Installing Acquia Dev Desktop


End of Support notice! Acquia has stopped support for Dev Desktop on June 30, 2021. Acquia recommends that you transition to Cloud IDE for a managed development environment on Cloud Platform. For more information, see Migrating from Dev Desktop to Cloud IDE.

Acquia also provides limited integration with open source alternatives to Cloud IDE for local development. For more information, see Local development solutions.

This page describes how to install Acquia Dev Desktop on your computer.


Before installing Acquia Dev Desktop, ensure you have met the following requirements on your computer:

  • You are using a supported operating system version.

  • Your account has elevated or administrative permissions.
    Acquia Dev Desktop starts and stops processes, such as PHP and Apache, which may require greater level system permissions.

Acquia Dev Desktop’s resource requirements change depending on the needs of the websites you are building. A single website typically requires the following resources when services are enabled:

  • 500–600 MB of RAM (10 MB of RAM with services disabled)

  • 800 MB of disk space

  • 1–5% CPU

To install Acquia Dev Desktop on your local computer, use one of the following methods: guided installation application or the command line installer.

Installing using the application

Acquia Dev Desktop includes an application to guide you through the installation process. To use this installation method:

  1. Download Acquia Dev Desktop from the Acquia Downloads page. Select the Mac or Windows version of Acquia Dev Desktop, depending on the operating system of your local computer.

  2. Based on the file you downloaded and your operating system, run the installer using the appropriate instructions:

    • macOS: Double-click the installation .dmg file to mount it, and then open the Acquia Dev Desktop Installer. Depending on your security settings and operating system version, you may need to enter your administrative password or accept other security warnings to continue with the product installation.


      Don’t drag the Acquia Dev Desktop Installer into the Applications folder.

    • Windows: Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file, and then run the Acquia Dev Desktop installation file.


      Your Windows user home directory must be writable, or the installation will fail.

  3. Follow the instructions provided by the installer, click Back and Next to proceed through the installation.

    Note for Windows users

    Near the end of the Acquia Dev Desktop installation process, Windows may display Windows security alerts for components of Acquia Dev Desktop. If you want to access websites created on this computer from the Internet or your network, enable access and unblock the Windows Firewall. Alternatively, you can allow the Windows Firewall to continue to block the application if required by your security needs, and you don’t need to access your website from outside of your computer.

After completing installation, see Post-installation steps.

Installing using the command line installer

Quick, unattended installations that don’t prompt the user for any install options (such as the installation path), can use the command line installer.

After completing installation, see Post-installation steps.

Post-installation steps

After the installation completes, you can start Acquia Dev Desktop by selecting the Launch checkbox, and then clicking Finish.

Note for Windows users

When you start Acquia Dev Desktop, Windows may display a User Access Control dialog box requesting a username and password. There are two reasons Windows requests a username and password:

  • Opening the ports for Apache and MySQL.

  • Keeping the computer’s hosts file in sync for local name resolution.

For information about the folders and files created in your local file system when you install Acquia Dev Desktop and add one or more Drupal websites, see Acquia Dev Desktop folders and files.

What if you’ve already installed another xAMP stack or part of it?

Acquia Dev Desktop installs separate copies of the xAMP stack onto your computer, both to ensure you have the versions of the software required for Drupal, and to ensure you do not affect the settings of any previously-installed applications on your computer.

What’s next?

You can now use Acquia Dev Desktop to create websites on your local computer. For information about the different website creation options available to you, see Getting started with Acquia Dev Desktop.