Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS)

Definition of Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS) in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is PWS (Microsoft Personal Web Server)?

A workgroup-level Web server that is installed instead of the full Internet Information Server (IIS) version 4 when IIS is installed on a machine running Microsoft Windows NT Workstation, Windows 95, or Windows 98. Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS) is suitable for personal publishing, hosting local area network (LAN) intranet sites, development and testing, and performing remote administration of IIS.

When PWS is installed on Windows NT Workstation, it supports all the features of IIS on Windows NT except the following:

  • Index Server
  • Hosting of multiple Web sites
  • ODBC logging
  • Domain blocking
  • Process isolation

How it works

PWS has two components, a Web or Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server and a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server, which work independently.

You can run a Web server, an FTP server, or both. PWS creates the \Inetpub\ Wwwroot folder for your home page and for the files that you want to make available through FTP. You can create a subdirectory structure under this directory.


When PWS is installed on Windows 95 and Windows 98, it lacks the NTFS security features. Be sure you don’t accidentally place sensitive data on your site.

Graphic M-11. You can manage PWS through Personal Web Manager.