How to Install a Localhost Server on Windows

By Jim Campbell

The Windows operating system uses a hostname called "localhost" to navigate to a Web server service located on the local desktop. Localhost is commonly used by developers to test Web applications before promoting the applications to a live server. You must install Internet Information Services (IIS) to enable the localhost option in a Web browser. The IIS installation automatically enables localhost.

Step 1

Click the Windows Start button and select "Control Panel." A window opens with a list of system options and utilities.

Step 2

Click the "Programs" link. In the list of options, click "Turn Windows Features On or Off." A list of currently installed programs displays.

Step 3

Check the box labeled "Internet Information Services." Click "OK." The IIS service installs on the computer.

Step 4

Reboot the computer. After the computer boots, open a Web browser. Type "http://localhost/" in the navigation text box. Press "Enter." The default Web page opens for IIS.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get the latest version of WAMP
  • Allow any WAMP programs such as Apache in your firewall settings
  • WAMP may not support Windows 98 or ME