How to Connect to XAMPP/MySQL using Windows CMD [Command Prompt]

Work with MySQL terminal On our previous post, we have discussed about how to install LAMP Environment on your Windows PC easily using XAMPP. If you are a MySQL coder, or wish to learn it, then probably you have came to know about the MySQL terminal [or simply a command prompt in Windows]. Basically it is the best MySQL tool for any newbie user. You have type all your SQL Queries here manually and this way you can actually learn faster.

But opening the MySQL prompt can be a little tricky in Windows PC. As just typing “mysql” in command prompt does not work… So here is a complete guide to easily open MySQL terminal from Windows Command Prompt.

#1: Install XAMPP and locate installation Directory:

First you need to install XAMPP on your Windows PC. You can install MySQL alone if you want, but I shall recommend XAMPP for a better and easier usage. Simply follow the previous post to install it. Also Note down the installation directory.

The default installation directory is “C:\XAMPP\”. It may vary for your customized installation. So assuming this, try to locate this folder:

C:\xampp\mysql\bin\” or “~Installation Folder~\xampp\mysql\bin

where ~installation Folder~ is obviously the folder where you have selected to install XAMPP.

You should be able to find a file named, mysql.exe . This is the main MySQL Terminal.Locate mysql.exe file If you simply open it by double clicking then although a MySQL Terminal will be launched, but you won’t actually be able to modify your database, as in this way MySQL terminal does not get connected to the DB server host!

Just follow the instruction below to open the terminal properly…

#2: Open MySQL terminal from Windows Command Prompt(cmd):

  • Go to Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt;
  • This will pop up the Windows CMD.
  • Now type in the following command and hit enter:
    CD C:\xampp\mysql\bin

    Change the working directory using cd

  • Note that if you have any other installation directory, then you need to replace C:\XAMPP accordingly. Rest the Folder structure …\mysql\bin\ remains the same.
  • Now type the following command on the cmd prompt:
    mysql.exe –h localhost –u root -p
  • MySQL will start and will prompt you for a password. Leave it blank and hit enter.Launch MySQL with proper parameters This should bring you the MySQL terminal.

Now write and run the SQL Query languages and do whatever you wish to. Below is a process to add shortcut to the MySQL terminal.

#3: Adding shortcut using environment variables:

We will now add a environment variable to windows so that we can open the mysql.exe terminal window anywhere from command prompt without changing the working directory. Just follow the steps below:

  • On Windows 7 / Vista:Starting Environment Variables Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Advance Tab > Environment Variable;
  • On Windows XP: Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced Tab > Environment Variable;
  • Now under “User Variables for ~UserName~” Click on “New” button.
  • Under “Variable Name” type: mysql
  • Under “Variable Value” type: C:\xampp\mysql\bin\mysql.exe
  • Obviously you need to change the location of …/xampp if you have any other installation directory.
  • Now Save everythingsetting the environment variables and close the window.

You are done with creating the shortcuts… To launch MySQL all you need to is:

  • Open up Command Prompt;
  • Type:
    %mysql% –h localhost –u root -p

    and hit enter (As shown on the first image). Give blank password as before and you are set to go…

Now you have got your MySQL terminal window on your Win7/XP/Vista. Use it the way you want.

I hope the article was informative and useful for you. Please do give your feedback on this. Also if you know any better method of opening MySQL terminal in Windows, then do share it with us!


  1. Nethusha

    Tnx a lot. It really helped me a great deal. Everything u’ve explained is clear an easy to understand, specially with the given screenshots. Keep up ur good work.

  2. Rahul

    it’s not working ,still unable to open mysql through cmd.

  3. definitionist

    Regarding shortcut command. Instead of clicking through all the preferences, just type this in your terminal SETX PATH %MySQL%;C:\xampp\mysql\bin Or without SETX if you want to have it only for this session. Then, restart the terminal new.

  4. cancunrastaman

    Wow, this was a great tip, i put your command in a txt file and renamed it a bat so now I have a shortcut and don’t have to type it anymore. Thx

  5. Jennyvieve

    What if MariaDB was the one that’s initialized not MySQL? Help me please. Thank you very much!

    • Swashata Post author

      Both of them have same command structure. Make sure mariadb executables are there in out PATH and execute the same commands.

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