This configuration section cannot be used at this path….!!??

By default within Windows 7 IIS 7.5 Microsoft has locked down the parent security requiring that you explicitly allow certain functions for them to be overridden by using either the IIS interface or by your apps web.config file.

For example I received the following alert in IIS when my web.config file had “Anonymous Authentication” turned on. This alert is displayed when trying to manage the authentication settings within IIS.

“There was an error while performing this operation”
”Error: This configuration section cannot be used at this path.This happens when the section is locked at a parent level. …”

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Resolution

  1. Open windows explorer c:\Windows\system32\inetsrv\config\
  2. edit applicationHost.config in notepad
  3. Look through xml and change relevant tags from Deny to Allow

In my case I needed to allow anonymousAuthentication so I changed the following:

<sectionGroup name=”authentication”>
<section name=”anonymousAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”basicAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”clientCertificateMappingAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”digestAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”iisClientCertificateMappingAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”windowsAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
</sectionGroup>

to:

<sectionGroup name=”authentication”>
<section name=”anonymousAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Allow” />
<section name=”basicAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”clientCertificateMappingAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”digestAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”iisClientCertificateMappingAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
<section name=”windowsAuthentication” overrideModeDefault=”Deny” />
</sectionGroup>

Path to config file: c:\Windows\system32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config

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