Tips: Running Drupal on Windows using WAMP

I haven’t actively administered Drupal on Windows, and in fact had never installed WAMP before creating Drupal Essential Training. The course includes a nine-minute “Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows” video, but here are some additional tips I’ve discovered since the course was released.

  • Increase PHP’s memory settings or you might have problems backing up and restoring your Drupal site. You’ll see the issue if you go to the MySQL-controlling phpMyAdmin screen (probably at http://localhost/phpMyAdmin) and click “Import”: The maximum file size allowed is 2,048K. That’s only 2MB, and the databases for most Drupal sites are much larger than that. (The example site for Drupal Essential Training gets as big as 5MB.) To change this limit:
    1. Click the WAMP icon in your system tray.
    2. Select “PHP”. In the side menu, select “php.ini” to open a file containing PHP’s configuration options.
    3. Search for the line, “upload_max_filesize = 2M”.
    4. Change it to “upload_max_filesize = 32M” (or whatever you like).
    5. Save the file and restart WAMP. (Better yet, restart your computer entirely to be sure. I’m frankly not sure whether it makes a difference.)
    6. Now go back to that “Import” screen in phpMyAdmin: You should notice that the limit has changed. (Thanks to L.H. for pointing this out.)
  • L.H. writes: “In Windows Vista, the WAMP icon disappears from the system tray after x time (not sure about the duration protocols). To make the WAMP icon re-appear (so that you can access localhost, phpmyadmin, php.ini, etc.), you have to activate the “start WAMP server” icon (from start menu, desktop or wherever); then the system tray icon reappears. Pain in the chicken, but that’s Vista.”

I’ve added these tips to my new Drupal Support database.

Please comment here if you have other tips for using Drupal on Windows. Share the wealth!

[Update, 16 August 2009: See also this thread for tips, particularly this comment.]

19 replies on “Tips: Running Drupal on Windows using WAMP”

I use Xampp, but I think they
I use Xampp, but I think they serve mostly the same purpose. Having a localhost version of multpile Drupal sites is excellent for testing plugins, theme development and doing dummy runs of upgrades. My Xampp server has saved my ass a few times with backups, restores and migrations.

I even managed to do an import from WordPress to Drupal 5.x then migrate to the 6.x version. And if you need portability, Xampp can be installed on a USB drive.

Good for those who are a bit techie
Thanks for your comment! I haven’t tried out XAMPP — I’ll do that myself (on my Mac).

Unfortunately, I think it’s not much of a solution to the problems outlined above because it requires using the command-line interface. That’s too difficult for most people: If they can do that, they can edit PHP.ini just as easily.

Still, I’m sure this options will help someone, so thanks again.

Can you help me? How to install drupal with xampp server?

Best regards Sorro.

I’m afraid I’m not familiar with XAMPP
I’m afraid I can’t help you, because I’ve never used XAMPP. Anyone else?

Does it need more memory to run under Windows than Linux? Or is it the same? The restarting with Windows is mandatory ofcourse 😉 I once installed a software which needed xml, asp, iis and some other stuff. If you didn’t install it in the proper sequence it wouldn’t work.

Good question!
I honestly don’t know whether it requires more memory in Windows. I would tend to say *no*, because the code is essentially the same: Only the environment is different. But I’ve learned better than to doubt the voraciousness of Windows’ memory appetite… :-/

search not working
I just installed Drupal 6.14 on Windows Vista Home Premium and WAMP as local server,,,BUT search results always show NO results….
how do I make searching work?

Make sure cron is working
Hey, Kern. First off, I deleted the other place on this site where you posted the same question, but here’s what I believe is the answer.

Drupal periodically builds its “search index”, which is necessary for search to work. However, if cron isn’t running properly, the index won’t be created or updated.

So: See about getting help with cron. There could be several things wrong, one of them being (simply) that you don’t have it set up! Try the poormanscron module.

Good luck!

Clean URL’s on wamp
I’m making the changes in httpd.conf but the path in the Directory is not clear for me. My installation is in c:wampwww. There is my index.php. I used any convination of path and the clean URL is not working after stop and start the server. What is that path?. I suppose it is the please I have the site in my computer, is that right?.

Thank you.

WAMP installation
I have a local WAMP installation with a version of a Drupal site in place.
I can open the site, but as soon as I click any link (i.e. “Create new account”) I am kicked back to the localhost home page and then, none of the phpinfo() or phpmyadmin links work. In fact, even the wampserver logo is missing.

So something in the Drupal site is chaning php.ini settings?


Installing wamp with php5.3 causes problems for new users
Hi Tom

A lot of new users are going to run into problems when they download latest WAMP. It comes with PHP 5.3.0 and will get an error message along the lines of “Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in” when they first install drupal. PHP 5.3.0 is not yet supported by Drupal.

Users need to install PHP 5.2.x – see for more info on this.


Thanks for the warning!
This seems like an important thing to watch out for — at least, until enough upgrades make it moot. So thanks again.

Detailed comments from David Erwin
I’m very grateful to David Erwin, who provided these details for making the exercise files from my Drupal Essential Training and Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data courses work with WAMP. Reposted with permission.


On Mar 17, 2010, at 12:50 AM, David Erwin wrote:

Hello Tom,

I hear you about writing exercise files for multi-platforms but I believe there are some significant roadblocks for WAMP users. I did not send this to tech feedback as I was not sure if my problems were “user error”, but after eight days of trying I think is more than newbie mistakes. I thought I share my experience as it may be universal to all WAMP users talking the course.

(Note – I have no programming background but not totally lost when looking at code)

You have to cheat in Drupal Essential Training to get it working

When you download WAMP (2.0i with PHP 5.30) and Drupal (6.16), and follow the course instruction, you won’t be able to view your site. You keep getting an error (sorry didn’t write it down.) However I researched the error and learned that in order to get WAMP 2.0i to run right, you have to downgrade the PHP version to 5.2.11 and then you can see your Drupal site. I changed the PHP version through WAMP by clicking on PHP version and add more. (Unless I missed something, this should become a note to WAMP users)

Now, maybe this is related to using the above method or it maybe a separate issue? After you finish your install, before adding any content, you do have this warning on the phpMyAdmin page :

Your PHP MySQL library version 5.0.51a differs from your MySQL server version 5.1.36. This may cause unpredictable behavior.

I researched library versions but it is a fix too complicated for me.

Oddities about .SQL Imports:

If I create a front page with 2 stories, I can export, drop, and import – everything cool. If I go through an entire chapter and try to export, drop, and import – not cool. There seems to be a problem with the size of the database. I often see this error:

No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16.

(Now I remember you talked about file size but I didn’t think it related to the database, however I checked php.ini and it is set to 128m)

After an import failure the only way I can get back into Drupal was to delete the PHP settings, and create new settings from the default settings file – basically building the site from scratch. When I had a new site, I would create a couple of stories, export, drop, and import the .sql database and everything worked. This tells me that I ‘m exporting and importing correctly and the problem could be either database size or something in the exercise files.

Online Presentation of Data

A real nightmare for me to import the database. I got it once after reinstalling WAMP but can’t seem to get the reinstall trick to work again. Here is what happens:

After dropping the existing database and importing Lynda database in Chapter 2, you can no longer log into the site as the admin or a user. The screen keeps coming back to the front page and you have no edit function, the url reads: http://localhost/node?destination=node

I tried importing Chapter 2 lynda database and then immediately exporting it; overwriting the original file. When I try and import the new version, I get my favorite error message:

No data was received to import. Either no file name was submitted, or the file size exceeded the maximum size permitted by your PHP configuration. See FAQ 1.16.

The good news is that the constant import failure has made me a whiz in reinstalling modules and setting permissions. However, it is taking a long time to make progress.

I hope you don’t mind the notes. I’m just wondering if other WAMP users talking the course have run into the same situation. Well enough Drupal for one night, time for bed.

Specs: I run the course on my PC (XP) workstation in the office and my PC (XP) at home. I face the same problems at both locations, which tells me it is not a network or machine error.


Thanks for the Post
Just to add…

For step 5:

Save the file and restart WAMP. (Better yet, restart your computer entirely to be sure. I’m frankly not sure whether it makes a difference.)

You can restart all the services of wampserver. No need to restart the machine. The changes will take the effect…
It works !! I tried it….
Thanks for your post TOM!!

Thank YOU!
I appreciate the clarification!

(BTW, I reformatted your post slightly to distinguish my writing from yours.)

Forms not working in Windows

I moved my drupal site to a windows 2008 server which was working well in my linux server. Once its moved i hav found that none of the forms are working in the site.

What can be the problem? Is there any setting to be changed? My site runs under WAMP – the Php version is 5.3

Thank you 🙂

I’m afraid I don’t know
Hi, Sathu. I don’t run Drupal on Windows myself, so I can’t help you. (I also don’t know how you have forms set up, which might be part of the problem.)

I give pointers to general Drupal help in both my videos and my book. The “Post installation” forum on is a good place to start — .

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