Tip #21: Did you know…How to set a fixed port for the Developer Web Server?

When you create a file based web site, the "Developer Web Server" is fired up on a local port to serve the web site.  By default, the port value used is dynamic based on a pre-defined range and the availability of a port.  In some situations, you might want the web server to always use a fixed port value.

Here's how to do configure this:

  1. If the Properties window in Visual Studio is not already opened, open it with "F4" or via the toolbar - "View" -> "Properties Window".
  2. Left click on your web site in the "Solution Explorer" window.
  3. You'll now see a dialog similar to the following:


    Notice the drop down list for the "Use dynamic ports" setting.  If you set this to "False", you'll then be able to specify a fixed port in the "Port number" field.  Set this to your desired port value.

  4. Launch your web site.  You'll see the port used matches the value you specified.

Mark Berryman

Comments (12)

  1. Dan Kline says:

    Your VS works differently from mine.  All I have is a Misc. Tab not a Developer Server Tab.  Am I missing something?

  2. Mark Berryman says:

    Any chance you created an IIS based web site instead of a file based web site?  The Developer Web Server is only used for file based web sites.

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  7. Steve Bohlen says:


    This tip only applies to the ‘file-based’ web site project introduced in VS 2005.  If you are using a .csproj- or .vbproj-based ‘Web Application Project’ (the defaut in VS 2003, released as a hotfix to VS 2005 and then later made part of the VS 2005 SP1 release and also present from the get-go in VS 2008) then the steps are completely different:

    1) Right-click on the project in the solution explorer, select properties

    2) click on the ‘Web’ tab of the project properties page

    3) Under the ‘servers’ section, select ‘specific port’ and enter the fixed port you want to use

    The difference between what you have to do for a Web Site Project and a Web Application Project is because in the Web Site Project there isn’t any .proj file to store your CASSINI dev webserver port settings.


    -Steve B.

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  10. bpimenta says:

    It has been a while since this post has been written but it still helped me. To find the properties panel, just click on the website name and press 'F4' key. Using the right button option it did not work for me.


  11. C# Programmer says:

    This will only work if the application stays on the current system. As soon as you try to move it to a different media (flash), the "use dynamic port" property gets set back to "true" and chances the port number. How can one prevent that?

    I'm using Web development asp.net 2008

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