Apache 2.x on Microsoft Windows

This section contains notes and hints specific to Apache 2.x installs of PHP on Microsoft Windows systems. We also have instructions and notes for Apache 1.3.x users on a separate page.


You should read the manual installation steps first!

Note: Apache 2.2 Support

Users of Apache 2.2 should note that the DLL file for Apache 2.2 is named php5apache2_2.dll rather than php5apache2.dll and is available only for PHP 5.2.0 and later. See also » http://snaps.php.net/

You are strongly encouraged to consult the » Apache Documentation to get a basic understanding of the Apache 2.x Server. Also consider reading the » Windows specific notes for Apache 2.x before reading on here.

Apache 2.x is designed to run on the Windows version designated as server platforms, such as Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows 7. While Apache 2.x works tolerably well on Windows 9x, support on these platforms is incomplete, and some things will not work correctly. There is no plan to remedy this situation.

Download the most recent version of » Apache 2.x and a fitting PHP version. Follow the Manual Installation Steps and come back to go on with the integration of PHP and Apache.

There are three ways to set up PHP to work with Apache 2.x on Windows. You can run PHP as a handler, as a CGI, or under FastCGI.

Note: Remember that when adding path values in the Apache configuration files on Windows, all backslashes such as c:\directory\file.ext should be converted to forward slashes: c:/directory/file.ext. A trailing slash may also be necessary for directories.

Installing as an Apache handler

You need to insert the following lines into your Apache httpd.conf configuration file to load the PHP module for Apache 2.x:

Example #1 PHP and Apache 2.x as handler

LoadModule php5_module "c:/php/php5apache2.dll"
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .php

# configure the path to php.ini
PHPIniDir "C:/php"

Note: Remember to substitute your actual path to PHP for the C:/php/ in the above examples. Take care to use either php5apache2.dll or php5apache2_2.dll in your LoadModule directive and verify that the referenced file is in fact located at the file path that you point to in this directive.

The above configuration will enable PHP handling of any file that has a .php extension, even if there are other file extensions. For example, a file named example.php.txt will be executed by the PHP handler. To ensure that only files that end in .php are executed, use the following configuration instead:

<FilesMatch \.php$>
      SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

Running PHP as CGI

You should consult the » Apache CGI documentation for a more complete understanding of running CGI on Apache.

To run PHP as CGI, you'll need to place your php-cgi files in a directory designated as a CGI directory using the ScriptAlias directive.

You will then need to insert a #! line in the PHP files, pointing to the location of your PHP binary:

Example #2 PHP and Apache 2.x as CGI



A server deployed in CGI mode is open to several possible vulnerabilities. Please read our CGI security section to learn how to defend yourself from such attacks.

Running PHP under FastCGI

Running PHP under FastCGI has a number of advantages over running it as a CGI. Setting it up this way is fairly straightforward:

Obtain mod_fcgid from » http://httpd.apache.org/mod_fcgid/. Win32 binaries are available for download from that site. Install the module according to the instructions that will come with it.

Configure your web server as shown below, taking care to adjust any paths to reflect your how you have installed things on your particular system:

Example #3 Configure Apache to run PHP as FastCGI

LoadModule fcgid_module modules/mod_fcgid.so  

# Where is your php.ini file?
FcgidInitialEnv PHPRC        "c:/php" 

AddHandler fcgid-script .php  
FcgidWrapper "c:/php/php-cgi.exe" .php  
Files with a .php extension will now be executed by the PHP FastCGI wrapper.

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