On Windows, the recommended way to run MySQL is to install it as a Windows service, so that MySQL starts and stops automatically when Windows starts and stops. A MySQL server installed as a service can also be controlled from the command line using SC commands, NET commands, or the graphical Services utility. Generally, to install MySQL as a Windows service you should be logged in using an account that has administrator rights.
MySQL Notifier can also be used to monitor the status of the MySQL service.
The Services utility (the Windows Service Control Manager) can be found in the Windows Control Panel. To avoid conflicts, it is advisable to close the Services utility while performing server installation or removal operations from the command line.
Before installing MySQL as a Windows service, you should first stop the current server if it is running by using the following command:
C:\> "C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\bin\mysqladmin" -u root shutdown
If the MySQL
root user account has a
password, you need to invoke mysqladmin
-p option and supply the password
This command invokes the MySQL administrative utility
mysqladmin to connect to the server and tell
it to shut down. The command connects as the MySQL
root user, which is the default
administrative account in the MySQL grant system.
Users in the MySQL grant system are wholly independent from any operating system users under Windows.
Install the server as a service using this command:
C:\> "C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\bin\mysqld" --install
The service-installation command does not start the server. Instructions for that are given later in this section.
To make it easier to invoke MySQL programs, you can add the path
name of the MySQL
bin directory to your
PATH environment variable:
On the Windows desktop, right-click the My Computer icon, and select .
Next select thetab from the menu that appears, and click the button.
Under System Variables, select , and then click the button. The dialogue should appear.
Place your cursor at the end of the text appearing in the space marked Variable Value. (Use the End key to ensure that your cursor is positioned at the very end of the text in this space.) Then enter the complete path name of your MySQL
bindirectory (for example,
C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\bin), and there should be a semicolon separating this path from any values present in this field. Dismiss this dialogue, and each dialogue in turn, by clicking until all of the dialogues that were opened have been dismissed. You should now be able to invoke any MySQL executable program by typing its name at the DOS prompt from any directory on the system, without having to supply the path. This includes the servers, the mysql client, and all MySQL command-line utilities such as mysqladmin and mysqldump.
You should not add the MySQL
bindirectory to your Windows
PATHif you are running multiple MySQL servers on the same machine.
You must exercise great care when editing your system
PATH by hand; accidental deletion or
modification of any portion of the existing
PATH value can leave you with a
malfunctioning or even unusable system.
The following additional arguments can be used when installing the service:
You can specify a service name immediately following the
--installoption. The default service name is
If a service name is given, it can be followed by a single option. By convention, this should be
--defaults-file=to specify the name of an option file from which the server should read options when it starts.
The use of a single option other than
--defaults-fileis possible but discouraged.
--defaults-fileis more flexible because it enables you to specify multiple startup options for the server by placing them in the named option file.
You can also specify a
--local-serviceoption following the service name. This causes the server to run using the
LocalServiceWindows account that has limited system privileges. This account is available only for Windows XP or newer. If both
--local-serviceare given following the service name, they can be in any order.
For a MySQL server that is installed as a Windows service, the following rules determine the service name and option files that the server uses:
If the service-installation command specifies no service name or the default service name (
MySQL) following the
--installoption, the server uses the service name of
MySQLand reads options from the
[mysqld]group in the standard option files.
If the service-installation command specifies a service name other than
--installoption, the server uses that service name. It reads options from the
[mysqld]group and the group that has the same name as the service in the standard option files. This enables you to use the
[mysqld]group for options that should be used by all MySQL services, and an option group with the service name for use by the server installed with that service name.
If the service-installation command specifies a
--defaults-fileoption after the service name, the server reads options the same way as described in the previous item, except that it reads options only from the named file and ignores the standard option files.
As a more complex example, consider the following command:
C:\> "C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\bin\mysqld" --install MySQL --defaults-file=C:\my-opts.cnf
Here, the default service name (
given after the
--install option. If no
--defaults-file option had been
given, this command would have the effect of causing the server
to read the
[mysqld] group from the standard
option files. However, because the
--defaults-file option is
present, the server reads options from the
[mysqld] option group, and only from the
You can also specify options as Start parameters in the Windows Services utility before you start the MySQL service.
Finally, before trying to start the MySQL service, make sure the
%TMP% (and also
if it has ever been set) for the operating system user who is to
run the service are pointing to a folder to which the user has
write access. The default user for running the MySQL service is
LocalSystem, and the default value for its
C:\Windows\Temp, a directory
LocalSystem has write access to by default.
However, if there are any changes to that default setup (for
example, changes to the user who runs the service or to the
mentioned user variables, or the
--tmpdir option has been used to
put the temporary directory somewhere else), the MySQL service
might fail to run because write access to the temporary
directory has not been granted to the proper user.
After a MySQL server instance has been installed as a service,
Windows starts the service automatically whenever Windows
starts. The service also can be started immediately from the
Services utility, or by using an sc
or NET START
command. SC and NET
commands are not case-sensitive.
When run as a service, mysqld has no access
to a console window, so no messages can be seen there. If
mysqld does not start, check the error log to
see whether the server wrote any messages there to indicate the
cause of the problem. The error log is located in the MySQL data
directory (for example,
Server 5.5\data). It is the file with a
When a MySQL server has been installed as a service, and the
service is running, Windows stops the service automatically when
Windows shuts down. The server also can be stopped manually
Services utility, the sc
command, the NET START
command, or the mysqladmin shutdown command.
You also have the choice of installing the server as a manual
service if you do not wish for the service to be started
automatically during the boot process. To do this, use the
--install-manual option rather than the
C:\> "C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\bin\mysqld" --install-manual
To remove a server that is installed as a service, first stop it
if it is running by executing SC STOP
use SC DELETE
C:\> SC DELETE mysql
Alternatively, use the mysqld
--remove option to remove the
C:\> "C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.5\bin\mysqld" --remove
If mysqld is not running as a service, you can start it from the command line. For instructions, see Section 1.7.5, “Starting MySQL from the Windows Command Line”.
If you encounter difficulties during installation, see Section 1.8, “Troubleshooting a Microsoft Windows MySQL Server Installation”.
For more information about stopping or removing a Windows service, see Starting Multiple MySQL Instances as Windows Services.