For Apache to be able to start/run, it has to be able to bind to (and listen on) port 80 (the HTTP port).
If after installing Apache (or a WAMP such as WampDeveloper Pro), rebooting, and trying to start Apache again – Apache is not able to bind to port 80 and start, then another Application or Service has already taken this port.
For Apache to start, we have to figure out what’s using port 80 (and possibly port 443) on your system, and stop and disable it.
Known Windows Services That Listen on Port 80
From Services Manager (run: services.msc), stop and disable these native Windows Services which are known to bind to port 80.
Double click Service, and change ‘Startup Type’ to ‘Disabled’.
- SQL Server Reporting Services (ReportServer)
- Web Deployment Agent Service (MsDepSvc)
- BranchCache (PeerDistSvc)
- World Wide Web Publishing Service (W3SVC)
- Internet Information Server (WAS, IISADMIN)
You might, or might not, have some of these Services installed and running.
HTTP (HTTP.SYS) Hidden Driver/Service
Windows Server 2003/2008/2012 and Windows XP(SP2)/Vista/7/8 come with an HTTP front-end proxy service who’s job is to parse and forward incoming HTTP requests to other Services.
Values in URL “http://hostname:port/virtual_url_or_dir” are registered with it, and when an HTTP request comes in that matches on those values, that request gets routed to the other application or service (which itself is running on a different port).
HTTP.SYS is usually started “on demand” by other services (Windows Remote Management, Print Spooler, etc), and is not usually listening on port 80 until some other application registers a HOST (127.0.0.1) + PORT (80) + virtual URL/DIR with it. HTTP.SYS runs under PID 4 (NT Kernel).
On some Windows systems, oftentimes port 80 is already taken by HTTP.SYS for use.
Show Reserved URLs:
netsh http show urlacl
Show active Registered URLs:
netsh http show servicestate
To Disable HTTP.SYS:
Control Panel > Device Manager In menu View, select: Show hidden devices Open tree: Non-plug and Play Drivers Double-click: HTTP Tab Driver - Group Startup Switch from: Demand to Disabled
Or run this from the administrative privledged command-line (right click cmd.exe, select – run as admin):
net stop http sc config http start= disabled
Other Web-Server Applications
Make sure you’re not running:
A. Other instances of Apache
B. IIS and/or WebMatrix
IIS and Tomcat are web-server applications that also bind to port 80 by default.
Skype usually takes up ports 80 and 443.
You’d need to stop Skype and change its settings to not use these ports:
Tools > Options > Advanced > Connection Uncheck "Use Port 80 and 443 for incoming connections"
Or set Apache’s Startup type as “Automatic”, this way Apache might start before Skype does, and will be able to bind to port 80 and 443 before any other application has a chance to take these ports.
*Skype for Windows 8 (Modern UI) is not able to change port numbers. Only “Skype for Desktop” can do this.
Extras > Options > Advanced Enable option "Don't use incoming port 80"
VMware Host Agent service
The VMware Host Agent service uses TCP ports 80 and 443 by default.
Edit > Preferences > Shared VMs Change the ports
Use NETSTAT to Detect Port 80 Listeners
Open the command line (System tab, button: Command Line) and run:
netstat -o -n -a | findstr 0.0.0.0:80
netstat -o -n -a | findstr 127.0.0.1:80
Inspect the lines with a “Local Address” showing port 80 and/or 443 use. Note the PID number. Then open Task Manager (run: taskmgr.exe), go to it’s Processes Tab, see if you can find the application with that same PID number. It needs to be shut down. If you don’t see it, click “Show processes from all users” button.
On some systems you can also get the PID directly by using netstat’s ‘-b’ option:
-b Displays the executable involved in creating each connection or listening port. In some cases well-known executables host multiple independent components, and in these cases the sequence of components involved in creating the connection or listening port is displayed. In this case the executable name is in  at the bottom, on top is the component it called, and so forth until TCP/IP was reached. Note that this option can be time-consuming and will fail unless you have sufficient permissions.