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Debugging a Visual Studio Web Application that uses Windows Authentication

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In many companies, web applications are developed that use Windows Authentication for validating users of those applications. These are not just internal facing applications either, as many companies either have customer or extranet systems that use Windows Authentication.

Debugging a web application in Visual Studio that uses Windows Authentication can be problematic without making changes to how it is set-up for debugging, and how your browser is configured.

The Set-Up
In order to debug a web application that uses Windows Authentication, you will firstly need to configure your project to use IIS Express, and this is done by setting properties in the Web section of the project's properties page:


Here you need to select Use IIS Express and click the Configure Virtual Directory button, as shown above.

The next step is to select the UI project for your web application (if there are multiple projects in the solution) in the solution explorer window, and press F4 to bring up the properties…