This guide will cover what WAMP Server is, what it is used for, and how to install WAMP on a Windows 10 computer with clear step-by-step instructions [with pictures]. We will also cover the necessary dependencies you must install in order to get the WAMP server to run smoothly on your machine.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is WAMP Server?
WAMP is an acronym for Windows, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, and PHP. Though you can install each software separately on your Windows machine, WAMP cuts big on your time and effort to individually searching, downloading, installing, and configuring the software stack by bundling Apache, MySQL, and PHP into one single package.
The WAMP acronym originates from LAMP, where “L” stands for Linux. The same abbreviation applies to MAMP, where “M” refers to the macOS system and is the same software stack but developed for Macs.
This “W,” “M,” and “L” naming convention is helpful when looking to install the Apache, MySQL, and PHP stack on different operating systems such as Windows, macOS, or Linux.
Now, let’s focus on WAMP [as this guide targets the Windows users] and quickly understand each component in the WAMP software stack.
The “W” letter refers to the operating system you target to install the web software stack. In this case Windows 10.
The “A” letter stands for the Apache server, which is in charge of serving HTTP requests to a user when accessing a website.
The “M” letter refers to the MySQL/MariaDB database management system in charge of storing all the relevant data about your website, such as user profiles, passwords, content, and other components used in a website.
The “P” letter stands for PHP, which is in charge of sticking all the components in the stack together. Think of PHP as a relay between the Apache server and MySQL database.
WAMP Server is a popular alternative for XAMP on Windows computers.
Now that we understood what WAMP is and what it is used for let’s jump to installing software stack on our computer.
Step 1: Install Visual C/C++ Redistributable
Microsoft Visual C/C++ Redistributable (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, etc.) must be installed in your Windows computer before proceeding with the WAMP installation.
If you skip installing the Visual C/C++ Redistributable packages before installing WAMP, you will most likely receive a missing MSVCP120.dll error during the WAMP installation.
You can install Visual C/C++ Redistributable packages directly from the Microsoft Visual C++ download page here or download the installers packed at the following links:
Note that you will need to install each version one-by-one before proceeding further with WAMP installation. This is an easy but essential step.
If you still receive the MSVCP120.dll error, check if your system has the right Visual C/C++ version installed using this software.
Once you installed the Visual C/C++, reboot your machine.
Step 2: Download The WAMP Server
The WAMP installation is pretty simple and straightforward. Open a browser and navigate to the official WampServer Download page. On the Download section, click on WAMP Server 64BITS (X64).
Today, most computers are built on 64bit architecture, but if you are running an ancient machine, download the WAMP Server 32BITS (X86) installer instead.
Once you click on the download button, a form will pop-up containing some warning. Just ignore the messages and click on the “download it directly” link in the context.
You will be redirected to the download page. Click on the Download Latest Version green button. Your download will start shortly.
As you can see, the WAMP installer is roughly 450MB in size, so grab a coffee and wait for the download to complete.
If you mistakenly downloaded the wrong installer for your architecture, don’t worry. The installer won’t start at all and will warn you that the architecture is not supported. Just download the other architecture installer instead.
Step 3: Launch The WAMP Installer
Once the WAMP installer is downloaded, double-click on the installation file to launch the setup.
When prompted to allow this app from an unknown published to make changes to your device, click the Yes button.
Chose your language and click the OK button.
On the License Agreement window, read the WampServer license agreement, select I accept the agreement checkbox, and click the Next button.
If needed, read the installation requirements on the Information window. Please note that WAMP Server requires the Microsoft Visual C/C++ Redistributed as explained in the Step 1 above. Click Next to continue.
On the Select Destination Location, leave the default c:\ as advised in the Information section above. Select Next.
In the Select Components window, you can customize your WAMP installation further with specific versions for PHP, MariaDB, or MySQL – in case you need that for your project. Otherwise, leave the defaults and click the Next button.
On the Select Start Menu Folder window, click Next.
You are ready to install WAMP Server on your machine. Review your settings and click the Install button.
Wait about 2-3 minutes for the WAMP installation to complete.
Once done, you will be prompted to chose the Browser to be used with the WampServer. You can leave the default [iexplorer in this case] or chose No to select another browser. Let’s go with the default choice, click Yes.
When prompted for the iexplorer location in the file browser, click Open.
Next, you will be asked if you want to use the Notepad Text Editor in conjunction with the WampServer.
Click Open when prompted by the installer to point where the Notepad is located.
On the WampServer Information window, select Next.
The WampServer installation is now completed. Make sure you saved all your work before clicking the Finish button to reboot your computer.
Step 4: Launch The WAMP Server
To launch WAMP Server on your machine, double-click the WAMP Server icon on your desktop or run the application from your Windows Start menu.
Your Wamp Server is now fully installed and ready to use. You can access it by clicking the WAMP Server icon in your task bar.
Note: The default login credentials for WAMP Server MySQL are:
password : <leave this empty>
If you followed carefully the steps above, it is pretty easy and straightforward to install WAMP Server on your Windows computer. WAMP makes it pretty easy to install and manage all your web projects locally before deploying them on production.
If you encounter any issues during the installation, please drop me a message below, and I will do my best to assist you. And if you found this guide helpful, share it with your friends and colleagues.