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Why can I not open the applicationhost.config file on 64-bit Windows?

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Are you receiving an error message? By default, to edit applicationHost.config, you need to be running your editor of choice (ie Notepad) as administrator since it is within System directory. – Chris Anton Sep 29 '11 at 20:59

Paraphrased from

Under x64 Windows certain paths are designated as 64-bit paths, and a 32-bit process, like Visual Studio, is being redirected by Windows to the 32-bit path at C:\windows\SysWOW64 whenever C:\windows\system32 is referenced. The 32-bit process thinks it is looking at C:\windows\system32\inetsrv\config when it has been given C:\windows\SysWOW64\inetsrv\config; which indeed contain none of those configuration files we are after.

To solve (credit to Robert McMurray)

open a 64-bit command prompt and execute the following commands:

cd /d "%systemdrive%\windows\syswow64\inetsrv"

move config configx86

MKLINK /d Config "%systemdrive%\windows\system32\inetsrv\Config"

It should report symbolic link created for Config <<===>> C:\windows\system32\inetsrv\Config

This effectively renames the 32-bit config directory so a symbolic link of that name can take its place to redirect back to the 64-bit path which we are really interested in.

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