Step-by-Step Guide: How to Enable HTTP/2 on IIS

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Internet Information Services (IIS) , or Windows Web Server, runs on the Microsoft .NET platform on Windows operating System. It is an extensible, scalable and manageable platform used to host pages, applications or media on the internet. Hosting services in IIS use HTTP that is based on the TCP/IP suite of protocols.

To enable HTTP/2 on IIS, there are a few things to consider.

  • HTTP/2 was not supported before IIS version 10.0. IIS on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 supports HTTP/2.
  • Creating a new DWORD named ‘DuoEnabled’ and setting the value to 1 is no longer required. There are no new IIS configuration settings specific to HTTP/2 provided the client, and server configuration supports HTTP/2.

With these things in mind, now you can move on to the process of enabling HTTP/2 on IIS.

How to Enable HTTP/2 on IIS in 6 Steps

  • On Windows 10, in Control Panel go to the Programs and Features. In the Turn Windows Features On or Off window, select the Internet Information Services checkbox. On Windows Server 2016, this can be found under Server Manager > Add roles and features > then select Web Server (IIS) from the list.
  • Next, post-installation open the Internet Services Manager and under the connections tab on the left pane select the server name. Then select the server certificates option and click on Complete Certificate Request from the Actions pane.
  • Note: Install the SSL certificate on the same server where the CSR was created since the server holds the private key, and the certificate won’t work without this file.

  • Browse to the .cer file and fill in a friendly name and click ok to install the certificate.
  • Once the installation completes, go to the IIS Manager window. Under Connections, select the server to which the certificate was assigned. Under Sites, select the site to be secured and click on Actions menu, then click on Bindings.
  • In the Site Binding window, select Add and change the type from HTTP to HTTPS. In case of existing binding, select and edit. For the IP address, select All Unassigned and set the port as 443. The SSL certificate field drop down contains the friendly name for the SSL certificate that will be used on the site.
  • Click Ok to complete the setup.

When Will HTTP/2 Not be Supported in IIS?

There are a few instances in which IIS doesn’t support HTTP/2. Here are a few examples of them:

  • Windows authentication, NTLM/Kerberos/ or Negotiate is not supported with HTTP/2. In this case, IIS will revert to HTTP/1.1.
  • Clear text – IIS supports HTTP/2 only over TLS.
  • Bandwidth throttling – IIS has a feature to limit bandwidth in HTTP/1.1, but it is not enforced in HTTP/2.

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