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When you install XAMPP on Windows, your MySQL database server is installed without a root user password. On a production server this would be a disaster. But even on a local development system it's a good idea to set a database password. To accomplish this, go to the Admin page for Apache. This will open the XAMPP homepage. Then in the menu click on Security. It's the third item from the top. That opens a separate browser window.
I'll maximize that window and show you that it displays a summary of your security settings. This is the setting that I'm concerned about. The MySQL admin user root has no password and then it has a note that every local user on a Windows machine can access the MySQL database with administrator rights. You should set a password. Here's how you set it. It's incredibly simple using XAMPP. Go to the bottom of the page and click the link localhost/security/xamppsecurity.php.
That opens a little PHP page that lets you set the password. I'll click into the new password entry and type in my password. I'll use the simple string password and then I'll type it in again. You can also set random passwords for your PHP my admin user- I won't do that- and then you can click the button Password changing. You should get a message that the root password was successfully changed. Close all browser windows, then go to the MySQL item in your Control Panel application, stop MySQL, and then restart it.
Then click the Admin button for MySQL. When phpMyAdmin opens, it should now open to a login screen. Type-in the username as root and type-in the password that you set and then click Go. I'll tell Internet Explorer not to remember the password. If you typed-in your username and password correctly, you should open phpMyAdmin successfully. You can now create new databases, manage existing databases' table structures, and add data to your databases all through the phpMyAdmin interface.
As you start using content management systems such as WordPress or Drupal or working with PHP from other clients such as Dreamweaver, you'll need to use that password to connect to your MySQL database. This is just one of the useful tools that are included with the XAMPP software bundle: the ability to manage your MySQL database without having to work from the command line.
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