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Install PHP on Windows with Web Platform Installer

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, or simply PHP, is a web server scripting language for programming web based applications that are accessed via web browsers. In other words PHP is a computer programming language for the web. PHP can be installed and run on a Windows based PC. Running PHP on Windows is a useful way of testing PHP apps locally before deploying them to a web server. How do you install PHP on Windows? Sometimes PHP comes with development software, however, this article shows you probably the quickest way to install PHP on a Windows computer. PHP can be installed on Windows using Microsoft's Web Platform Installer, a.k.a. WebPI.

PHP Logo

Start with the WebPI App

Microsoft WebPI is the easiest way to install common web technologies onto a Windows PC. Start by going to the Microsoft Web Platform Installer home page. At the bottom of the WebPI install page, under Download WebPI are options for 64-bit Windows (x64), and 32-bit Windows (x86). Choose the download version correct for your Windows.

(To check which version of Windows you have run the System Information app. Type system in the search box and run System Information. Look at the System Type entry to see if it is a x64 or x32 system.)

Run the installation for the Web Platform Installer. If not logged in as a Computer Admin then the administrator password will be required. Once installed type Web Platform in the Windows search box and select Microsoft Web Platform Installer. To run WebPI an administrator account is required. For a standard user use the context menu (normally right-click) and select Run as administrator, entering the correct admin password.

Selecting WebPI

Install PHP on Windows with WebPI

PHP installs are listed in Frameworks in WebPI.

PHP installs in WebPI

Alternatively use search in WebPI to find the PHP packages:

Install PHP in WebPI

For testing PHP on the local Windows machine a webserver is required. Internet Information Services (IIS) is the default Windows webserver. You can set up IIS manually, but if IIS is not already installed, use WebPI to install IIS at the same time as installing PHP.

Install IIS with WebPI

The installer will add other required packages as necessary. Click the Install button and accept the licenses.

Accept WebPI Conditions

WebPI will show a list of all the packages installed.

Installed WebPI Packages

On newer versions of Windows there may be an error message saying that PHP Manager for IIS failed to install. This is a known issue and is only a problem if testing multiple versions of PHP. PHP Manager offers an easy way to switch between different PHP versions. There is a workaround available, however, if using a single version of PHP then PHP Manager is not required.

The installed PHP is now ready to use. Confirm it is working by creating a PHP test page. To see how to set up a website in IIS read everything after section How to Host a Website in IIS in Windows in the article Web Server on Windows with IIS. Use Windows Notepad to create a PHP test file, e.g. called php-test.php. Add the following to the file and save it into the website.

<?php
    phpinfo();
?>

Then browse to it, if everything is installed correctly then PHP info will be shown:

Testing PHP on IIS

See Also

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