IISReset May Not Save IIS Configuration Changes


When you make changes to your Internet Information Services (IIS) configuration through the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) or through scripting, some changes may not be saved after you use the iisreset command from the MMC or from a command prompt with no switches.


The IISReset command line tool waits for a normal shutdown of the services before it starts them again. Because of the number of services that are dependent on the IISAdmin service, the shutdown may not occur in a timely manner. When this happens, IISReset forces the shutdown of the services. This can result in metabase changes that are not saved properly.

Note: There have been some instances, where the Windows Remote Management (WinRM) service has caused this behavior. That service is installed by default in Windows 2003 R2 machines. If this is not being used as a service, you can try disabling it and see if the issue is fixed. But if it the service is used on the server, then the below workaround is necessary in order to allow changes to the metabase. More info on the Windows Remote Management service can be found here.


To save the IIS configuration to the metabase, use the net stop and the net start commands to stop and start your services, or stop and start the services from the MMC snap-in. To locate the snap-in, follow these steps:

  1. On the task bar click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.
  2. Right-click IISAdmin Service and click Stop.

The following examples illustrate the commands that are necessary to stop and start IIS from a command prompt. To stop IIS from a command prompt:
net stop iisadmin /y
NOTE: Take note of each of the services that depend on the IISAdmin Service, because you need to restart each of these services in the next step.

To start IIS from a command prompt:
net start w3svc
net start msftpsvc
net start smtpsvc
net start <short name for any other services that are listed when you stop IIS>
NOTE: Because W3SVC and the other services that are listed depend on the IISAdmin Service, the the IISAdmin Service is started automatically when the W3SVC service is started.

For additional information on finding the short names of services, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

271362 How to Find the Short Names of Services

More Information

Do not use IISReset to force IIS configuration changes to be saved to the metabase. Only use IISReset to recover from serious problems that a Web server experiences. For example, when a Web server stops responding (hangs) or crashes, or when 100% CPU utilization occurs.

For more information, see the notes in the IISReset window in the MMC.