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Port 80 unavailable: Step-by-step guide to release port 80 and make it available for Apache Server

Quoted from http://techreviews.in/port-80-unavailable-step-by-step-guide-to-release-port-80-and-make-it-available-for-apache-server/:

Port 80 unavailable: Step-by-step guide to release port 80 and make it available for Apache Server

How much do you hate Microsoft when it pushes services and stuff you don’t want toy use. I came across this classical situation today when I was trying to run Apache on Windows (Basically the WAMP package called as vertrigo). I was getting the error message while trying to run Vertrigo (apache) that port 80 is being used and for my amusement, I never had other servers running to use port 80. However, I wanted to dwell deeper and hence I ran the following command to see which process was using port 80.

Start Command Prompt

  1. Hit the combination key of Windows+R (or start run window)
  2. Type cmd and hit enter.
  3. This will open the command prompt

Check which process is using port 80

  1. On the command prompt window, type the following command.

    netstat -o -n -a | findstr 0.0:80

  2. You’ll see an outcome like the one below.command prompt port 80
  3. The last column is what is called as the process ID column.

Open Task Manager to check the process ID

  1. Right click on the taskbar to open the the task manager.
  2. Go to the Processes tab.
  3. Click the View menu
  4. And make sure you select the PID (Process Identifier) as shown in the image below.pid
  5. Now you’ll be able to see which process is using the PID in question. In my case the process ID was 4 which stood for NT AUTHORITY/SYSTEM.

I was naive and hence I killed that process. BANG! I had a blue screen of death (BSOD). Apparently this is an important process comprised of various services. So I goggled a bit to find that the service in question was (the one using port 80) “World Wide Web Publishing Service (W3SVC)“. This was the service using port 80. All I did next was to go to the service and stop it. To stop this service:

  1. Go to Task Manager.
  2. Click the Services tab
  3. Arrange the Services by description.
  4. Look for something that reads World Wide Web Publishing Service in the description column
  5. Right click on it and select Stop Sevice.


Restart your Apache Web Server and you’ll be delighted to see that the server is up and running.


June 12, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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