How to import large sql files in XAMPP?

XAMPP is a very easy to use local webserver. Can be slow sometimes, but hey! it’s for testing purposes.

Ever tried to import a large SQL file? Doing so with phpMyAdmin will cause you headaches when tweaking php.ini to accept large data sets: memory_limit, post_max_size, etc…

Ever considered using the shell option? Once you have started your Apache and mySql module in the control panel, click “Shell”.

A command prompt will open and all you need to do is use this command line:

mysql -u root -p <DB_NAME> < <location of your large sql file


mysql -u root -p test < "d:\sql exports\file.sql"

Use -v to output the import process to screen

mysql -u root -p -v test < "d:\sql exports\file.sql"

Alternative method (no quotations in source command location!)

mysql -u root -p;
use <db-name>;
source C:\Temp\filename.sql;

SQL indexes

Disable indexes before you start importing, re-enable them when completed.


Further reading:

ERROR 2006 (HY000) at line 9999: MySQL server has gone away

It’s possible that this error occurs in XAMPP. It’s easily resolved by changing

  • my.ini at “\xampp\mysql\bin\”.
  • change “max_allowed_packet” to a higher value than the default 1M. E.g. 10 MB
  • restart mysql service