Apache 2.x on Microsoft Windows

This section contains notes and hints specific to Apache 2.x installs of PHP on Microsoft Windows systems.


Please read the manual installation steps first!

It is strongly recommended to consult the » Apache Documentation to get have a basic understanding of the Apache 2.x Server. Also consider reading the » Windows specific notes for Apache 2.x before reading on here.

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. PHP can be run 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

To load the PHP module for Apache 2.x, the following lines in the Apache httpd.conf configuration file must be inserted:

Example #1 PHP and Apache 2.x as handler

# before PHP 8.0.0 the name of the module was php7_module
LoadModule php_module "c:/php/php8apache2_4.dll"
<FilesMatch \.php$>
    SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
# configure the path to php.ini
PHPIniDir "C:/php"

Note: The actual path to PHP must be substituted instead of C:/php/ in the above examples. Make sure that the file referenced in the LoadModule directive is at the specified location. Use php7apache2_4.dll for PHP 7, or php8apache2_4.dll for PHP 8.

Running PHP as CGI

It is strongly recommended to consult the » Apache CGI documentation for a more complete understanding of running CGI on Apache.

To run PHP as CGI, the php-cgi files will need to be placed in a directory designated as a CGI directory using the ScriptAlias directive.

A #! line will need to be placed in the PHP files, which point to the location of the 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 » https://www.apachelounge.com. 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"
<FilesMatch \.php$>
    SetHandler fcgid-script
FcgidWrapper "c:/php/php-cgi.exe" .php
Files with a .php extension will now be executed by the PHP FastCGI wrapper.