When I start IIS on a site, I get a "HTTP Error 500.19"

Error Code     0x80070005
Config Error   Cannot read configuration file due to insufficient permissions
Config File    \\?\c:\somepath\web.config

I think the site config file is messed up. It has '\?' in the beginning of the path of the config file. When I go to IIS manager, I don't see a way to fix that.

Can you please tell me how can I fix it?

Thank you.


You don't. \\?\c:\ is how you pass a path to Windows when you think the fully qualified file name may be longer that 260 characters. The file path functions in Windows are limited to 260 characters for file names that start c: but the limit is 32767 characters for Unicode file names that start \\?\c:\

First thing to do is to check the file at c:\somepath\web.config to make sure that the IIS account has access to it.

  • I have checked the file allows user IUSR to have 'Modify' and 'Read & Execute' access – n179911 Apr 17 '16 at 4:31
  • @n179911 You haven't specified what version of IIS this is. What Windows version, and what IIS version are we looking at? – CharlesW Apr 17 '16 at 8:04

Try the below link. You will get solution



I can't add to the chat from CharlesW unfortunately because I don't want to take away the credit. By IIS account, you have to ensure the application pool account has at least read/read execute to read the web.config file, not IUSR.

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