How to Install MySQL on Windows 10

Run your own database on your Windows PC

MySQL is the database that holds important information like user credentials, website content, or options like size and color for your favorite products. It's part of a "stack" of software called LAMP, which stands for Linux, the Apache web server, MySQL, and the PHP programming language.

Here's why you might want to install MySQL on Windows 10 and how to do so.

A Windows laptop with MySQL

Why Install MySQL on Windows 10?

MySQL is free, open-source software, and you can even download the source code if you like. For many, this is one reason it was trusted to be part of the world's most popular web platform. In more practical terms, it means you can freely download and use MySQL for yourself.

Why would you want to do this? Well, if you're curious about technology, you can play around with it to see how it works. You can create your own databases, either for educational purposes or keep track of important items at home. You could also install it to learn SQL, the programming language used to manage and interact with most databases.

How to Download MySQL's Free Community Edition

Before installing the MySQL Free Community edition, download it on your PC:

  1. Go to the MySQL website and select Downloads.

    The Downloads heading
  2. Select MySQL Community (GPL) Downloads. The Community Edition is the free, open-source version of MySQL.

    The main difference between the paid Standard edition and the free Community edition is Oracle Premier Support, which gives you access to a support line, consulting service, and a knowledge base. The main functionality of MySQL is largely intact for both versions.

    Selecting the link to the MySQL Community download.
  3. On the following page, select MySQL Community Server.

    The "MySQL Community Server" item.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the Go to Download Page next to Windows (x86, 32 & 64-bit), MySQL Installer MSI.

    The "Go to Download Page" button.
  5. The next page will ask you to choose between two installer files:

    • If you have an active Internet connection, select the top download.
    • If you have to be offline when you install, select the bottom download.

    The first option will download data while you install, while the second option has it all in one package.

    Filename will vary depending on the MySQL version.

    The Download button.
  6. Finally, log in to your Oracle account. If you don't have one, or don't want to sign in, select No thanks, just start my download in the lower-left corner.

    The "No thanks" link.

How to Install MySQL on Windows 10

To install MySQL:

  1. Open the file you downloaded to start the installation process.

  2. You'll see the different installation types. Choose Custom and then Next.

    The Custom option
  3. On the Select Products and Features screen, you'll need to move items from the Select Products box to the Products to be Installed box.

    First, open the MySQL Servers and expand the MySQL Server folder and select the appropriate version for your system to move it to the right column.

    The right arrow in MySQL Installer
  4. Select Applications to expand it, then select everything except MySQL for Visual Studio. Again, select the right-facing arrow to line it up for installation.

    Make sure you're selecting either X64 or X86, depending on your PC's processor and whether it's 32-bit or 64-bit.

    Application installation options.
  5. Finally, select Documentation, and add its items. This option provides some example databases you can look through.

    Documentation installation options.
  6. Select Execute. You can select Show Details to see the status of the installation.

    The Execute button.
  7. Now the installer will start downloading MySQL.

    If you chose the "web" download earlier, you'll see progress indicators for each download.

    Screenshot of Installation
  8. Once everything downloads, MySQL will start installing. Once the Status of each item changes to Complete, select Next.

    The Status column.
  9. The wizard will then lead you through configuration. Configure the MySQL Server as follows:

    • Group Replication: Select Standalone MySQL Server / Classic MySQL Replication.
    • Type and Networking: Select the default Config Type Development Computer, which will set things up for you to work locally.
    • Authentication Method*: Select Use Strong Password Encryption for Authentication.
    • Accounts and Roles: Enter a password for your MySQL root (i.e., admin) user. Normally, you can (and should) set up at least one normal user with a name and password as well, but since you're just testing things out, the root account will be enough.
    • Windows Service: You can keep the defaults here, but you should select Start the MySQL Server at System Startup to disable it. As a general rule, try not to leave services you don't need running on your machine.
    Product configuration page.
  10. Select Execute to apply configurations.

    Applying installation configurations.
  11. Select Finish to apply your configurations.

    The Finish button
  12. Repeat this process for other components.

    Screenshot of Connect To Server
  13. Select Finish to complete the installation. You don't need to start any of the apps at this stage.

How to Start and Stop the MySQL Server

The key to working with MySQL is a running server. You can start and stop the server from the Windows Services app.

  1. In the Windows Search box, enter services.

    Searching for the Services app.
  2. Select Open to run the Services app.

    Opening the Services app.
  3. Once the Services app launches, locate the MySQL service. Its name will be "MySQL" with the version number after it (in this case, MySQL80).

    MySQL in Services
  4. Select the MySQL service, and you'll get options in the left pane. If the service is stopped, select Start. If it's already running, you can select Restart, Pause, or Stop. You can use this to make sure MySQL is only running when you want to use it.

    MySQL Windows Service.
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