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.ย Hopefully that helped.

About Jeremy Blake

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

  • Donal

    Worked perfectly! Thanks!

    • Great – thx, would never find it on my own

  • Jeff

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

  • Evan

    Thank you! This worked!

  • Jenn

    Thanks so much, easy and worked liked a charm!

  • ems

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

  • Tim

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

  • zoleka

    thank you so much!!!!!!

  • daniel.dizzy

    worked perfect thanks mehn

  • chyada

    Thanks a million!

  • Worked! Thanks!

  • j

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

  • josie

    thank you!

  • Yulia

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

  • Finsalala

    Thank you so much!

  • Superb_beautiful

    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

  • Magalie Chetrit

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

  • Matt

    Like a charm. Thanks!

  • Gembong Y. Pranolo

    superb, i like the way you wrote

    “Quit Process” that bastard.



  • php newbie

    Sweet! Thanks!

  • Michelle


  • Haitham Bouammar71


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

  • Maddison86

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

  • Max Rubenacker

    Thank you. Saved me a restart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Jk

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

  • Worked. Thanks!

  • Perfect!!

  • Stephen Gashler

    Thanks, man!

  • Benjamin The Destroyer

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

  • Noemail

    Awesome! Worked perfectly!

  • Rafmon


  • Phil

    This worked. Simple. Thanks!

  • Phil

    This worked. Simple. Thanks!

  • Martha

    WOO! Thanks!

  • G V 9

    i love you!!!!!!

  • G V 9

    i love you!!!!!!

  • Margrete

    Thank you very much! It was so good help! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Chandler Hoisington

    Nice. That works… thanks a lot

  • Kcie

    THX. a quick solution in 3 sec, instead of 3 hours ๐Ÿ™‚

  • AJ

    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

  • Hassanin Ahmed

    You’re awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

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

  • davidguy

    Thank you it worked you are awsome ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Nina

    Ah ha! thanks a lot!

  • Rahul

    worked for me !! And loved your documentation ! Bastard !! lol ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Marshall

    Rock on. That helps a ton.

  • Jon

    Thanks, worked perfectly.

  • Nathan Gassman

    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

  • Anon

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

    • Thanks. Never heard of Flattr before. Just added it to my site.

  • fiddlegrrl

    good lord, thank you.

  • Annamarie

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

  • Sanjin Celeski

    t-h-a-n-k-y-o-u ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Justin Ayres

    amazingly simple fix. thank you

  • Thank you! Totally saved my day!

  • Al


  • Anonymous

    You Rock!

  • Anonymous

    You Rock!

  • Freddy Hidalgo-Monchez

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

  • Freddy Hidalgo-Monchez

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

  • Bennybas

    Thanx man !!

  • Bennybas

    Thanx man !!

  • Matt Quirk

    Ahhhhhhh. Awesome!

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

  • Nittanyscooper

    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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Karim Naufal

    Thanks, worked perfectly !! Great blog man… Love the title !! I’m the same Lol.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care bro and God bless you in your pursuit of happiness.

  • Anonymous

    Super helpful. Thanks!

  • Thank you so much

  • Tbellows58

    Bless you!

  • Dave

    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!

  • Les

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

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

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

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

  • alletsefinn

    Works like a charm!! Thanks!!!

  • Apm

    Thank You!!!!

  • Emelia

    Thank you!

  • Daniel Roane

    fantastic – thanks much. Dan

  • Mohamed A Hassan

    thank you

  • MikeL

    The simplest solution is always the best one. Thanks!

  • Azabeti

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

  • Rob

    Thank you!

  • BGc

    You rock dude.

  • katherine champagne

    Bless your heart. This works like a charm!

  • Ddoperalski

    You are so awesome. Gosh thanks.

  • me

    ha haaaa! you’re a flippin genius.

  • Ravindra Patel

    Thanks !!!

  • googleguy

    You are awesome. MySQL Genius!

  • Worked like Charm..Thanks for sharing trick

  • Aintzane

    Thanks for your help ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jo

    You legend – I was getting so frustrated!!

  • Diana Cristea

    Saved me! Thanks!

  • Dev Kandhola

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

  • Tim Woods

    Super helpful!! You the man.

  • THanksss

  • Benneton pierre

    +1 for the coffe PayPal button, you saved me a lot of time and stress ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jenn

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

  • Jittima.P

    the light not turn in green i so confuse

  • Philip Klauzinski

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

    • I really doubt it. I have never noticed any adverse affects.

  • Somdow

    LMFAO @ “Click on that process and โ€œQuit Processโ€ that bastard.” ….sure enough it works lol. THANK YOU. now, wheres the PP button?

  • Jamie Patterson

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

  • Gros123

    Very nice !

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

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

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

  • Martin

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

  • DReyes

    Wonderful!!!! Thanks

  • 1983eerr


  • brad mairin

    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.

      • Paul

        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.

      • RS

        Restart your system/ re-install mamp ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Johngeirs

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

  • Emre Can Yฤฑlmaz

    thank you. that’s realy useful solition.

  • Anal

    You Smell

  • Bess

    You are GOD.

    Thank you.

    You just saved one more person from pulling her hair out


  • Bess

    You are GOD.

    Thank you.

    You just saved one more person from pulling her hair out


    • I’ve never been called God before, but I’ll take it. Glad I could save your hair. That was really my only objective.

  • Ali Dinani

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

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  • Givingbacksmiles

    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.

  • Sally200539

    Wow, it did works! thank you so much!

  • Worked for me!! Thanks a lot! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Sunny

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

  • Sunny

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

  • Sam Anderson

    Worked like a charm.

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

  • A G


  • Arashhhh

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

  • Vrbvgbrfg

    thank you !!! that helped me

  • E-money

    Worked great. Thank you!

  • Biaminogiulia

    Thank you dude, this was very useful

  • Koz

    … like a charm

  • Paul Verhulst

    sudo killall -9 mysqld
    worked for me! Thanks

  • Rowena Morris-March

    Amazing, it worked!

  • Fito

    Thank you! This is very useful

  • Wolf

    Thanks worked like a charm

  • Wolf

    Thanks worked like a charm

  • Works! Thanks.

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

  • Nicola


  • kmmaclaren

    Life saver!

  • Agoodwin727

    Thanks so much! Exactly what I needed.

  • Ghislaine

    Indeed life saver!

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

  • Mike

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

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  • anegg0

    You saved my day, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • natone

    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.

  • Guest

    Worked a treat! Thanks so much!

  • nectar

    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?

  • Joss234

    Thanx a bunch dude. I’ll โ€œQuit Processโ€ Ron Paul as well.

  • morktron

    Thanks! I also owe you a beer or 2 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • clairenco

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

  • Jason

    Legend. Thanks!

  • Mario1969

    It worked perfectly. Thank you

  • guest

    Worked perfectly!

  • Angietepetl

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

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

  • guest

    Thank you very much.

  • Nadja

    Yes!! Thanks!

  • Ashyzan

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

  • Ramise

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

  • Thericcio

    thank you!!

  • Liquiq8

    Life Saver !! Thanks alot ๐Ÿ˜€

  • disqus_xkAk0uym6I

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

  • designer

    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.

  • designer

    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

  • SD

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

  • tidi

    Thanks so much! It works!

  • Jason


  • steve

    Thank you!!!

  • neoniny

    It works! Thank you so much.

  • Great post. It worked. Thank you.

  • mmcverry

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

    • Yeah, I think I did that a time or two before figuring it out. Glad it worked for you.

  • Markymark

    Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • madmax

    I just had to do this and it worked great thanks

  • Jim

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

  • Andrew

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

  • FM

    amazing….it worked. THANKS!!

  • AJ





  • Omg this worked! Magic!!! Thank you so much!

  • whoo

    legend. to-the-point greatness

  • Thank you! This works for me.

  • princessfiona

    Thank you!!!!!

  • princessfiona

    PS Love your the profile you’ve given yourself.

  • Chris

    Thank you so much! Worked like a charm.

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  • 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.

    • Happy this post could help Brian. Best of luck to you

  • kharm

    nice.. the ‘sudo killall -9 mysqld’ works ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks..

  • Bob

    It worked for me, thank you

  • Ciro

    Wow, GREAT SOLUTION, thanks a lot.

  • Cris

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

  • Allison Sheridan

    w00t! thanks for getting me back to work!

  • Kristov

    Nailed it. Thanks, Jeremy.

  • artecle

    I agree with Anon. Badabing badaboom. Fixed!

  • Thanks man, it work for me!

  • Antonella Porfido


  • Waleed Ahmed

    Thank you

  • Miguel Parraud

    Oh, thank you very much!!!

  • Kassandra

    THANK YOU! Exactly what I needed.

  • Laura

    Thank you!!

  • noadek

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

  • random googler

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

    • I love google he loves me. We are a happy family.

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

  • Ope

    Thanks for this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • RS

    You are AWESOME

  • selcukcura

    Amazing, thank you!

  • Brilliant! Thank you so much.

  • Kimble Vardaman

    Yay! Thank you so much!

  • 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 ?

    • ok will uninstall MAMP, reboot mac os and get back to you guys

      • doesn’t work can’t execute create tables in PHP

  • yuki

    OMG! thank you!!!!

  • tritton001

    thank you…..

  • Mark

    awesome !! thanks heaps … worked a treat ๐Ÿ™‚

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

  • Maksim Kupfer

    Wow, thanks for the quick solution!

  • M

    Anon from a year ago has a great idea – I would love to buy you a beer! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nicholas

    Thank you!!

  • kuat


  • Christopher LaRose

    This was wonderful advice!

  • Ferras Mirazo

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

  • Samantha

    Hooray! Thanks!

  • jclayson

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

  • grizlette

    Live-saver!! Thank you!

  • figarto


  • JDoeNet

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

  • nacho

    i cant find “mysqld” on the activity monitor… ๐Ÿ™

    • Perhaps you need to squint your eyes. Usually helps me. Either that, or you’re dealing with a different issue. ๐Ÿ™

  • sellmorepeas

    OMG!!! Thank you!!!

  • dsd

    Thanks! Great solution!

  • ABK

    You just saved me thank you

  • meningreen

    Thanks it worked !!

  • Vana

    Thanks! Saved!

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  • Aaaahhhโ€ฆ merci beaucoup ๐Ÿ™‚

  • pouli

    Thanks you.

  • codygreen3

    It works!!! THANKS MAN THANKS!! I was about to go crazy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • eddy


  • demetriusPop

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

  • expo

    Perfect! thanks dude!

  • Amanda

    My hero!

  • sami

    that was easy! thanks

  • Rach Knight

    Worked for me! Thank you!

  • Caroline

    Thank you ever so much. That was easy.

    • You are ever so welcome. This much: |………………………………………….|

  • Ash

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

  • Yash

    thanks mate, you are awesome

  • ela


  • vic

    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

  • worked perfectly.

  • Ryan

    THANK YOU. (so much)

  • Jonas

    Oiii! It worked!

  • Shane

    Quit processing that bastard did the trick. Thank you.

  • Mohammed Alhoqbani


  • Emiliano Qaqi

    Just run this command

    sudo cp /usr/local/mysql/support-files/my-default.cnf /etc/my.cnf

  • Adnan Siddiqi

    Thanks a ton Man!!

  • Shaz

    It worked!!!

  • Shawn

    Thanks Brotha!

  • Julia van der Wyk