Resolving w3wp processes in Vista with Visual Studio

The problem

If you’re like me, and enjoy using the IIS to debug your sites, then you might’ve run into the problem where there are a heap of w3wp-processes running simultaneously. How do you know which one to attach to to get into that debugging goodieness?

w3wp processes



The solution

There is a command in windows that allows you to resolve these w3wp-procceses into their application pool names. Yay! So, if you’ve created separate application pools for your local websites (which you should) then you’ll be able to resolve the w3wp-processes for them.

Now, you really don’t want to open up a command prompty every time you want to resolve your processes. Or write a .bat-script. Instead let’s integrate this solution into Visual Studio!

In Visual Studio select Tools -> External Tools and click Add.

Make it look like so:


Now the tool appears in your Tools menu as Resolve w3wp processes.


Here’s the end result when you click it:


Now attach to that process and debug like never before!

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  • Glad you like it! šŸ™‚

  • This is absolutely great, man! Totally helpful, best tip of this week probably. Love this!

  • Cheers, Martin! Thanks! šŸ™‚

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