Set up SmarterMail as an IIS Site (IIS 7.0/7.5)

By default, SmarterMail installs a basic Web server that allows administrators to start using the application immediately after installation. However, SmarterTools recommends moving to a more robust and secure Web server, such as Microsoft IIS.

The instructions for setting up SmarterMail as an IIS site differ slightly depending on whether you are using IIS 6.0 or IIS 8.0. If you are using IIS 6.0, please refer to the KB article Set up SmarterMail as an IIS Site in IIS 6.0. If you are using IIS 8.0, please refer to the KB article Set Up SmarterMail as an IIS Site in IIS 8.

NOTE: This topic assumes that you are familiar with IIS and how it works. SmarterTools recommends that you use the Web server included with SmarterMail if you are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using Microsoft IIS.

Applies to SmarterMail 8.x - 15.x

This article covers the following:

  • Disabling the SmarterMail Web server
  • Adding a new application pool for SmarterMail
  • Adding SmarterMail to IIS
  • Verifying IIS Settings
  • Updating DNS
  • Testing the site

Disabling the SmarterMail Web Server
These steps will stop and disable the default web server that is included with SmarterMail. This will also have the side-effect of disabling any shortcut for SmarterMail that may be placed on your desktop until you update it with the new URL for the SmarterMail site created in IIS.

  1. Click on Start -> Programs -> SmarterTools -> SmarterMail -> Configure SmarterMail Web Server
  2. Click on the Stop button
  3. Change the Startup Mode to Disabled
  4. Click on the Apply button
  5. Click the Close button

NOTE: You can also stop and disable the SmarterMail Web server from within the Services administrative tool if you are more comfortable using the Windows Server admin tool set.

Add an Application Pool
Follow these steps to add an application pool specifically for SmarterMail:

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  2. Right click on Application Pools from the tree view and choose Add Application Pool
  3. Name the new application pool SmarterMail, or something similarly easy to identify
  4. Set the .NET Framework Version to v4.5.x (SmarterMail versions 13.x and older allow the .NET 4.0 framework)
  5. Set the Application Pools Managed Pipeline to 'Integrated'
  6. Make sure "Start application pool immediately" is checked
  7. Click OK

Add SmarterMail to IIS
Follow these steps to add SmarterMail to IIS:

  1. Register your installation with IIS by running the following command prompt: 
    c:\windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\aspnet_regiis.exe -i
  2. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  3. Click on your ServerName, and on the right side, under IIS, double-click ISAPI and CGI Restrictions
  4. Verify that ASP.NET v4.5 is allowed. If not, right click on ASP.NET v4.5.x and select Allowed. Note: This version number display here may vary, depending on the patch version. (SmarterMail versions 13.x and older allow the .NET 4.0 framework)
  5. On the left side of the page, right click on Sites in the tree view and choose Add Website
  6. Name the site SmarterMail
  7. If you created an Application Pool name other than SmarterMail, click Select and choose the correct Application Pool
  8. For the physical path, browse to the SmarterMail -> MRS folder. The default location is C:\Program Files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail\MRS
  9. For Binding, choose an IP address to use for Webmail. If this IP address is shared with another Web site, you will need to use a different port or Host Headers. For more information about using Host headers, refer to the IIS documentation
  10. Make sure "Start Web site immediately" is checked
  11. Click OK

Verify IIS Settings
Follow these steps to verify the IIS settings. Please read each item carefully.

  1. In IIS Manager, click on your ServerName
  2. Under IIS, double click ISAPI and CGI Restrictions
  3. Verify that ASP .NET v4.5 is allowed. If it is not, right-click on ASP .NET v4.5 and select Allowed (SmarterMail versions 13.x and older allow the .NET 4.0 framework)
  4. In the tree view, click Sites
  5. Expand (or double click) the SmarterMail site
  6. Click on the App_Themes folder
  7. Under IIS, double click HTTP Response Headers
  8. Under the Action menus, click Set Common Headers
  9. Enable the Expire Web content setting
    • Click After
    • Add 7 for the number of days
  10. Click OK
  11. Click on Application Pools in the tree view
  12. Right click on the SmarterMail application pool and select Advanced Settings
  13. Under the Process Model heading, ensure the Identity is set to the NetworkService account
  14. From the Start menu, open Administrative Tools and select Services, then verify that the World Wide Publishing Service is running

For more information, refer to the SmarterMail Online Help.


Learn more about SmarterMail's enterprise email features and benefits.


Add Feedback
Great step by step. Two things I would suggest you add.

1 - How to know which version of IIs you are running - simple i know but for some they wont know.

2 - By default the ASP wasn't available under ISAPI and CGI Restrictions area and has to be added as an option.

Lastly - Server 2012 has slightly different format for getting to things so number 14 - server 2012 has no start menu by default. Am installing classicshell to give me back my startmenu.

Shane Hollis (September 26, 2014 at 5:02 PM)
I followed these steps and get a configuration error with I try to access the site.

Description: An error occurred during the processing of a configuration file required to service this request. Please review the specific error details below and modify your configuration file appropriately.

Parser Error Message: Unrecognized attribute 'targetFramework'. Note that attribute names are case-sensitive.

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.5485; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.5483

Andrew Bartle (February 23, 2015 at 7:15 PM)
Any guidance on how not to use the "NetworkService" account for the app pool? I'd prefer to follow a least privileges approach and create an account that only has the minimum rights on the box to enable the IIS webmail site.
Douglas White (March 12, 2015 at 8:29 AM)
Hi Dough,

You can create a new account of SmarterMail and make sure that account has full control over the MRS, Service folder under default path of c:\Program files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail and full control over the SmarterMail folder under the default path of C:\SmarterMail. Then after you apply the permissions run the self diagnostic to make sure all permission pass.

Brian Ward (March 12, 2015 at 8:41 AM)
Hoping for a quick fix; I purchased and setup SmarterMail on Server 2008. Working fine with built in web server. When I followed these instructions and moved it to IIS 7.5, I get an error message when trying to browse the site. It tells me "Server Error in '/' Application
Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed.

Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on the local server machine, please create a <customErrors> tag within a "web.config" configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This <customErrors> tag should then have its "mode" attribute set to "RemoteOnly". To enable the details to be viewable on remote machines, please set "mode" to "Off".

<!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->

<customErrors mode="RemoteOnly"/>

Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the "defaultRedirect" attribute of the application's <customErrors> configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

<!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->

<customErrors mode="On" defaultRedirect="mycustompage.htm"/>

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

David Short (April 1, 2015 at 10:45 AM)
Hi David! Comments on a KB article are generally used to report additional steps that could be included, typos/misspellings or helpfulness of the article. For troubleshooting technical issues, I'd recommend posting in the SmarterTools Community by using the Community tab above or submitting a ticket to our technical support team. Please keep in mind when submitting a support ticket, if the issue is caused by a bug in the system, your ticket will be refunded.
Andrea Rogers (April 2, 2015 at 9:31 AM)
If you require someone to install it on IIS for you please contact we will install it for free.
dextor stone (June 19, 2015 at 7:23 PM)

Add Feedback