this is enabled in the advanced->connection settings if you have installed Skype.
    – Andreas
    Aug 16, 2010 at 21:05
  • 1
    I've checked port 80 via the command that you wrote , this is the result => picfront.org/d/7Mdg Aug 17, 2010 at 0:34
  • 1
    BTW, I don't have Skype Aug 17, 2010 at 0:35
  • 1
    I've checked the services that you wrote, I don't have a service with HTTP name. DCOM Process Launcher and RPC Endpoint Mapper are started but Windows Process Activation Service is in Manual mode and it didn't start. When I wanted to start it this error has occurred : picfront.org/d/7MeM Aug 17, 2010 at 0:41
  • 1
    This should help: hanselman.com/blog/… The short answer is to check for a folder called C:\inetpub\temp\appPools. If it doesn't exist, create it. Also: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc734935(WS.10).aspx
    – BillP3rd
    Aug 17, 2010 at 3:01

I had a similar issue. In my case, World Wide Web Publushing Service (W3SVC) service was disabled. Run services.msc, right-click on World Wide Web Publushing Service, then click Properties and select "Automatic" as startup type. Now start IIS again.


I was having the same issue, and followed all the steps described here.... However, nothing seems to worked.

The error in the event manager I was getting while trying to run "Windows Process Activation Service" service manually was stating that http service was not found or disabled. Moreover, we were not able to find http service in services list.. so wasn't sure how to enable it.

Here is the error I was getting

The World Wide Web Publishing Service service depends on the HTTP service which failed to start because of the following error: 
The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.

Finally I got it fixed using following command in command prompt.

sc config http start= auto

Then, just started "Windows Process Activation Service" and IIS is now running fine.

Credit goes to the original answer given here: How to re-install http windows service by MajidTaheri

Hoping this helps someone with the same issue...


Just rebooted the server. It was fine then. The service was stuck trying to come down after I made some IIS changes.


After upgrading from Server 2010 to 2012 R2 I had the same issue. I followed the advice above with the additional steps.

From elevated command prompt:

sc config http start = auto
net start w3svc

Refreshed the WSUS website in IIS manager and restarted and things were good.


Similar problem when attempting to start the service from Powershell:

Start-Service -Name W3SVC 

Start-Service: Service 'World Wide Web Publishing Service (w3svc)' cannot be started due to the following error: Cannot open 'w3svc' service on computer '.'

The problem was resolved when I restarted PowerShell as Administrator. Not sure how IIS Admin handles but the error seemed similar enough.


For me the following simple step fixed the issue:

Go to task manager and find and end any "IIS worker Process".

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