Visual Studio 2017 Error: The project doesn’t know how to run the profile IIS Express

I have a couple of computers I work between for the samples I use on this blog and when switching to between of them I got the following error last week.

The project doesn’t know how to run the profile IIS Express.

I verified the project would still run on the other computer with no issues. I also verified that on the computer with the issues the project would still work using  dotnet run from the command line still worked.

Next, I went to verify the project properties. Here I noticed a strange thing on the computer with the error the Debug tab of the project properties was missing a lot of setting. The following is a screen shot of the computer with the issues.

And here is the same tab on the same project, but from a different computer.

The cause

After more time that I would like to admit I was able to track down the issue. On the computer with the issue, I often work on projects that are very large which tend to slow down Visual Studio pretty bad. In an effort to speed things up a bit I when through and disabled all the extensions that I could including the Microsoft Azure App Service Tools. Turns out that disabling the previous extension caused the Microsft ASP.NET and Web Tools extension to be disabled as well (with no warning).

The solution

The only way I was able to get the project to work properly was to enable both the Microsft ASP.NET and Web Tools extension AND the Microsoft Azure App Service Tools extension. I am not sure why the Microsft ASP.NET and Web Tools extension need the Microsoft Azure App Service Tools extension but based on my experience they are related in some way.

17 Replies to “Visual Studio 2017 Error: The project doesn’t know how to run the profile IIS Express”

  1. Hi! Where can I reenable Microsft ASP.NET and Web Tools extension AND the Microsoft Azure App Service Tools extension? I can’t seem to find it in VS2017. Thanks!

        1. Sorry for the delayed response. You could try installing the SDK which can be found here. If you have that install try launching the Visual Studio 2017 installer and making sure you have “ASP.NET and web development” installed.

  2. I’m adding my thanks too! It worked for me too.

    I couldn’t find the extensions easily in the dialog from Tools > Extensions and Updates so instead I went to Add or Remove programs in System Settings, scrolled down to Visual Studio Professional 2017 and clicked on the Modify button. Then it’s really easy to select the tools you want to add.

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