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MySQL and Windows  /  Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows

Chapter 1 Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows

There are several different methods to install MySQL on Microsoft Windows.

Simple Installation Method

The simplest and recommended method is to download MySQL Installer (for Windows) and let it install and configure all of the MySQL products on your system. Here is how:

  • Download MySQL Installer from and execute it.


    Unlike the standard MySQL Installer, the smaller "web-community" version does not bundle any MySQL applications but it will download the MySQL products you choose to install.

  • Choose the appropriate Setup Type for your system. Typically you will choose Developer Default to install MySQL server and other MySQL tools related to MySQL development, helpful tools like MySQL Workbench. Or, choose the Custom setup type to manually select your desired MySQL products.


    Multiple versions of MySQL server can exist on a single system. You can choose one or multiple versions.

  • Complete the installation process by following the MySQL Installation wizard's instructions. This will install several MySQL products and start the MySQL server.

  • MySQL is now installed. You probably configured MySQL as a service that will automatically start MySQL server every time you restart your system.


You probably also installed other helpful MySQL products like MySQL Workbench and MySQL Notifier on your system. Consider loading MySQL Workbench to check your new MySQL server connection, and Section 1.4, “MySQL Notifier” to view the connection's status. By default, these two programs automatically start after installing MySQL.

This process also installs the MySQL Installer application on your system, and later you can use MySQL Installer to upgrade or reconfigure your MySQL products.

Additional Installation Information

MySQL is available for Microsoft Windows, for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. For supported Windows platform information, see

It is possible to run MySQL as a standard application or as a Windows service. By using a service, you can monitor and control the operation of the server through the standard Windows service management tools. For more information, see Section 1.5.7, “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. Once installed, MySQL does not need to be executed using a user with Administrator privileges.

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

In addition to the MySQL Server package, you may need or want additional components to use MySQL with your application or development environment. These include, but are not limited to:

  • To connect to the MySQL server using ODBC, you must have a Connector/ODBC driver. For more information, including installation and configuration instructions, see MySQL Connector/ODBC Developer Guide.


    MySQL Installer will install and configure Connector/ODBC for you.

  • To use MySQL server with .NET applications, you must have the Connector/Net driver. For more information, including installation and configuration instructions, see MySQL Connector/Net Developer Guide.


    MySQL Installer will install and configure Connector/NET for you.

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

MySQL for Windows is available in several distribution formats, detailed here. Generally speaking, you should use MySQL Installer. It contains more features and MySQL products than the older MSI, is simpler to use than the Zip file, and you need no additional tools to get MySQL up and running. MySQL Installer automatically installs MySQL Server and additional MySQL products, creates an options file, starts the server, and enables you to create default user accounts. For more information on choosing a package, see Section 1.2, “Choosing An Installation Package”.

  • A MySQL Installer distribution includes MySQL Server and additional MySQL products including MySQL Workbench, MySQL Notifier, and MySQL for Excel. MySQL Installer can also be used to upgrade these products in the future.

    For instructions on installing MySQL using MySQL Installer, see Section 1.3, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using MySQL Installer”.

  • The standard binary distribution (packaged as a Zip file) contains all of the necessary files that you unpack into your chosen location. This package contains all of the files in the full Windows MSI Installer package, but does not include an installation program.

    For instructions on installing MySQL using the Zip file, see Section 1.5, “Installing MySQL on Microsoft Windows Using a noinstall Zip Archive”.

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

    For instructions on building MySQL from source on Windows, see Installing MySQL from Source.

MySQL on Windows considerations:

  • Large Table Support

    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 and Virus Checking Software

    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 1.5.2, “Creating an Option File”.

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