WAMP won’t start!

Problem:

I get this complaint a lot: “My WAMP won’t start!” Or, “I’m trying to set up WAMP and I keep getting an orange icon” (or red icon, yellow icon… even green).

Explanation:

WAMP is a package of services that run on your computer. These services run on certain ports. If those ports are already used by other services, WAMP won’t be able to start its services and it will warn you with the orange or red icon. Alternatively, you might be going to the wrong URL in your browser.

Summary:

This article describes several possible causes and solutions:

  1. An Apache port conflict. Something else (like another web server or an application like Skype or Go-to-Meeting) may be running on port 80 and preventing WAMP’s Apache web server from starting.
  2. A MySQL port conflict: Mysql is already running as another process on the same port WAMP is trying to use.
  3. You are trying to run a 64-bit version on a 32-bit computer
  4. If you have a green icon and can’t run WAMP, you may simply be going to the wrong URL.
  5. If you have a green icon and get a “403 Forbidden: You don’t have permission to access / on this server,” then you may have a hosts file goofiness problem.
  6. If you have a green icon and get a “403 Forbidden: You don’t have permission to access / on this server,” then you may  may have misplaced the www folder after installation.
  7. Other causes: a list of applications that can conflict with WAMP (mostly due to port issues, as mentioned above in #1).
  8. Alternatives… Use XAMPP instead

Solutions:

1. Apache Port Conflict [Top]

First, check if there is an Apache port conflict by changing Apache’s port number. Here are the steps:

  1. Left-click the orange WAMP icon (in the system tray at bottom right)
  2. Left-click Apache
  3. Left-click httpd.conf
  4. Look for a line that says “Listen 80″ and change it to “Listen 81″.
  5. Left-click the orange WAMP icon and choose “Restart all services.”

If it runs (turns green), you had a port conflict. The above change should solve your problem permanently, but it means that you’ll need to use http://localhost:81 as your URL. If you don’t like that, find out what else is running on Port 80:

  1. Left-click the orange WAMP icon (in the system tray at bottom right)
  2. Left-click Apache
  3. Left-click Service
  4. Click “Test Port 80.”

A command window opens: You can also try downloading and running xampp-portcheck.exe or use the “netstat” command to find process and port information:

  • Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt
  • netstat -aon| findstr :80 (without the quotes; shows only those that use port 80)
  • netstat -b (displays the actual .exe using your ports)

Either way, once you know the culprit, turn it off:

    • Go to your Start menu
    • type “Services.msc” without the quotes
    • right-click on the culprit and choose “stop”

    Once the conflicting service is stopped, edit httpd.conf to use port 80 and restart all WAMP services.

    2. MySQL Port Conflict [Top]

    Another common cause of WAMP problems and conflicts is when MySQL is already running as a process. So if the steps above do not fix your problem, try this:

    • Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt and Right-click on it and choose “Run as Administrator”
    • This opens your Command Prompt where you will run a couple commands. Study the screenshot. Notice the first command returns the number 8000 (it might return a different number on your computer) and that this number is then used in the second command:
    • Now, try it on your computer. Run:
      netstat -aon | find 3306
    • Let’s suppose the PID returned is 8000. You will then run:
      tasklist /fi "pid eq 8000"
    • If you decide you want to kill that process, you can type:
      taskkill /pid 8000 /f

    Or you can:

    1. Go to the Start menu and click “Run”
    2. Type “services.msc” without the quotes
    3. Sort the columns by Name
    4. Look for anything with “MySQL” or “wampmysqld”
    5. If you see a MySQL process running, double-click it and click “stop” on the ensuing screen.
    6. Click OK
    7. Left click on your WAMP icon in the system tray and choose…
    8. Restart all services

    3. Your computer is 32-bit and you installed the 64-bit version of the software [Top]

    If your WAMP icon is orange, one possible reason is that you installed the 64-bit version of the software on a 32-bit computer and clicked through all the error messages. To see if this might be the cause of your problem,

    1. Check if your computer is 32- or 64-bit: a) Windows Vista or Windows 7: Go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System and look under “System Type.” If it says “64-bit Operating System,” then, well, it’s 64-bit: b) Windows XP Go to Start > Run > sysdm.cpl and click OK. Then Click on the General tab. If it says “Windows XP Professional x64 Edition” then, you have the 64-bit version. If it doesn’t say x64, then it’s the 32-bit. If you’re not sure, just download the 32-bit version.
    2. Uninstall WAMP (Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Programs and Features)… click on  WampServer 2.2 and click “Remove”
    3. Download the correct 64- or 32-bit version and re-install.

    4. URL Problem [Top]

    If your WAMP icon is green, it means that WAMP is running and therefore you do not have a WAMP problem. You have a URL problem. Find out the port WAMP’s Apache server is listening on:

        1. Left-click the orange WAMP icon (in the system tray at bottom right)
        2. Left-click Apache
        3. Left-click httpd.conf
        4. Ctrl-F and search for “Listen”:
          1. 	# Listen: Allows you to bind Apache to specific IP addresses and/or
            	# ports, instead of the default. See also the 
            	# directive.
            	#
            	# Change this to Listen on specific IP addresses as shown below to 
            	# prevent Apache from glomming onto all bound IP addresses.
            	#
            	#Listen 12.34.56.78:80
            	Listen 80
        5. The number next to the word “listen” is the port it is listening on. In the above case, it is port 80. Make a note of what port yours is listening on.
        6. Left-click the orange WAMP icon and choose “Restart all services.”
        7. If it is listening on port 80, open a new browser window and go to http://localhost:80. If it is listening on 81, go to http://localhost:81.

      5. Hosts file goofiness [Top]

      Another recent problem someone had was a green icon and a 403 Forbidden error: “the website declined to show this webpage.” The cause? The hosts file was goofy. Here’s how to fix it:

          1. Exit WAMP by right-clicking on the green icon in your system tray and choosing “Exist”
          2. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories
          3. Then right click “Notepad” and choose “Run as administrator”
          4. Click “Continue” at the prompt
          5. In Notepad, go to File > Open
          6. Paste “C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts” into the open file area
          7. Copy the entire file to your clipboard
          8. Then, if you see multiple lines with “127.0.0.1          localhost”, delete all but one, as shown below
          9. Save and close the file
          10. Restart WAMP by going to Start > All Programs > WampServer > Start WampServer
          11. Left click on the green WAMP icon and go to “Localhost”
          12. Hopefully this fixes the problem.

        6. WWW Folder was moved [Top]

        Another recent problem someone had was a green icon and a 403 Forbidden error: “the website declined to show this webpage.” The cause? After installation, the www folder was moved out of the c:\wamp\ directory and onto the desktop! Better to move a shortcut there! The solution is, obviously, to move the www folder back into the c:\wamp directory.

        7. Other causes [Top]

        Read this forum for some additional ideas.

            1. Web server conflicts:
              • IIS (a web server)
              • Sambar (a web server)
              • Zeus (a web server)
              • Web Deployment Agent Service
            2. Application conflicts:
              • Skype: If so, open it up, go to Actions > Options > Connection and uncheck “use port 80 for an laternatte port”. Then restart Skype.
              • XAMPP
              • AVG
              • Zone Alarm
              • NOD32
              • Eset
              • Internet Optimizer
              • Google Accelerator
              • Kontiki
              • Web Deployment Agent Service (Chris Simeone, in a comment below, contributed this)
            3. Firewall conflicts (You have a firewall blocking port 80)
            4. Anti-virus conflicts (You have anti-virus running)
            5. Some other possible culprits

          8. Alternatives [Top]

          If none of this works, download XAMPP and use it instead. 

          MAMP

          If you’re on a Mac, see “My MAMP won’t work!

          Resources

            24 thoughts on “WAMP won’t start!”

            1. my wampserver icon was orange and i was searching a lot for the solutions. The second solution really did great job. Thanks

            2. Hi, I tried all the above without success, then I opened the wamp server menu from the system tray, stopped the MySQL service from the service submenu, restarted all the services, then restarted the MySQL service and the icon has gone green! Finally. Thanks for putting your help into sentences that make sense and don’t rely on previous experience. It’s much appreciated :-)

            3. This is really good trouble-shooting, very thorough. I had similar issues when first working on the development and public sides of WP. Good tips. :) I appreciate your help with my issues regarding this application also. Thanks, Jessie

            4. I tried everything on the list and it still didn’t work. So, I downloaded an older version of PHP cause I was trying to use 5.4.3. Switching to 5.3 and Apache version 2.2.2 worked like a charm. Thank you for the post anyway it was really helpful.

            5. ADD THIS SOLUTION: Exit wamp and change your default browser in wampmanager.CONF file and wampmanager.ini (some versions have different file names). Wamp didn’t open in Chrome for me and I changed it to firefox and now it works. The other fixes didn’t work in my case.

            6. After installing WAMP I could not start Apache. After some quick research I discovered it was a port 80 conflict. There were lots of posts on the web regarding how IIS or SQL Reporting Services were the port 80 conflict culprits, but that was not my case.

              I opened a command prompt an typed “netstat -aon| findstr :80″ and got the following response confirming a port 80 conflict. I did a Google search using the netstat response string and found this post. Apparently a Windows service named “Web Deployment Agent Service” (MsDepSvc) also uses port 80. I shut down that service anf disabled it and now my WAMP install works great.

            7. Third time’s a charm…

              I’m trying to use WAMP on a Windows 2003 server that also has IIS sites running.
              All the IIS sites are set to use one IP address.
              I add a second IP address to the NIC, and tell WAMP to use that one, but it doesn’t seem to.
              I did set it in the http.conf file to use the secondary address.
              So I tried it another way… the server has two NICs, so I used the second NIC instead for the second IP address, and pointed the http.config to it, and using a port (8082) that nothing else was using. Still didn’t work.
              Does WAMP not work with multiple IP addresses and/or NICs on one system?

              Also, just a little frustrated… I got the CAPTCHA wrong when posting the first time – hit the back button and had to retype everything – I know… I’m asking for free help, but whenever that happens it’s really annoying. In doing development work, I’ve become so paranoid about losing what I just did that I hit Save or Copy continually.
              I guess I need to do that before submitting web forms too – just too much re-typing and re-thinking when I hit the back button and it’s all gone.

              Greg

              Third attempt to post didn’t go through either, but I copied my comment first this time.
              Error was something about ‘CAPTCHA token invalid’.
              Maybe I took too long to submit?
              So I won’t delay this time…

            8. Thanks.

              I’ve installed MySql installer package from Oracle for .Net programming, so it was conflict with Wamp mysql.
              I’ve solved this issue by this way:
              – Start Mysql Notifier
              – From try menu click on it then stop Mysql55 and then start wampmysql service.

            9. I really admire this help. My problem is that when i open my project in wamp, it generate a 500 Internal Server Error.

              The page says;

              The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

              Please contact the server administrator, admin@localhost and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

              More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

              I try solution number 3 and i got different result in Listening .Is this a problem in MySql port conflict? And how will i fix it? Thanks.

            10. Dear All,
              I want to post here, because after 2 days I finally got the f…g APACHE server running.

              I had to solve the following:

              1) SKYPE conflict
              2) BDA TV monitor conflict ( the uninstall command alon is not enogugh to erase it : you need the hcwclear program… WTH!)
              3) Shut down the IIS Server ( control panel>administrative tools>IIS services mgmt> action(STOP)
              4) and moreover delete that b…d “#” that for some strange reason the .msi application put in front to the line: “Servername localhost:80″ causing an error that says that the server name can not be found…

              Thanks god APACHE is Free… ’cause if I count the hours spent trying to make it run…it come as luxury price…

              Hope this helps someone !

              ciao

              Flavio

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