Installing MySQL on Windows 7

The MySQL server is one of the most popular open source databases

As of January 2020, Microsoft is no longer supports Windows 7. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

The MySQL database server is one of the most popular open-source databases in the world. Although administrators typically install MySQL on a server operating system, it's certainly possible to install it on a desktop operating system like Windows 7. Once you do so, you'll have the tremendous power of the flexible MySQL ​relational database available to you for free. 

MySQL is a beneficial database for both developers and system administrators. Installing MySQL on Windows 7 is an especially valuable tool for those seeking to learn database administration but lack access to a server of their own. Here's a step-by-step walkthrough of the process.

Downloading MySQL on Windows 7

Download Icon with Watercolor Patch
Enis Aksoy / Getty Images 

First, you will need to download the appropriate MySQL installer for your operating system. If you're running a 32-bit version of Windows, you'll want to use the 32-bit Windows MSI installer file. Users of 64-bit versions of Windows will want to use the 64-bit Windows MSI installer file.

Whether you use the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows installer, save the file to your desktop or another location where you will be able to find it again easily.

Log on With an Administrator Account

Windows 7 login Welcome screen

Log on to Windows using an account with local administrator privileges. If you do not have these privileges, the installer will not function properly. You won’t need them to access databases on your MySQL server later, but the installer file makes some edits to system configuration settings that require elevated privileges.

Launch the Installer File

MySQL install setup screen

Double-click on the installer file to launch it. You may see a message titled "Preparing to Open…" for a short period of time while Windows prepares the installer. Once it finishes, you will see the MySQL Setup Wizard.

Accept the EULA

MySQL server setup license screen

Click the Next button to advance past the Welcome screen. Click the checkbox acknowledging that you accept the terms of the license agreement and then click Next to advance past the EULA screen.

Choose an Installation Type

MySQL server setup type screen

The MySQL Setup Wizard prompts for an installation type. Most users can simply click the Typical button which installs the most common MySQL database features. If you need to customize either the features that will be installed or the location where the installer will place files, click the Custom button. Alternatively, perform a full installation of all MySQL features by clicking the Full button.

Begin the Installation

MySQL server install

Click the Install button to begin the installation process.

Complete the Installation

MySQL install Finish setup

The installer displays an advertisement for MySQL Enterprise Edition and prompts you to click through several advertisement screens. You do not need the commercial (paid) enterprise edition subscription to use MySQL, so click through these screens until you see the message above indicating that the installation is complete. Keep the default checkbox marked for "Launch the MySQL Instance Configuration Wizard” and click the Finish button.

Run Instance Configuration Wizard

MySQL welcome screen

After a brief pause, the MySQL Instance Configuration Wizard starts. This wizard walks you through the process of configuring your new MySQL database server instance. Click the Next button to begin the process.

Choose a Configuration Type

MySQL server configuration

The wizard prompts you to pick either the Detailed Configuration process or the Standard Configuration. Unless you plan to run several instances of MySQL on the same machine or have a specific reason for doing otherwise, choose the Standard Configuration and click the Next button.

Set Windows Options

MySQL install configuration screen

Select two different options. First, you can configure MySQL to run as a Windows service. This is a good idea, as it runs the program in the background. You can also choose to have the service automatically start whenever the operating system loads. Second, include the binary files directory in the Windows path. Once you've made your selections, click the Next button to continue.

Choose a Root Password

MySQL create a password screen

The security screen prompts you to enter a root password for your database server. Choose a strong password consisting of a mix of alphanumeric characters and symbols. Unless you have a specific reason for not doing so, you should also leave the options to allow remote root access and create an anonymous account unchecked. Either of those options can create security vulnerabilities on your database server. Click the Next button to continue.

Complete the Instance Configuration

MySQL Execute screen

The final wizard screen presents a summary of the actions that will take place. After reviewing those actions, click the Execute button to configure your MySQL instance. Once the actions are complete, you’re finished.