Skip to Main Content

How to install WordPress on a USB flash drive

Divi: the easiest WordPress theme to use

Divi: The best WordPress theme of all time!

With over 701.000 downloads, Divi is the most popular WordPress theme in the world. It is complete, easy to use and comes with more than 62 free templates. [Recommended]

Did you know that you can install and run a website from a USB flash drive? Well, it is possible, although it is not well known. A portable WordPress installation can actually be very useful.

But before you start, take the time to take a look at How to install a WordPress themeHow many plugins to install on WordPress.

Then let's get to work!

Why would you want to run WordPress from a flash drive? Shouldn't we classify this under the label of "stupid WordPress development stuff" which could have no educational value without application in a real situation? However, there are two scenarios where this " silly thing »Proves that it has merit for real situations:

These two scenarios are not exhaustive, there may be several other situations.

To run WordPress you need a web server that offers two things: PHP and an appropriate database management system.

There is a long list of local development servers like XAMPP, MAMP, VVV, WAMP. While all of these options will do just fine when installed on a computer, we're looking for a portable solution that can be read on multiple devices.

After extensive research, or at least after extensive Google research, it seems to me that there are at least three server platforms in development that meet the minimum requirements to run WordPress and that can be installed and used from a flash drive:

  • XAMPP Portable
  • WordPress Instant
  • UwAmp

3 platforms of portable servers

I installed all three options on a flash drive and installed WordPress for each server. So in this tutorial I will give you some guidance on how to set up a server on a USB drive in order to use WordPress.

It is interesting to note that these three options relate to Windows. There are options for Mac OS X, but that would be the subject of another tutorial.

See also How to install WordPress locally on a PC / Windows with XAMPP 

XAMPP Portable

xampp hosting platform

XAMPP is the most robust and complete development system on this list and is primarily designed to be installed directly on a computer. As a result, the documentation available to help you install XAMPP on a flash drive is limited.

In fact, it is a lie. It is not limited. There is no documentation on installing XAMPP on a flash drive, just a scattered assortment of discussions and tutorials on S on other blogs across the web.

In fact the installation is quite easy.

To run XAMPP on a flash drive you must download the portable or light version of XAMPP rather than the standard edition. Access the area Apache Friends download.

apache friends download area

Next, select XAMPP for Windows to bring up a list of XAMPP versions. Choose the version of XAMPP you want to install keeping in mind which version of PHP you want to install. 5.6.21 for example, refers to the version of PHP that ships with this edition of XAMPP.

Once you've selected a version of XAMPP, you'll be taken to a few download options. Select the downloadable file that includes the term "portable" and is executable (which ends with ".exe").


Easily create your website with Elementor

Elementor allows you to easily create any website design with a professional look. Stop paying expensive for what you can do yourself. [Free]

Once you've downloaded the installation file, you need to find and install it. When you run the installation file, be sure to select your flash drive as the installation location. Since I plan to do 3 installs, then I created 3 different folders in the flash drive.

See also: How to replace image links after installing SSL on WordPress

xampp installation folder selection

Once XAMPP is installed on the flash drive, it will work as an XAMPP desktop installation.

Then you can install WordPress easily. With XAMPP running with Apache and MySQL running, you need to do four things:

  • Access to phpMyAdmin by accessing the address http://localhost/phpmyadmin to create a new database.
  • Drop a fresh WordPress installation into the htdocs directory of XAMPP.
  • Edit the wp-config.php to attach WordPress to the database you just created.
  • Modify the "max_execution_time" parameters of php.ini. The default is 30 seconds. Since we are installing from a flash drive, depending on the ports, the transfer rate may be insufficient. PHP will therefore need more time to run without generating errors. Remember to restart the XAMPP server after changing this value.

XAMPP installation demo presentation


Uwamp portable web server

UwAmp is designed to be an easy-to-use server just as XAMPP is. It's a full PHP development environment, you can use it for WordPress or work with any other PHP and MySQL application.

A very nice feature offered by UwAmp is the ability to download, install and run different versions of PHP automatically from the UwAmp control panel. Developing with the same version of PHP that will be running on the web server is always a good idea, and UwAmp makes it possible. This feature is particularly useful for developers of WordPress plugins and themes who need to be able to test their products using a variety of versions of PHP.

Read also: 5 Reasons That Fail Install WordPress Themes and Plugins

The installation is simple. Go to the UwAmp website, go to downloads and select the installable version ".exe ". Once the download is complete, locate the downloaded installation file and run it making sure to select the flash drive as the installation location.

uwamp installation on USB stick

Once the installation is complete, open the folder where you installed the app and search for " UwAmp.exe ". Select and run this file to launch the UwAmp Control Panel.

uwamp control panel

If you have worked with XAMPP, WAMP, or any other local development server before, then you will recognize many of the options available in the UwAmp control panel. Here you can access phpMyAdmin, review and adjust PHP settings, start and stop MySQL and Apache, and much more.

Installing WordPress on UwAmp is exactly the same as on XAMPP.


instantwp WordPress server

« instant WordPress Is a solution specially designed to run WordPress from a USB flash drive. Created by a WordPress trainer, InstantWP's goal is to make it as easy as possible to run WordPress from a portable storage device.

In theory, since InstantWP is the solution built especially for WordPress, can we say that it is the winner at all costs?

Are you looking for the best WordPress themes and plugins?

Download the best plugins and WordPress themes on Envato and easily create your website. Already more than 49.720.000 downloads. [EXCLUSIVE]

To obtain the application, you must access its website and click on " Download Now ».

Do not hesitate to read our article on How to increase the download limit of files on WordPress

The installation is very easy. Once the installation file is downloaded, you need to locate and run it making sure to select the correct directory on your flash drive during the installation process.

instantwp installed on a USB key

That's all ? Not really.

Unlike XAMPP or UwAmp, InstantWP is immediately available with WordPress. Go to the folder where you installed the application, find " InstantWP.exe That you must then execute.

Nothing WordPrss dashboard

From the Uwamp dashboard, you can access multiple locations. In particular, you can launch the WordPress dashboard, the plugin directory, the WordPress plugins & themes folder or access the documentation.

Also take a look at our 10 WordPress plugins to customize the dashboard of your Blog

That's about all you need to know. You will be able to choose a solution according to your criteria. As far as I'm concerned, as a web developer, I have a preference for portable XAMPP.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them.

Discover also some premium WordPress plugins  

You can use other WordPress plugins to give a modern look and optimize the grip of your blog or website.

We offer you here some premium WordPress plugins that will help you do that.

1. HT Script Pro

HT Script is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you to add things like: Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Custom CSS, Custom HTML, JavaScript code to your website headers and footers without having to change the theme WordPress.Ht script pro wordpress plugins footer booster

This WordPress plugin has the ability to add any custom code to your WordPress theme, so you won't need to modify the theme's code. This will allow you to save time and remove the hassle that occurs when updating your WordPress theme.

See also Design WordPress Responsive with the @media rule of CSS3

Its main features are: very easy to use, unlimited addition of scripts, insertion of scripts on the header or footer, adding custom CSS / js in any WordPress theme, adding the coded Google Analytics, the addition of the Facebook Pixel code, and more.

Download | DemoWeb hosting

2. XL Progress

XL Progress is a premium WordPress plugin useful for improving the user experience while reading. 

Xl progress reading progress indicator circular cursor and back to top wordpress plugin

Among these you will find among others: support for HTML and CSS3 technologies, compatibility with most browsers, elegant transitions, more than 50 icons and much more ...

Download | Demo | Web hosting

3. Fetcher Image

Image Fetcher is a fairly straightforward WordPress plugin that automatically finds and converts the first images of a published post to featured images quickly and easily.image fetcher

Easily create your Online Store

Download free WooCommerce, the best e-commerce plugins to sell your physical and digital products on WordPress. [Recommended]

Its main features are: the possibility of automatically defining the first images of articles published as featured images, a backup system (to save and restore important tables), publication statistics, conversion of statistics, a user-friendly user interface , documentation and professional assistance

DownloadDemo | Web hosting

Recommended Resources

Find out about other recommended resources to help you build and manage your website.


Here ! That's it for this tutorial, I hope it will allow you to install WordPress on a USB stick. Do not hesitate to share with your friends on your favorite social networks

However, you can also consult our resources, if you need more elements to carry out your projects of creation of Internet sites, by consulting our guide on WordPress blog creation.

If you have suggestions or remarks, leave them in our section Comments.


This article features 3 comments

  1. Bonjour.

    I took your advice and installed Xampp on a flash drive. I managed to create a database but I don't know how to modify the wp-config.php file to attach WordPress to the database I created.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

This site uses Akismet to reduce unwanted. Learn more about how your comments data is used.

Back To Top