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As your probably already know, you can run an Apache server right off of a USB drive using XAMPP. It's a great ability to have because you can take a website anywhere with you. I can work on the same site off of the USB drive from home, at my girlfriend's place, on my laptop in front of the TV, at work.you get the point. Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP, originally named Jabber) is an open communication protocol designed for instant messaging (IM), presence information, and contact list maintenance. Based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), it enables the near-real-time exchange of structured data between any two or more network entities. Designed to be extensible, the protocol.

When comparing XAMPP vs Laragon. Port 443 is in use from Skype. You can change the port in Skype. XAMPP runs on OS X, Linux and Windows. One of such program is the popular Skype. Navigate to Tools - Options - Advanced - Connection; uncheck / un-tick the use port 80 and 443 as alternative for incoming connection. Quit Skype for the change to take effect and then re-start Apache in XAMPP. It should be up and running. I use xampp for local development purposes at work. Almost everyone I know who uses these 2 great apps knows that there's a standing issue with ports 80 and 443 between xampp and skype. As well, with prior versions of Skype, people who use the apps knows that the easiest and least trouble-free workaround is to disable Skype's 'hogging' of these ports by unchecking a setting in the app's advanced settings, like so.

XAMPP is a helpful development tool. However, you may run into problems at some point, such as receiving the notification: “Apache shutdown unexpectedly”. This error might seem to come out of nowhere, so identifying the cause – let alone the solution – can be puzzling.

Fortunately, there is a common explanation for Apache’s sudden shutdown. With a few simple modifications, you should be able to fix the problem and get Apache up and running again. All you have to do is update some settings in the configuration files.

In this article, we’ll discuss the common cause of this Apache error in XAMPP and then walk you through four steps to fix it, both on Windows and macOS.

Let’s get started!

An Introduction to the XAMPP “Apache Shutdown Unexpectedly” Error

XAMPP is a free, open source server stack that includes the Apache server and MariaDB database:

The XAMPP website.

It runs PHP and Perl scripts, and is used to develop and test dynamic websites on local machines. This means that if you are building a website, you can install WordPress locally on your computer. You can use XAMPP without having to upload your site’s files to your web hosting service.

If you’re reading this article, we’ll assume you’re already at least somewhat familiar with XAMPP. However, what may be new to you is the “Apache shutdown unexpectedly” error you’re seeing.

This message is most commonly caused by a blocked port. Usually, it means that another application installed on your computer, such as Skype, is using the same port as XAMPP. Additionally, you may notice that the error message indicates the problem may also be attributed to “missing dependencies, improper privileges, a crash, or a shutdown by another method.”

In any event, the easiest fix is to simply modify the XAMPP default settings. However, the method for resolving the error varies slightly between Windows and macOS. Also, the interface may look a bit different depending on the XAMPP version you’re using. We will provide instructions for both operating systems below, starting with Windows.

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How to Fix the XAMPP Error “Apache Shutdown Unexpectedly” in Windows

If you’re using a Windows device, you can follow these four steps to update your default port settings in XAMPP.

Step 1: Open the Configuration Settings from the XAMPP Control Panel

The first step is, of course, to launch XAMPP. This will open the XAMPP control panel. From here, you can update the configuration settings for the server stack.

Since this error is related to Apache, we’ll focus on those settings. In the “Apache”row of options, click on the Config button.

The XAMPP control panel in Windows.

This will open a drop-down menu of files. We’re going to be editing two of these files, starting with httpd.conf.

Step 2: Change the Default Port Settings of the httpd.conf File

From the menu of files, click on Apache (httpd.conf). Once you do, the file will open in your computer’s default text editor:

The Apache (httpd.conf) file in XAMPP control panel.

Within this file, there are three settings you’ll want to update. To get started, press Ctrl + F, then enter “80” in the search field:

This will display all instances of the number 80 in the file. Locate “Port 80” and change it to “Port 8080”. Once the port setting is updated, search for “Listen 80” and update it to “Listen 8080”.

Finally, search for “servername localhost:80”. Once you find it, modify it to “servername localhost:8080”. When you’re finished, save and close the file.

Step 3: Update the Default Port Settings in the http-ssl.conf File

Xampp

Now it’s time to move on to the second file. To do so, you can return to the XAMPP control panel, then select Config under the Apache settings again. This time, open the Apache (http-ssl.conf) file.

When the file opens in your text editor, press Ctrl + F, and then enter 443 in the search field. Locate “Listen 443” and update this to “Listen 4433”.

Next, search the file for the next instance of “443”. It should be “<VirtualHost _default_:443>”. Once you find it, you can go ahead and change it to “<VirtualHost _default_:4433>”. When you’re finished, remember to save and close the file.

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Step 4: Restart Apache

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Once you’ve updated the settings in both files, the final step is to stop Apache. You can do this by clicking on the Stop button along the same Apache row. After Apache has been stopped, click the Start button to complete the restart process.

That’s it! Your port numbers will be updated and Apache should now run without error.

How to Fix the XAMPP Error “Apache Shutdown Unexpectedly” in macOS

Depending on what version of macOS you’re running, you may already have Apache installed on your computer. This default application of Apache will use the same default port settings as the Apache server in XAMPP, so this may be the cause of the “Apache shutdown unexpectedly” error.

If you’re using macOS, you can follow these four steps to update the default port settings.

Step 1: Open the XAMPP Apache Configuration

To start, open the XAMPP Application Manager if you haven’t already done so:

The XAMPP application manager.

Next, select the Manage Servers tab next to the Welcome tab at the top:

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On this screen, you’ll find a list of options. You can click on Apache Web Server, followed by the Configure button.

Step 2: Open the Conf File

From the Configure Apache Web Server box, select Open Conf File:

XAMPP’s “Configure Apache Web Server” options.

A warning box will appear, stating that the file is for advanced users:

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You can click on Yes to continue. This will open the httpd.conf file.

Step 3: Update the Port Settings

Once the file opens in your text editor, the next step is to update the port settings. To do so, you can hit Ctrl + F, and then enter “80” in the search field. This will display instances of the number 80:

XAMPP’s httpd.conf file port settings.

Locate the these lines:

When you’re done, you can save and close the file. In the Configure Apache Web Server box, click on OK.

Step 4: Restart Apache

The final step is to stop and restart Apache, which you can do from the XAMPP Application Manager’s Manage Servers tab. Once Apache is stopped, click on Start to restart:

That’s it! Your port numbers will be updated and Apache should now run without error.

Summary

The XAMPP error “Apache shutdown unexpectedly” is commonly caused by another program, such as Skype, using the default Apache port. While this can be frustrating, it usually has a simple resolution.

As we discussed in this article, the easiest way to fix this problem is to update XAMPP’s Apache configuration settings. You can do this by editing the httpd.conf file and the http-ssl.conf file (for Windows users). Once this is done, you should stop and restart Apache to resume normal operation.

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So you’ve got XAMPP installed and a fresh local installation of WordPress set up. Next, time to install that perfect theme. But wait! What’s this business about a fatal error and maximum execution time? Just when you thought you were past all the hard stuff…

Running into issues when developing with XAMPP is normal, especially if you’re working with it for the first time. When using XAMPP, following installation, installing a plugin, importing a large database, and creating a backup of your local website are all opportunities for something to go wrong. Just like any other server, a local XAMPP server will have to be adjusted for your particular computer setup to get it running problem-free.

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PHP errors and port conflicts are the most common examples of the bugs XAMPP developers run into. Some of these issues are just about guaranteed to show up when working with a local WordPress installation, and in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to overcome four of the most common XAMPP issues WordPress developers are likely to encounter.

Problem 1: Maximum PHP Execution Time Exceeded

This is probably the most common issue first-time XAMPP users encounter. Try to install a large plugin or update the WordPress core and you’re almost guaranteed to see a fatal error message letting you know that the Maximum execution time of 30 seconds was exceeded.

The good news is, this is a really simple problem to fix.

What’s going on is that the settings controlling the version of PHP running on your XAMPP installation are limiting script execution time to 30 seconds. However, it takes longer than 30 seconds to install large plugins, update the WordPress core or perform many other common WordPress operations.

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To fix the issue, you need to adjust a single PHP setting in your XAMPP installation’s php.ini file.

There are two ways to get to this file.

  1. Open up XAMPP control panel, click on Config in the Apache row, and select PHP (php.ini). This will open the file in a text editor, but probably not your preferred text editor.
  2. Navigate to your root XAMPP folder, open the php directory and look for the file titled php.ini. Then open that file with your preferred text editor.

On my Windows laptop with XAMPP installed directly into the C: directory, the file is located at this address: C:xamppphpphp.ini.

Open php.ini in a text editor and find the line max_execution_time. If you’re running the latest version of XAMPP, it should appear on line 368 of the file. To increase the execution time, just input a larger number. The default value is 30 seconds, but many shared hosting environments set this limit at 120 seconds. Increasing this value to 120 should keep you from ever running into this particular issue again while working with WordPress websites.

Anytime you make a change to php.ini you must save the file, close it, and then stop and restart Apache in the XAMPP control panel. Apache only reads the values in php.ini when it starts up. So any changes made to php.ini while Apache is already running won’t take effect until Apache restarts and reads the new values.

Restart Apache and then reattempt the operation that caused the error to appear. You should now see things proceed as expected.

Problem 2: Maximum File Size Exceeded

This error can manifest itself for lots of different reasons. By far, the most common way to run into this error is when attempting to use the media uploader in WordPress to upload an image file larger than 2 MB. I’ve also run into this error while attempting to import a database using phpMyAdmin. Regardless of how you manage to trigger this fatal PHP error, the fix is the same.

This is another issue that can be resolved by making some changes to php.ini.

Head back to php.ini. This time, look for the line that defines the upload_max_filesize. By default, this value is set to 2 megabytes. Increase the value to a number that will accommodate the size of the file or database you are trying to upload. Keep in mind that acceptable values are any number that is a power of two. So acceptable values are powers of two: 2M, 4M, 8M, 16M, 32M, 64M, 128M, and so forth. Use a different value, 20M for example, and Apache will round-down the effective value to the nearest acceptable value, which would be 16M if you were to input 20M.

Before closing php.ini, look for the line that defines post_max_size. This value works hand-in-hand with upload_max_filesize. Increasing one without increasing the other will cause the smaller of the two to be applied as the maximum uploadable file size. Find the line, and use the same value you used for upload_max_filesize.

If you take the time to look carefully at the notes in the php.ini file, you’ll see that for many settings a URL is provided where you can learn more about the setting you’re adjusting. It’s always worth taking a moment to visit the referenced URL. For example, the documentation provided for the post_max_size setting lets us know that the memory_limit value should be at least as large as post_max_size. A quick look at memory_limit reveals that the default value is 128 megabytes. Unless you set a higher limit for post_max_size and upload_max_filesize than 128M, you won’t need to adjust this value.

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Problem 3: Fixing Apache Port Conflicts

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Another error message that is pretty common to see when working with XAMPP is a notification in the XAMPP control panel that the ports Apache needs to use, ports 443 and 80, are already being used by another application.

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In the case of the error message in the image above, this is a pretty easy fix. The offending application is Skype. If you see the same message, close Skype completely and restart XAMPP to solve the problem. Skype is a frequent-flier on the port-blocking scene and pretty easy to identify and remediate. Unfortunately, things aren’t always so simple. Other things you can try if quitting Skype doesn’t fix the issue are:

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  • Stop World Wide Web Publishing Service, a utility application pre-installed on many Windows computers. To stop it, open up Administrative Tools > Services in the Windows Control Panel, look for the application, select it, and click Stop.
  • Use Windows Firewall to force the ports to remain unblocked. Do this by opening the Windows Control Panel and navigating to Windows Firewall > Advanced Settings. Then add a new inbound rule forcing ports 80 and 443 to remain unblocked.

These two fixes are covered in greater detail in our previous tutorial on setting up XAMPP so we won’t rehash all of the details here. Instead, check out that tutorial to try those port-clearing fixes.