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How to Install XAMPP on Windows (with Configuration)

Updated on June 8, 2015

Love playing with SQL databases and web frameworks? Well open source XAMPP software comes with goodness of numerous popular frameworks including MySQL, PHP and PERL tuned in with Apache distribution, allowing one to seamlessly practice, build, work and integrate with numerous open source apps and websites like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, MediaWiki, Moodle, Blogger and other extensive CMS and wiki platforms.

Install XAMPP effortlessly on windows with a bit of help from the genius! :)
Install XAMPP effortlessly on windows with a bit of help from the genius! :) | Source

With so many benefits in single package of XAMPP, one simply can't resist but to install the amazing piece of work on their windows operating system. While the package is simple to install there are certain configurations and key areas which a user needs to change in order to install XAMPP correctly on their windows OS and also to use all the popular Apache server and MySQL database management commands and system level coding for various web languages and frameworks.

In this tutorial you will learn how to install XAMPP on your windows OS and what all settings you need to change at system level directories to allow all the features of XAMPP to work properly. Let's get started.

1. Downloading XAMPP Installer for Windows

To download XAMPP installer for windows, go to Apache friends website (https://www.apachefriends.org) and download the latest version of XAMPP for windows on the main page.

Download XAMPP Installer

Download XAMPP for windows on Apachefriends.org
Download XAMPP for windows on Apachefriends.org

2. Turning off UAC Feature in Windows

One of the major difficulties users face while installing XAMPP in windows is User Account Control (UAC) feature wherein UAC interferes with the features of XAMPP by not giving it full system level privilege which is very important to use all the features of XAMPP especially MySQL and Apache. So while you are downloading XAMPP installer lets turn off UAC for XAMPP installation in next step.

To turn off UAC go to windows control panel from the start menu and in the search box type UAC and hit enter to open User Account Control (UAC) Settings and click Change User Account Control settings to open the popup settings.To turn off UAC move the slider to the Never notify position and then click OK to allow XAMPP access to all administrative privileges.

Start Menu ► Control Panel ►User or Search Box ► UAC ► Change User Account Control Settings

Turning off Windows UAC

Switch UAC off through Control Panel in User Setting
Switch UAC off through Control Panel in User Setting

Note : UAC is windows security feature that prevents software's from making any changes to the system without the user's consent and thus this step requires one to reboot their system after turning off the UAC.

3. Installing XAMPP on Windows

After downloading the XAMPP installer double click on it to install XAMPP on your windows system by following the instructions as displayed by the installer wizard. Make sure that you install XAMPP in the same directory as that of windows. (usually this is the default install directory C:/XAMPP).

This step will install all server and framework features that come with XAMPP like MySQL, Apache, PHP and Perl and create a XAMPP control panel shortcut on the desktop or start menu.

Installing XAMPP

XAMPP installer for Windows
XAMPP installer for Windows

4. Configuring the System path for XAMPP :

To configure your windows OS to work correctly with MySQL and Apache commands and settings, Go to control panel from the start menu and click the “System and Security” option. In System and Security, click the “System” option to open the system menu and choose the “Advanced System Settings” option in it to open the system properties panel.

In the properties panel options click on “Environmental Variables” tab and scroll the system variables to look for variable named “Path”. Select the path option and click on edit bar below it to open the variables default execution path and the add the following path at the end of the execution path as the variable value and save it.

;c:/xampp/mysql/bin

Adding XAMPP to System's Execution Path

Adding XAMPP control panel and MySQL to Windows default execution path
Adding XAMPP control panel and MySQL to Windows default execution path

Control Panel ► System and Security ► System ► Advanced System Settings ► Properties (Environmental Variables) ► Path Variable ► Add ;c:/xampp/mysql/bin

Note : This step will allow MySQL and Apache frameworks to start in default system execution directories helping one to create their own content using system execution pathways.

In Windows XP and Vista the "System and Security" option is replaced by "System Maintenance"

5. Testing if XAMPP is Working Correctly on your Windows System

To test the presence of correctly configured and installed XAMPP, open XAMPP control panel and start MYSQL and APACHE system servers. Now open cmd.exe by searching for “cmd” in windows search box and in the cmd.exe type “mysql”:and hit enter, if it returns results then it is working properly and you can use MySQL, PHP, Perl and all built in commands at system level through command line executions.

Testing MySQL with XAMPP on cmd.exe

Testing MySQL commands on cmd.exe on windows with XAMPP control panel
Testing MySQL commands on cmd.exe on windows with XAMPP control panel

Configuring the Mysql data pathway to non-system drive (System32 to another drive)

Although MySQL executes at system level, it can seriously interfere with windows system files with its command line executions and data pathways, and thus it would be smart to change the saved data pathway to a non-system directory to allow all the data to be saved on a non-system drive while allowing one to use the full features of MySQL at system level.

To do this go to start menu and search for cmd (Command Prompt) and drag the cmd.exe icon to the desktop to create a shortcut to the execution file. Now to change the default pathway of MySQL command line client right click on the cmd.exe shortcut icon and click on properties. In the properties tab change the “Start in” field from C:/Windows/System32 to your desired drive or directory and click save (for example D:/mysqldata , make sure you create a folder named mysqldata in D drive to save all your mysql data in this non-system drive). From now on all your executions will start in the new default directory instead of system32 directory.

Changing default MySQL storage Pathway

Add your desired non-system directory address in cmd.exe shortcut's start in path
Add your desired non-system directory address in cmd.exe shortcut's start in path

Tips

  • Make sure you install XAMPP in its default system C directory, to access administrative level MySQL command lines and executions.
  • Another cool and well known way to test XAMPP presence on your windows system is to test it on your default web browser. Just start MySQL and Apache on XAMPP control panel and type localhost in your browsers address bar which will bring you to XAMPP’s default system server.

Video guide to Installing XAMPP on Windows/Mac/Linux

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XAMPP is certainly an indispensable tool for data scientists, programmers,developers and web designers to setup web servers, create elegant themes, edit CMS, install new themes, create and edit databases, built websites & eCommerce sites, create new programs, apps and lots of incredible things. And saying so have fun with your flawlessly installed and configured XAMPP software on your windows OS and get your coding, analyzing and designing skills to a whole new level with MySQL, PHP, Perl and Apache ! ♥ ♫ In case you want to add in something or have an issue, let me know in the comment section below. Don't forget to comment, share and follow this tutorial, after all XAMPP is one of the coolest local development environments. :)

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    • Starlinkindia profile image

      Star Link Communication Pvt Ltd 

      3 years ago from D-88/4, Okhla Phase I, Okhla Industrial Area, New Delhi, Delhi - 110020

      Very helpful! Thank you!

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