SQL: Installing MySQL Server and Workbench

Malcolm Katzenbach
5 min readOct 3, 2021

Over the past few posts, I have written about the different ways queries can be formed and how SQL can be used to analyze large amounts of data. However, we have not gone over how to install MySQL Workbench and connecting it to a MySQL server; and this will be the main subject of this post.

Finding the MySQL Download

Of course, the first step is to find where to download the file from. You first go to mysql.com.


This is the base website for MySQL. From here you can not only download the database, you can also find the documentation for MySQL as well.

In the top bar, there is link to the downloads page.

Downloads is in Blue Rectangle

When clicked, the link will take you to the downloads page.


There are a number of paid services available, but for the open source and free MySQL Workbench and MySQL Server, you will need to click the MySQL Community Downloads link at the bottom of the page (shown inside the red box). This will take you the next page.


Downloading on Windows

If you are using Windows, it is suggested that you use the MySQL Installer for Windows. This will allow you different options for which downloads you want on your computer. By clicking the link, it will bring you to a page with two download options.


The only real difference is the top installs faster and is used when you have access to the internet during installation. The bottom option is for when you download the installer and have to install without internet access.

By clicking the installer you want, it will give you an option to sign up for a free Oracle Web Account. This is not necessary and you can instead press the link “No thanks, just start my download.” You will then be given the option of where to save the installer.


Once you have the installer, you go through the standard process of using an installer. It will require you to agree to any license terms. From there you can choose which style you want to download. It is suggested you pick Custom, which permits you to download only the MySQL Server and Workbench. From there, you follow the steps given to download MySQL.

Once the Server and Workbench have been installed, the installer will ask you to configure the server connection. There will be options such as what type of server you want to use and Authentication. It is okay to use the default for these configurations. Then you can name the server; make sure to click the box to start the server right away. After naming the server, there will be an option for plugins, which aren’t necessary. Execute the configuration and the installation will complete.

Downloading on Mac

In many ways, installing on Mac can be much simpler. Instead of using an installer, you can use a combination of Homebrew and a download from the MySQL community downloads page. To download the MySQL Server, if you already have installed Homebrew, you can open a new terminal window and enter the following code:

brew install mysql

It may ask for your password. Enter yours and press the return/enter key. Then Homebrew will find the MySQL Server and start downloading it. Don’t worry if this takes a while, you will be told when the download is complete. Also, it is important to note the options mentioned after the download completes, such as creating a password for the database. However, the option we are interested in is starting your MySQL Server.

brew services start mysql

This should start a MySQL server. You are able to double check if this is true by entering the following code:

brew services list

Now you should see a row with the name “mysql” and the Status as “started” in green. The next step is to download the MySQL workbench.


Back in the Community Downloads page, there is option for downloading only MySQL Workbench. Clicking the link takes you to a download page with an option for which operating system you want to use.


Make sure to choose macOS and click the Download link. As with the Windows Installer, it will give you an option to sign up for a free Web Oracle Account. As before, you can skip this and just start downloading.

Once the installer has downloaded, you open the file.

From there, it is as simple as dragging and dropping. Workbench will be installed and you can start using Workbench to write queries.