How to upgrade or update MAMP/MAMP Pro

If you use MAMP or MAMP Pro for your local development server, you might want to update it as new versions are released. Learn how to uprade MAMP, it’s simple, it only takes a few minutes and you will benefit from improved reliability.

I have written a post here on setting up MAMP on your Mac which covers a couple of steps we can refer to in our update. The main benefit of upgrading MAMP is in improved reliability and there will sometimes also be changes to the PHP version that you will want to be able to run on your web testing server. See this post on upgrading PhpMyAdmin. Updates on major versions of MAMP Pro are free, and there is no charge for the standard version of MAMP that I use for my local development environment.

How to Upgrade MAMP

First of all, head on over to to download the latest version of MAMP. Save the zip file containing the installer to your desktop (unless you want to keep a backup…)

  1. Go to your user Applications folder and rename the MAMP directory to MAMP_OLD or similar.
  2. Unzip the installer and double-click the .pkg file to start the install process. You will be told not to remove or rename MAMP. Ignore this! Press Continue and you will be asked to verify with your password.
  3. When the installation has finished, go to your MAMP_OLD folder and copy the db directory. Use this to replace the db directory in the new installation of MAMP. If you upload your local site files to the MAMP htdocs directory you will also want to copy this one from _OLD to new.
  4. You can either use the MAMP GUI (as in the guide to setting up MAMP) or go to Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/httpd.conf and set your Ports for Apache and MySQL to 80/3306.

    MAMP Ports

    MAMP Ports

  5. Go to the Apache tab and set your Document Root, or edit the httpd.conf file.
  6. Finally, if you are using any virtual hosts, copy them over from the httpd.conf file in your MAMP_OLD directory to your new file.
  7. Restart MAMP and that’s it!

If everything is working as expected, you can delete the MAMP_OLD backup file.


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  1. Rikard

    Hi! This worked like a charm! Thanks developer bro

  2. Klaas Mullenberg

    Hi! I have followed the steps exactly as you say. But mysql server doesn’ t start when I restart MAMP and it doens’ t get the green checkmark either. Do you know what the cause of this problem is and how I can solve it?

    Thanks in advance mate!

    • Haiz Design

      Check out the MAMP faqs for non-starting MySQL servers. This is a common issue. I’ve just updated to MAMP 4 and faced issues myself, with MAMP seeing my Sites server as an invalid host. I have moved everything over to the htdocs folder now and its all working properly.

      • Klaas Müllenberg

        What files did you move over to the htdocs folder?

        I think I have to copy and move over more folders from the old to the new mamp version beside the folders htdocs and db. But I don’t know which folders.

        Thanks in advance for your response!

          • Klaas Müllenberg

            I have copied the whole db folder except the mysql folder that is in it. I copied the complete htdocs folder of course and put it all in the new MAMP folder. Finally it worked!

            Thanks a lot for all the information!

  3. Marc

    This no longer seems to work when upgrading from MAMP 3.5 to 4.0. Any ideas? Reverting back to the MAMP_OLD got me up and running again, albeit on version 3.5.

    I’m thinking it had something to do with the contents of the db directory.

    • Haiz Design

      MAMP Pro 4 introduced a whole bunch of issues for me too. I ended up moving my localhost to the htdocs folder with PHP version 5.2.5 as default. Several of my WordPress themes didn’t work on PHP 7 and the Sites folder was seen by MAMP as an invalid host (marked in red in MAMP Pro.)

  4. JayB

    Will this also work when updating from version 4.x.x to 4.x.x? Spent a lot of time moving the databases and really don’t want to mess with the settings.

    Also have noticed that Mamp Pro 4 runs slow on macOS Sierra. Any known issues?

    • Haiz Design

      It will work, but if you are using MAMP Pro, you will need to move the db directory from a different location. That is (Hard Drive name) > Library > Application Support > appsolute > MAMP PRO > db.

      I have found MAMP Pro to be somewhat annoying lately, with a lot of incremental updates. For WordPress development I have moved over to Local by Flywheel. This is free and lots of advantages of MAMP Pro for my workflow, including remote tunnels. These let you create temporary links that you can share with clients, allowing them to view your local site. This is perfect for times when you are working on a feature and haven’t pushed it to the staging server.

  5. Jon B

    I would have thrown my computer out of the window if it wasn’t for this post.
    MAMP is great except for the documentation and update process.
    Easy when you know how, but how do you get to know how?

    This post!!

  6. Lokesh Pawar

    It Worked, No I can run PHP 8.1 on my machine, Thank you ….!!

  7. Kamlesh

    Thanks a lot, it worked like charm, you saved my life 🙂 🙂

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