How to Install phpBB Forum on Windows using XAMPP

phpBB is flat-forum software. It is open source, licensed under Version 2 of the GNU GPL. It is written in the PHP programming language using Symfony framework.

In this article, I will show you how to install phpBB forum on Windows using XAMPP. This will help you to decide if it is a suitable forum for your site.


This tutorial assumes basic working knowledge of Windows Operating system.


  • Microsoft Windows 8.1/10 32/64 Bit Operating System (Buy from Microsoft Store)
  • XAMPP v3.2.2 – Free Apache, MySQL and PHP Distribution
  • phpBB 3.2.1


Note: We are using XAMPP, you can use any other Apache distribution like WAMP.

phpBB forum Installation Guide

Download phpBB Forum Software from the link Download. You can either choose British English language pack or All Format.

download phpbb forum software

Start XAMPP Apache and MySQL Service

Open XAMPP control panel and start Apache and MySQL service. Both services are needed, as phpBB is built on PHP Technology stack and we are going to install it on MySQL. You can use any other database like Oracle, PostgreSQL.

Make sure Module icon turns green and PID(s) and Ports(s) are populated on XAMPP control panel.

xampp control panel

Create MYSQL Database and User

The forum needs a database to store database object. Open my phpMyadmin and create user and database.

Create MYSQL Database and User as shown below using phpMyAdmin dashboard.

create phpbb mysql database

create mysql user

Start Installation of phpBB

Extract the downloaded file in C:\xampp\htdocs\phpBB3 folder. XAMPP in install under C:\xampp folder on Windows.

Open the internet browser and type http://localhost/phpbb3 in the address bar. It should start the installation process.

Next window shows the overview of phpBB. It has 2 tabs Overview and Install. Click on Install Tab.

phpbb install tab window

Next window you need to enter Admin details like username, email and password and click submit

enter phpbb admin details

Enter database configuration information as shown below. Enter database type MySQL, Host as localhost as we are installing on localhost. Database username and password we just created. Keep Prefix for the table in database default, you can change it if you want.

enter phpbb database configuration

Do not change anything on below window.

phpbb server configuration

As it is localhost we are not going to use email feature. So leave it default.

phpbb email configuration

Next you can select language, give proper title and description. Click Submit.

phpbb bulletin board configuration

That’s it and it should start the phpBB installation. Check for success message as shown below.

phpbb installation complete

Click on ACP link given above image to open admin dashboard. Below is admin dashboard.

phpbb admin panel


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