Installing & Configuring Apache on macOS using Homebrew and use Sites folder

Eventhough Apache ships with macOS, a better maintained version would be coming from Homebrew, also Apple is making noises about not supporting legacy software like PHP so in the future this may be more of a compulsory option.

macOS use to ship with both MySQL & PHP, but now since macOS Monterey, PHP has also been deprecated.

In this guide we look to add both MySQL and PHP and structure the workflow to use the User Sites folder as the document root. For MySQL/MariaDB you can either also install from Homebrew or as a standalone package.

First thing to do would be to remove the builtin Apache version of which in macOS Monterey Big Sur is Apache/2.4.46. or 2.4.48

Remove built-in Apache in macOS

You can test if Apache is running by issuing this command, which is checking Port 80:

sudo lsof -i:80

Output you may get back would be:


httpd   107 root    4u  IPv6 0xe356c4f54c26d40f      0t0  TCP *:http (LISTEN)

httpd   395 _www    4u  IPv6 0xe356c4f54c26d40f      0t0  TCP *:http (LISTEN)

This tells us that indeed httpd/Apache is running, no output would mean it’s not running.

Stop Apache running on computer restart by issuing:

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/org.apache.httpd.plist

That will unload the start up daemon and make the builtin macOS Apache incapacitated, test by issuing the previous command:

sudo lsof -i:80

Installing Apache with Homebrew

First make sure you have Homebrew set up and ready to go.

Install Apache which is known as the package name ‘httpd’:

brew install httpd

Final command line output should be:

DocumentRoot is /usr/local/var/www.

The default ports have been set in /usr/local/etc/httpd/httpd.conf to 8080 and in

/usr/local/etc/httpd/extra/httpd-ssl.conf to 8443 so that httpd can run without sudo.

To have launchd start httpd now and restart at login:

  brew services start httpd

Or, if you don't want/need a background service you can just run:

  apachectl start

==> Summary

????  /usr/local/Cellar/httpd/2.4.46_2: 1,657 files, 31.4MB

Set Apache to auto-start now and on computer restart:

brew services start httpd

The other 2 commands to stop or Restart Apache are:

brew services stop httpd

brew services restart httpd

By default the Apache Homebrew package is listening on Port 8080 and 8443, test by issuing:

sudo lsof -i:8080

Test the location of Apache/httpd

which httpd

Homebrew location is:


If you are getting the default macOS location of /usr/sbin/httpd:


Restart the computer and try the location test again.

Changing the Port Number

Next is to change the port numbers from 8080 to 80

nano /usr/local/etc/httpd/httpd.conf

And change Listen 8080 to:

Listen 80

Restart Apache and web files will now be served over the default port 80.

brew services restart httpd

Changing the document root to be the old sites folder

Previously in macOS the web root directory which is missing by default is the ‘~/Sites’ folder in the User account. This makes sense to set up as a document root as it is logical and easily accessible.

You need to make a “Sites” folder at the root level of your account and then it will work. Once you make the Sites folder you will notice that it has a unique icon which is a throwback from a few versions older. Make that folder before you set up the configuration changes below

In the /usr/local/etc/httpd/httpd.conf file, find:

DocumentRoot "/usr/local/var/www"

Change to:

DocumentRoot /Users/shortusername/Sites

Change the shortusername to the one on your macOS account


<Directory "/usr/local/var/www"">

Change to:

<Directory "/Users/shortusername/Sites">


    # AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files.
    # It can be "All", "None", or any combination of the keywords:
    #   AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit
    AllowOverride None

Change to:

    # AllowOverride controls what directives may be placed in .htaccess files.
    # It can be "All", "None", or any combination of the keywords:
    #   AllowOverride FileInfo AuthConfig Limit
    AllowOverride All


User _www
Group _www


User shortusername
Group staff




ServerName localhost

Find and uncomment:

LoadModule rewrite_module lib/httpd/modules/

Now the webroot is /Users/shortusername/Sites/ just add a index.html file there and view file via localhost/index.html in your browser

Apache Log File

To check any Apache errors or access you can find its log files:



Getting PHP Working

Follow this Homebrew PHP guide to download your required PHP versions.

In the /usr/local/etc/httpd/httpd.conf file add in required module – example uses PHP 8.

LoadModule php_module /usr/local/opt/[email protected]/lib/httpd/modules/


<IfModule dir_module>
  DirectoryIndex index.html


<IfModule dir_module>
  DirectoryIndex index.php index.html

Also at the end of the file add in:

<FilesMatch .php>
SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

Restart Apache:

brew services restart httpd

You can check PHP is running by adding <?php phpinfo(); ?> to a .php web hosted file and view the output.

That’s it, Apache is now set up and running with PHP enabled.

To remove Apache httpd

brew remove httpd


  1. ErikBw on December 7, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    After upgrading to Ventura I can only reach my Apache webserver from the server itself (ie not even on the same LAN from a different computer, let alone externally).
    lsof shows httpd is listening to 8080 and 443. Opening php-info.php responds as expected when called from a browser on the server.
    I already turned of the Apple firewall but it doesn’t help. The httpd access log only shows activity when a call from a browser on the server is made. No ‘strange’ error messages in the error log either.
    What can I do to pinpoint the issue?

    This used to work fine on my LAN and WAN (running dokuwiki).

  2. Todd Ferguson on October 16, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    The last thing he says to add should be:

    SetHandler application/x-httpd-php

    He accidentally formatted the closing > wrong which turned into the

    gt; SetHandler….

  3. jei-em on July 20, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you for the detailed instructions and I have it working with your help =)… however, i’ve got “404 error The requested URL was not found on this server” particularly for the subdirectories…

  4. Simon KRAMER on March 3, 2022 at 7:07 am


    I’m getting different output (with different paths):

    DocumentRoot is /opt/homebrew/var/www.

    The default ports have been set in /opt/homebrew/etc/httpd/httpd.conf to 8080 and in
    /opt/homebrew/etc/httpd/extra/httpd-ssl.conf to 8443 so that httpd can run without sudo.



  5. James on February 24, 2022 at 10:55 am

    everything is running but the page is not showing up
    not sure why

  6. X on January 30, 2022 at 5:33 am

    You have an error in your HTML – you can see it in your PHP section after
    Also at the end of the file add in
    I tried guessing what the code actually was, but then I didn’t have the proper format, which temporarily broke my whole setup. Then I saw that, after the greater than sign, line breaks were also necessary, and now it’s working fine ;)
    Given most of us might be idiots like myself, just thought maybe you might want to edit it? I literally just copy and paste what gurus like yourself provide ;)
    And please obviously delete all of my stupid comments.
    Thanks again for such an AWESOME resource! Worked like a charm!

  7. X on January 30, 2022 at 4:57 am

    I apologize – please ignore/delete my comment. I somehow missed the step to rewrite:

    Once I fixed that, all is golden. Thanks VERY much for the awesome resource!

  8. Dennis Nolan on January 12, 2022 at 2:34 am

    Having trouble with php.
    New iMac so is a virgin configuration.
    All well until I add the following to the httpd.conf file
    LoadModule php_module /usr/local/opt/[email protected]/lib/httpd/modules/
    I am getting
    crbug/1173575, non-JS module files deprecated.
    (anonymous) @ VM413:6774
    This is in Google Chrome
    In Safari: None of the js files are loaded and the console message for each js file is:
    Failed to load resource: Could not connect to the server

    Any help would be appreciated.

  9. Patrick Leevers on January 3, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    The clearest, most effective tutorial of its kind I’ve ever seen! This put me back on track after failing to sort out a bungled previous encounter with httpd.

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