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.

[adrotate group=”1″]

Author: Jeremy Blake

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

295 thoughts on “MySQL Server Won’t Start on MAMP (RED LIGHT!) Mac OSX”

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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™‚

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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

      1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

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

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ?

  19. 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *