MySQL Server Won’t Start on MAMP (RED LIGHT!) Mac OSX

If you can’t figure out why the MySQL Server won’t turn on if you’re using MAMP to do local development work, it could be because there are conflicting instances of a process called “mysqld” running on your system.

Here’s the really simple solution to this problem, as can be found in this forum here.

However, instead of making you search for it . . .


  1. Open up the program called Activity Monitor on your Mac. Just search for it, or it’s under Utilities I think.
  2. Search for a process called “mysqld“.
  3. Click on that process and “Quit Process” that bastard.

Now open MAMP back up and start the MySQL Server. Should turn green. Hopefully that helped.

About Jeremy Blake

Jeremy is a self-proclaimed socially-awkward penguin living in Utah. He makes money online. As he sleeps.


  1. Worked perfectly! Thanks!

  2. Worked perfect! So easy, thank you so much!!!

  3. Thank you! This worked!

  4. Thanks so much, easy and worked liked a charm!

  5. I had to do Force Quit, and that finally did it.

  6. Thank you! I have been looking for this solution. It worked beautifully!

  7. thank you so much!!!!!!

  8. daniel.dizzy says:

    worked perfect thanks mehn

  9. Thanks a million!

  10. Worked! Thanks!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this! I was going INSANE trying to figure out what was wrong.

  12. thank you!

  13. Thank you so much!! I couldnt wrap my head around it!!!

  14. Finsalala says:

    Thank you so much!

  15. Superb_beautiful says:

    I am just learning about web dev now and was installing joomla and the mysql just stopped saw quite a few solutions but they were too technical. I hope you become as Warren Buffet

  16. Magalie Chetrit says:

    well, this is just what i was looking for. thank you, sir

  17. Like a charm. Thanks!

  18. Gembong Y. Pranolo says:

    superb, i like the way you wrote

    “Quit Process” that bastard.


  20. php newbie says:

    Sweet! Thanks!

  21. Thanks!

  22. Haitham Bouammar71 says:


  23. Thanks a ton buddy… “that bastard” really bothered me a lot!!

  24. Maddison86 says:

    I’m new to this and this saved me! Thank you.

  25. Max Rubenacker says:

    Thank you. Saved me a restart. ;)

  26. you are a lifesaver mate. Thanks very much. Seems like a common porblem.

  27. Worked. Thanks!

  28. Perfect!!

  29. Stephen Gashler says:

    Thanks, man!

  30. Benjamin The Destroyer says:

    wish i knew this 6 hours ago!!!! but I guess you saved me another 6 hours… and a brick through my monitor!

  31. Awesome! Worked perfectly!

  32. Perfect!

  33. This worked. Simple. Thanks!

  34. This worked. Simple. Thanks!

  35. WOO! Thanks!

  36. i love you!!!!!!

  37. i love you!!!!!!

  38. Thank you very much! It was so good help! :-)


  40. Chandler Hoisington says:

    Nice. That works… thanks a lot

  41. THX. a quick solution in 3 sec, instead of 3 hours :-)

  42. I have tried both methods above – through Activity monitor force quitting mysqld and via terminal typing the killall command, but the MYSQL server won’t start. Apache starts fine. Any other suggestions? Thanks

  43. Hassanin Ahmed says:

    You’re awesome :)

  44. hey, thank so much ! it did work for me, so helpful

  45. Thank you it worked you are awsome ;)

  46. Ah ha! thanks a lot!

  47. worked for me !! And loved your documentation ! Bastard !! lol :D

  48. Rock on. That helps a ton.

  49. Thanks, worked perfectly.

  50. Nathan Gassman says:

    Perfect! It worked..(Got rid of Red Lite..MySQL Server) THANKS!!

    also…I found out a solution for this error…
    Solution For Error =

    You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ‘TYPE=MyISAM’ at line 9 on line: 1471

    YES..Thanks theaussiepea!

    Correction: It is connected to the WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plug-in

    As soon as I Deactivate this plug-in, the problem (for me, as I described it) disappears. All plug-ins deactivate and activate normally..Wordpress 3.3 Upgrade

  51. You need a Flattr or a PayPal button so people you can buy you a coffee/beer!

  52. fiddlegrrl says:

    good lord, thank you.

  53. Annamarie says:

    Thank you, thank you. As always “the answer is a keystroke away”.

  54. Sanjin Celeski says:

    t-h-a-n-k-y-o-u :-)

  55. Justin Ayres says:

    amazingly simple fix. thank you

  56. Thank you! Totally saved my day!

  57. Thanks!

  58. Anonymous says:

    You Rock!

  59. Anonymous says:

    You Rock!

  60. Freddy Hidalgo-Monchez says:

    Great! if I had money, I would paypal you some for sure. Life saver…

  61. Freddy Hidalgo-Monchez says:

    Great! if I had money, I would paypal you some for sure. Life saver…

  62. Thanx man !!

  63. Thanx man !!

  64. Matt Quirk says:

    Ahhhhhhh. Awesome!

  65. Spent HOURS on this…..I’d buy you a case of beer !

  66. Nittanyscooper says:

    Howdy, Thanks for curing my headache. After several months of periodic futzing trying to get this going, SUCCESS!

    re Ron Paul, I’m a die hard Dem, but Ron Paul is definitely my favorite Republican of the bunch. :)

  67. Karim Naufal says:

    Thanks, worked perfectly !! Great blog man… Love the title !! I’m the same Lol.. :) Take care bro and God bless you in your pursuit of happiness.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Super helpful. Thanks!

  69. Thank you so much

  70. Bless you!

  71. Oh my F’ing god I am so thankful for you! I passed over this multiple times thinking it was much too simple to actually work… Shame on me. THANK YOU!

  72. you are a star……..5 hours and i’ve sorted in 2 minutes…….cheers bud

  73. Thank you – such a simple solution for a potentially hair pulling problem.

  74. Thank you – such a simple solution for a potentially hair pulling problem.

  75. Thanks for posting this. Just had this issue and coincidentally, I DID donate to Ron Paul earlier today.

  76. alletsefinn says:

    Works like a charm!! Thanks!!!

  77. Thank You!!!!

  78. Thank you!

  79. Daniel Roane says:

    fantastic – thanks much. Dan

  80. Mohamed A Hassan says:

    thank you

  81. The simplest solution is always the best one. Thanks!

  82. Thanks. I like Ron Paul. He tells it like it is.

  83. Thank you!

  84. You rock dude.

  85. katherine champagne says:

    Bless your heart. This works like a charm!

  86. Ddoperalski says:

    You are so awesome. Gosh thanks.

  87. ha haaaa! you’re a flippin genius.

  88. Ravindra Patel says:

    Thanks !!!

  89. googleguy says:

    You are awesome. MySQL Genius!

  90. Worked like Charm..Thanks for sharing trick

  91. Aintzane says:

    Thanks for your help :-)

  92. You legend – I was getting so frustrated!!

  93. Diana Cristea says:

    Saved me! Thanks!

  94. Dev Kandhola says:

    Hit the nail on the head.. Cheers Man…..

  95. Tim Woods says:

    Super helpful!! You the man.

  96. THanksss

  97. Benneton pierre says:

    +1 for the coffe PayPal button, you saved me a lot of time and stress :)

  98. You are amazing! Thank you so much! RON PAUL 2012!!!

  99. Jittima.P says:

    the light not turn in green i so confuse

  100. Philip Klauzinski says:

    So am I breaking something on the mac by killing this process?

  101. LMFAO @ “Click on that process and “Quit Process” that bastard.” ….sure enough it works lol. THANK YOU. now, wheres the PP button?

  102. Jamie Patterson says:

    YES! This totally fixed an annoying problem for me. Thanks.

  103. Very nice !

  104. Thanks so much….it so great when something is fixed easily

  105. Thanks so much….it so great when something is fixed easily

  106. Thanks so much….it so great when something is fixed easily

  107. Sorry, but your tip don’t work for me…

  108. Wonderful!!!! Thanks

  109. 1983eerr says:


  110. brad mairin says:

    Am i the only person for which this didn’t work? I tried this many times, both using Activity Monitor and the sudo killall command, but MAMP still refuses to start the MySQL engine

    • It doesn’t work for me either, considering that there are no `mysqld` processes to kill. I haven’t been able to figure this out.

      • Hi guys

        been tearing my hair out with frustration as most people (on all the many many searches I’ve done) on trying to get MySQL working with MAMP post back “thanks yay working”.

        I tried killing: killall -9 mysqld

        blah blah blah, no luck.

        Guess what, check that MAMP has actually installed all the files. This was the case for me, in that my install of MAMP had failed to write the MAMP/db folder, yeah kinda critical.

        No matter how much you tweak passwords & kill phantom processes etc, if there’s no db to kill you’re gonna have trouble.

        Simply delete the install of MAMP and do a new install, making sure all the files /MAMP/db are installed

        Good luck, hope this helps at least one other person like me.

      • Restart your system/ re-install mamp :P

  111. Johngeirs says:

    Thanks for the Tip! Really Cool Font on this site BTW

  112. Emre Can Yılmaz says:

    thank you. that’s realy useful solition.

  113. You Smell

  114. You are GOD.

    Thank you.

    You just saved one more person from pulling her hair out


  115. You are GOD.

    Thank you.

    You just saved one more person from pulling her hair out


  116. Ali Dinani says:

    I love you… there were 4 of these I had to quit!
    Thank you.

  117. Givingbacksmiles says:

    This helped me! Thanks so much. Lets not hope I have to do this every time I launch MAMP. Fingers crossed. Thanks a bunch I like Ron Paul as well.

  118. Sally200539 says:

    Wow, it did works! thank you so much!

  119. Worked for me!! Thanks a lot! :D

  120. Thanks! Where’s that buy me coffee/donate via paypal button?

  121. Thanks! Where’s that buy me coffee/donate via paypal button?

  122. Sam Anderson says:

    Worked like a charm.

  123. Awesome. Worked great! You saved me alot of time

  124. Thanks.

  125. Arashhhh says:

    THANKS, it worked, can you tell why it happens? and what’s that BASTARD?

  126. Vrbvgbrfg says:

    thank you !!! that helped me

  127. E-money says:

    Worked great. Thank you!

  128. Biaminogiulia says:

    Thank you dude, this was very useful

  129. … like a charm

  130. Paul Verhulst says:

    sudo killall -9 mysqld
    worked for me! Thanks

  131. Rowena Morris-March says:

    Amazing, it worked!

  132. Thank you! This is very useful

  133. Thanks worked like a charm

  134. Thanks worked like a charm

  135. Works! Thanks.

  136. Out of many solutions there are searching in the web, this one was the definitive…Thanks!

  137. THANKS!

  138. kmmaclaren says:

    Life saver!

  139. Agoodwin727 says:

    Thanks so much! Exactly what I needed.

  140. Ghislaine says:

    Indeed life saver!

  141. inch by inch with this web development stuff… I call myself learning CakePHP over the weekend. Never hosted locally.

  142. perfect. now, is there a way to automate this process each time we quit MAMP?

  143. You saved my day, thanks :)

  144. Thank you! I like Ron Paul too. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, but, more importantly, he is at least talking about things in a way that few politicians are willing to do. I appreciate his willingness to say unpopular things.

  145. Worked a treat! Thanks so much!

  146. Works for about two minutes and then the MySQL server goes down again. Go back to the activity window but is not running anymore… what to do?

  147. Joss234 says:

    Thanx a bunch dude. I’ll “Quit Process” Ron Paul as well.

  148. morktron says:

    Thanks! I also owe you a beer or 2 :)

  149. clairenco says:

    Thanks you ever so much! The only advice I found online that actually works!

  150. Legend. Thanks!

  151. Mario1969 says:

    It worked perfectly. Thank you

  152. Worked perfectly!

  153. Angietepetl says:

    Alright! I love secure, straight forward posts like this.

    Might help for some: Utilities > Activity Monitor (from there is all said)

  154. Thank you very much.

  155. Yes!! Thanks!

  156. thankssss!! very much!!!! it’s work!

  157. Thank you for saving me from going around in an indefinite loop! Am sending you a hug!

  158. Thericcio says:

    thank you!!

  159. Life Saver !! Thanks alot :D

  160. disqus_xkAk0uym6I says:

    Great! This works!!! But, can you explain why is that process giving a problem? Will be interesting to know!

  161. this did nothing for me, tried everything listed, sudo, monitor both styles. Since purchasing a mac for my business i have run into this problem with mac software more than i`d like to.

  162. Tried everything else and got nothing, Found this and “SUCCESS”
    Go into Application/ (click into) –> System Preferences/” go down to SQL (bottom of page) click into it and click to “STOP” MySqlServer(also make sure that the automatic start on start up option is not checked) after this I opened MAMP and it turned on instantly. Thank you all

  163. Excellent, MacBook ran out of battery then MySQL server wouldn’t star when it came back on. Found 2 instances of mysqld running.

  164. Thanks so much! It works!


  166. Thank you!!!

  167. It works! Thank you so much.

  168. Great post. It worked. Thank you.

  169. Wow did the trick! Probably would have saved me from re-installing MAMP had I found this first…

  170. Cheers! :)

  171. I just had to do this and it worked great thanks

  172. Great, thanks. This worked and I am back up and running.

  173. Thanks for your help on this! Using the Activity Monitor worked for me.

  174. amazing….it worked. THANKS!!

  175. thanks!


  177. Omg this worked! Magic!!! Thank you so much!

  178. legend. to-the-point greatness

  179. Thank you! This works for me.

  180. princessfiona says:

    Thank you!!!!!

  181. princessfiona says:

    PS Love your the profile you’ve given yourself.

  182. Thank you so much! Worked like a charm.

  183. Thank you Jeremy – just learning joomla for nonprofit with one lowly site: got hacked using admin/admin, etc., etc., and trying to rebuild on MAMP, this was almost another nail in the coffin, but I “Quit Processed” that bastard, thank you very much.

  184. nice.. the ‘sudo killall -9 mysqld’ works :) thanks..

  185. It worked for me, thank you

  186. Wow, GREAT SOLUTION, thanks a lot.

  187. ohh mennnn…..gods bless internet and people like you!!! I was about to cry!!!….ahhaha THANKssSs!!!!!!!

  188. Allison Sheridan says:

    w00t! thanks for getting me back to work!

  189. Nailed it. Thanks, Jeremy.

  190. I agree with Anon. Badabing badaboom. Fixed!

  191. Thanks man, it work for me!

  192. Antonella Porfido says:


  193. Waleed Ahmed says:

    Thank you

  194. Miguel Parraud says:

    Oh, thank you very much!!!

  195. Kassandra says:

    THANK YOU! Exactly what I needed.

  196. Thank you!!

  197. Thanks…did the trick for me. Although stil don’t know why it does that.

  198. random googler says:

    Cheers, mate. Yours was the first hit on Google, and it solved the problem.

  199. I second that last comment IOU a BEER !! Thanks for the post!!

  200. Thanks for this! :)

  201. You are AWESOME

  202. selcukcura says:

    Amazing, thank you!

  203. Brilliant! Thank you so much.

  204. Kimble Vardaman says:

    Yay! Thank you so much!

  205. I don’t get, the process mySQL starts every time you turn on MAMP anyways. killing mySQL in activity monitor will just turn the green light to red in MAMP. The issue is still same, can’t execute a create table command in PHP running in localhost with MAMP, maybe I didn’t get smth ?

  206. OMG! thank you!!!!

  207. tritton001 says:

    thank you…..

  208. awesome !! thanks heaps … worked a treat :)

  209. You just saved me a bunch of time and headache. Thank you!

  210. Maksim Kupfer says:

    Wow, thanks for the quick solution!

  211. Anon from a year ago has a great idea – I would love to buy you a beer! Thank you :)

  212. Nicholas says:

    Thank you!!

  213. thanx

  214. Christopher LaRose says:

    This was wonderful advice!

  215. Ferras Mirazo says:

    I’m really glad about the solution, thank you a lot

  216. Samantha says:

    Hooray! Thanks!

  217. jclayson says:

    You saved me from a very serious conniption. Thank you, sir.

  218. grizlette says:

    Live-saver!! Thank you!

  219. <3

  220. Thank you, and especially for not making me search for the solution.

  221. i cant find “mysqld” on the activity monitor… :(

  222. sellmorepeas says:

    OMG!!! Thank you!!!

  223. Thanks! Great solution!

  224. You just saved me thank you

  225. meningreen says:

    Thanks it worked !!

  226. Thanks! Saved!

  227. Aaaahhh… merci beaucoup :)

  228. Thanks you.

  229. codygreen3 says:

    It works!!! THANKS MAN THANKS!! I was about to go crazy :)

  230. Thanks!

  231. demetriusPop says:

    That bastard, LOL! Worked perfectly, thanks!!!

  232. Perfect! thanks dude!

  233. My hero!

  234. that was easy! thanks

  235. Rach Knight says:

    Worked for me! Thank you!

  236. Caroline says:

    Thank you ever so much. That was easy.

  237. I never thought a self-proclaimed socially-awkward penguin would save my life. Thanks! Works for me!

  238. thanks mate, you are awesome

  239. Perfect!

  240. if you like terminal this command works: “killall -9 mysqld” – quotes of course. I always wait to make sure it works before I exit terminal, but I’m just that way

  241. worked perfectly.

  242. THANK YOU. (so much)

  243. Oiii! It worked!

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