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MySQL and Windows  /  Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows

Chapter 1 Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows

Table of Contents     [+/-]

1.1 Choosing An Installation Package
1.2 Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using an MSI Package     [+/-]
1.3 MySQL Server Instance Configuration Wizard     [+/-]
1.4 Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using a noinstall Zip Archive     [+/-]
1.5 Troubleshooting a MySQL Installation Under Windows
1.6 Windows Postinstallation Procedures
1.7 Upgrading MySQL on Windows
1.8 Installing MySQL from Source on Windows     [+/-]

The MySQL server 5.0 branch is old and not recommended for new installations. Consider installing the latest stable branch, which today is MySQL server 5.7.

A native Windows distribution of MySQL has been available since version 3.21 and represents a sizable percentage of the daily downloads of MySQL. This section describes the process for installing MySQL on Windows.


If you are upgrading MySQL from an existing installation older than MySQL 4.1.5, you must first perform the procedure described in Section 1.7, “Upgrading MySQL on Windows”.

To run MySQL on Windows, you need the following:

  • A Windows operating system such as XP, Vista, and Server 2003. Newer versions of Windows than these are not supported. Windows 95/98/ME/2000 and versions of Windows older than these are no longer supported. For supported platform information, see

    A Windows operating system permits you to run the MySQL server as a service. See Section 1.4.7, “Starting MySQL as a Windows Service”.

    Generally, you should install MySQL on Windows using an account that has administrator rights. Otherwise, you may encounter problems with certain operations such as editing the PATH environment variable or accessing the Service Control Manager.

  • TCP/IP protocol support.

  • Enough space on the hard drive to unpack, install, and create the databases in accordance with your requirements (generally a minimum of 200 megabytes is recommended.)

For a list of limitations on the use of MySQL on the Windows platform, see Windows Platform Limitations.

There may also be other requirements, depending on how you plan to use MySQL:

  • To connect to the MySQL server using ODBC, you must have a Connector/ODBC driver. See Connectors and APIs.

  • If you need tables with a size larger than 4GB, install MySQL on an NTFS or newer file system. Do not forget to use MAX_ROWS and AVG_ROW_LENGTH when you create tables. See CREATE TABLE Syntax.

MySQL for Windows is available in several distribution formats:

  • Binary distributions are available that contain a setup program that installs everything you need so that you can start the server immediately. Another binary distribution format contains an archive that you simply unpack in the installation location and then configure yourself. For details, see Section 1.1, “Choosing An Installation Package”.

  • The source distribution format contains all the code and support files for building the executables using the Visual Studio compiler system.

Generally speaking, you should use a binary distribution that includes an installer. It is simpler to use than the others, and you need no additional tools to get MySQL up and running. The installer for the Windows version of MySQL, combined with a GUI Configuration Wizard, automatically installs MySQL, creates an option file, starts the server, and secures the default user accounts.


Virus-scanning software such as Norton/Symantec Anti-Virus on directories containing MySQL data and temporary tables can cause issues, both in terms of the performance of MySQL and the virus-scanning software misidentifying the contents of the files as containing spam. This is due to the fingerprinting mechanism used by the virus-scanning software, and the way in which MySQL rapidly updates different files, which may be identified as a potential security risk.

After installing MySQL Server, it is recommended that you disable virus scanning on the main directory (datadir) used to store your MySQL table data. There is usually a system built into the virus scanning software to enable specific directories to be ignored.

In addition, by default, MySQL creates temporary files in the standard Windows temporary directory. To prevent the temporary files also being scanned, configure a separate temporary directory for MySQL temporary files and add this directory to the virus scanning exclusion list. To do this, add a configuration option for the tmpdir parameter to your my.ini configuration file. For more information, see Section 1.4.2, “Creating an Option File”.

The following section describes how to install MySQL on Windows using a binary distribution. To use an installation package that does not include an installer, follow the procedure described in Section 1.4, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using a noinstall Zip Archive”. To install using a source distribution, see Section 1.8, “Installing MySQL from Source on Windows”.

MySQL distributions for Windows can be downloaded from See How to Get MySQL.

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