How to Install MySQL on Windows 10

Run your own database on your Windows PC

Screenshot of MYSQL on Windows 10
Installing MySQL on Your Windows 10 Machine Puts a Database at Your Fingertips.

MySQL, along with a few other components, is the foundation of many of your favorite websites. MySQL is the database that holds important information like user credentials, website content, or the 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. In this article we'll explore why you might want to install MySQL on Windows 10, and how to do so.

Why Install MySQL on Windows 10?

Despite its important place in today's Internet, MySQL is free, open-source software. It's available for no cost, and you can even download the source code if you like. For many, this is one of the reasons 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 to keep track of important items at home. You could install it to learn the SQL (Structured Query Language), which is the programming language used to manage and interact with most databases. Whatever your reason, installing MySQL is a piece of cake.

How to Download MySQL's Free Community Edition

  1. The first step is, of course, getting an installer for MySQL. Head on over to mysql.com, and select Downloads. You'll immediately see a lot of text explaining the different editions of MySQL.

    Screenshot of MYSQL Downloads page
    The Downloads Section on Oracle's MySQL Website.
  2. Scroll down. Under the MySQL Community Edition section, select Community (GPL) Downloads. The Community Edition is the free, open-source version of MySQL.

    What are you missing out on with Community Edition? Not much. The main difference between Standard and Community Editions 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.

  3. On the following page, select MySQL Community Server at the top.

    MySQL Community Downloads page screenshot
  4. You'll be presented with some links to documentation and such, but scroll down to the bottom of the page. Make things easy on yourself and select Windows (x86, 32 & 64-bit), MySQL Installer MSI.

    Screenshot of MySQL's MSI Installer
  5. The next page will ask you to choose between two installer files:

    • If you have an active Internet connection, select the top download (mysql-installer-web-community-8.0.13.0.msi).
    • If you have to be offline when you install for some reason, select the bottom download (mysql-installer-community-8.0.13.0.msi).
    Screenshot of Download MYSQL Installer

    The first one will download data while you install, while the second has it all in one package. We'll use the former for this installation, but both should put you in the same place once you're done.

  6. Finally, you'll be prompted to 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 at the bottom.

    Screenshot of Begin Your Download
  7. Once the download completes, we're ready to install.

How to Install MySQL on Windows 10

Because we chose the MSI installer, we'll have a nice wizard to guide us through the installation process.

  1. The first screen asks you to agree to the terms and conditions. Specifically, this is the GNU Public License, one of the primary open-source licenses. It basically says you won't take the code and create a new database program with it that you don't also release as open source. Since we're installing just to run it and try it out, select I accept the terms, then select Next.

    Screenshot of Accept MySQL's Open Source License.
  2. Next, you're given a choice for installation types. Choose Custom.

    Screenshot of Choosing a Setup Type
  3. On the Select Products and Features screen, you'll need to move items from the left side of the screen to the right. First, open MySQL Servers. Then drill down to the server we need (MySQL Server 8.0.13 - X64) and select the right-facing arrow. It's now selected for installation.

    Screenshot of Select Products and Features
  4. Select Applications to expand it, then select everything but MySQL for Excel and 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.

  5. Finally, select Documentation, and add its items. A little documentation never hurts, and you'll also get some example databases you can look through.

  6. Select the first requirement, then select Execute to try to find the needed program and install it. Keep doing this until they're all done, then select Execute again.

    Screenshot of Check Requirements

    On the Check Requirements page, you shouldn't have anything in the list marked as "Manual," meaning you need to download and install it yourself.

  7. Now the installer will start downloading MySQL itself.

    Screenshot of Installation

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

  8. Once they're downloaded, they'll start installing. Your goal is to see your list with Complete statuses for everything. Once you do, select Next.

  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.
  10. Select Execute to apply your configurations.

    Screenshot of Apply Configuration
  11. Repeat this process for other components, like the example databases shown in the below image.

    Screenshot of Connect To Server
  12. 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. Press Win+I on your keyboard to bring up Windows Settings.

  2. Using the search box, search for the "services."

    Screenshot of Windows Settings
  3. Select View local services.

  4. Once the Services app launches, locate the MySQL service. It's probably something like "MySQL80." Basically MySQL plus the version number, 8.0.

    Screenshot of the Windows Services App
  5. Select the MySQL service and you'll get options in the left-hand 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.