Permissions Error When You Try to Debug an ASP.NET Web Application

While working in Microsoft Visual Studio .Net 2003 and trying to start an ASP.Net application in debugging mode (on the local Web service), I received the following error:

Error while trying to run project: Unable to start debugging on the Web server. You do not have permissions to debug the server.
Verify that you are a member of the ‘Debugger Users’ group on the server.

There’s a great many reasons why debugging in ASP.Net can fail, but the one that caused my error can easily be overlooked. The resolution is documented in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 319842. From the article:

“If your security settings for the Internet zone are not set to Automatic logon with current username and password, authentication may be unsuccessful and you may receive this error message.”

Many times, it’s useful to log in to internal (intranet) zone Web sites using different user accounts (for testing and troubleshooting). The above comment applies to the intranet zone in Internet Explorer as well if you are debugging on the local Web server. I had this setting set to Prompt for user name and password. VS.Net will not prompt for the user name and password; it will prompt you with an error message. Change the setting to  Automatic logon with current username and password and you’ll be good to go.

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