Installing Confluence on Windows from Zip File

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In this guide we'll run you through installing Confluence in a production environment, with an external database, manually using a zip file.

This method gives you the most control of the installation process.

Other ways to install Confluence: 

  • Evaluation - get your free trial up and running in no time.
  • Installer – install Confluence using the Windows installer. 
  • Linux – install Confluence on a Linux operating system.

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Before you begin

Before you install Confluence, there's a few questions you need to answer. 

Are you using a supported operating system and Java version?
Tell me more about this...

Check the Supported Platforms page for the version of Confluence you are installing. This will give you info on supported operating systems, databases and browsers.

Good to know:

  • We don't support installing Confluence on OS X or mac OS for production environments.
  • You'll need to install either AdoptOpenJDK or Oracle JDK. We don't support other OpenJDK binaries.
  • You can use either the JDK (Java Development Kit) or JRE (Java Runtime Environment).
  • We only support the version of Apache Tomcat that is bundled with Confluence.

Do you want to run Confluence as a Windows Service?
Tell me more about this...

Running Confluence as a service in Windows means that Confluence will automatically start up when Windows is started.

You should use the Windows installer if you want to run Confluence as a Service.

If you choose not to run Confluence as a service:

  • You will start and stop Confluence by running the start-confluence.bat file in your Confluence installation directory.
  • Confluence will be run as the Windows user account that was used to install Confluence, or you can choose to run as a dedicated user (this user must have full read and write access to the installation directory and home directory).
  • Confluence will need to be restarted manually if your server is restarted.
Are ports 8090 and 8091 available?
Tell me more...

Confluence runs on port 8090 by default. If this port is already in use, the installer will prompt you to choose a different port.

Synchrony, which is required for collaborative editing, runs on port 8091 by default. If this port is already in use, you will need to change the port that Synchrony runs on after your Confluence installation is complete. See Administering Collaborative Editing to find out how to change the port Synchrony runs on. You won't be able to edit pages until Synchrony has an available port.

See Ports used by Atlassian Applications for a summary of all the ports used.

What database do you plan to use? 
Tell me more about this...

To run Confluence in production you'll need an external database. Check the Supported Platforms page for the version you're installing for the list of databases we currently support. If you don't already have a database, PostgreSQL is free and easy to set up.

Good to know:

  • Set up your database before you begin. Step-by-step guides are available for PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, and SQL Server.
  • If you're using Oracle or MySQL you'll need to download the driver for your database.
  • To use a datasource see Configuring a datasource connection as there are some steps you need to perform before running the setup wizard. 
  • The embedded H2 database can be used for evaluating Confluence, but you'll need to migrate to another database before running in production. You may find it easier to use external database from the start.

Do you have a Confluence license?

Tell me more about this...

You'll need a valid Confluence Server license to use Confluence.

Good to know:

  • If you have not yet purchased a Confluence license you'll be able to create an evaluation license during setup.
  • If you already have a license key you'll be prompted to log in to to retrieve it, or you can enter the key manually during setup.
  • If you're migrating from Confluence Cloud, you'll need a new license.

Is your JRE_HOME variable set correctly?
Tell me more about this...

Before you install Confluence, check that you're running a supported Java version and that the JRE_HOME (or JAVA_HOME) environment variable is set correctly.

To check the JRE_HOME variable:

Open a command prompt and type echo %JRE_HOME% and hit Enter. 

  • If you see a path to your Java installation directory, the JRE_Home environment variable has been set correctly.
  • If nothing is displayed, or only %JRE_HOME% is returned, you'll need to set the JRE_HOME environment variable manually. See Setting the JAVA_HOME Variable in Windows for a step by step guide.

Install Confluence

1. Download Confluence

Download the zip file for your operating system –

2. Create the installation directory

  1. Create your installation directory (with full control permission) – this is where Confluence will be installed. Avoid using spaces or special characters in the path. We'll refer to this directory as your <installation-directory>

  2. Extract the Confluence zip file to your <installation-directory>. We recommend using 7zip or Winzip.

3. Create the home directory

  1. Create your home directory (with full control permission) – this is where Confluence data like logs, search indexes and files will be stored. This should be seperate to your installation directory. We'll refer to this directory as your <home-directory>
  2. Edit <installation-directory>\confluence\WEB-INF\classes\
  3. At the bottom of the file, enter the path to your <home directory>.

    Show me how to do this...

    You can edit the file in Notepad or any other text editor.

    1. Scroll to the bottom of the text and find this line:

      # confluence.home=c:/confluence/data
    2. Remove the '#' and the space at the beginning of this line (so Confluence doesn't regard the line as a comment)

    3. If you decide to use a different directory as the home directory you should:
      • Avoid spaces in the directory path or file name.
      • Use forward slashes '/' to define the path in this file.

4. Check the ports

By default Confluence listens on port 8090. If you have another application running on your server that uses the same ports, you'll need to tell Confluence to use a different port. 

Show me how to do this...

To change the ports:

  1. Edit <installation-directory>\conf\server.xml

  2. Change the Server port (8000) and the Connector port (8090) to free ports on your server.

    In the example below we've changed the Server port to 5000 and the Connector port to 5050.

    Server port="5000" shutdown="SHUTDOWN" debug="0">
      <Service name="Tomcat-Standalone">
        <Connector port="5050" connectionTimeout="20000" redirectPort="8443"
            maxThreads="48" minSpareThreads="10"
            enableLookups="false" acceptCount="10" debug="0" URIEncoding="UTF-8"
            protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11NioProtocol" />

5. Start Confluence

  1. Run <installation-directory>/bin/start-confluence.bat to start the install process.  
    A command prompt will open. Closing this window will stop Confluence.
  2. Go to  http://localhost:8090/  to launch Confluence in your browser (change the port if you've updated the Connector port).
Trouble starting Confluence?

Set up Confluence

6. Choose installation type

  1. Choose Production installation
  2. Choose any apps you'd also like to install.

7. Enter your license

Follow the prompts to log in to to retrieve your license, or enter a license key. 

8. Connect to your database

  1. If you've not already done so, it's time to create your database. See the 'Before you begin' section of this page for details and connection options. 
  2. Choose My own database then select your particular database from the Database type dropdown menu. 

  3. For MySQL and Oracle, follow the prompts to download and install the required driver.  

  4. Enter your database details.  Use test connection to check your database is set up correctly.

    Advanced setup options...

    If you want to specify particular parameters, you can choose to connect By connection string. You'll be prompted to enter:

    • Database URL – the JDBC URL for your database. If you're not sure, check the documentation for your database.
    • Username and Password – A valid username and password that Confluence can use to access your database.

9. Populate your new site with content

Choose whether you'd like Confluence to populate your site with content:
Demonstration space...

 This option will create a space that you and your users can use to get to know Confluence. You can delete this space at any time.

Import data from an existing site...

Use this option if you have a full site export of an existing Confluence site. This is useful when you’re migrating to another database or setting up a test site.  

Good to know:

  • You can only import sites from the same or earlier Confluence version.
  • The system administrator account and all other user data and content will be imported from your previous installation.

In the setup wizard:

  • Upload a backup file – use this option if your site export file is small (25mb or less).
  • Restore a backup file from the file system – use this option if your backup file is large. Drop the file into your <confluence-home>/restore directory then follow the prompts to restore the backup.

  • Build Index – we’ll need to build an index before your imported content is searchable. This can take a long time for large sites, so deselect this option if you would rather build the index later. Your content won't be searchable until the index is built.

10. Choose where to manage users

Choose to manage Confluence's users and groups inside Confluence or in a Jira application, such as Jira Software or Jira Service Desk:
Manage users and groups in Confluence...

Choose this option if you're happy to manage users in Confluence, or don't have a Jira application installed.

Good to know:

  • If you do plan to manage users in a Jira application, but have not yet installed it, we recommend installing Jira first, and then returning to the Confluence setup.
  • You can add external user management (for example LDAP, Crowd or Jira) later if you choose.
Connect to Jira...

 Choose this option if you have a Jira application installed and want to manage users across both applications.

Good to know:

  • This is a quick way of setting up your Jira integration with the most common options. 
  • It will configure a Jira user directory for Confluence, and set up application links between Jira and Confluence for easy sharing of data.
  • You'll be able to specify exactly which groups in your Jira app should also be allowed to log in to Confluence. Your license tiers do not need to be the same for each application. 
  • You'll need either Jira 4.3 or later, Jira Core 7.0 or later, Jira Software 7.0 or later, or Jira Service Desk 3.0 or later.

In the setup wizard:

  • Jira Base URL – the address of your Jira server, such as or

  • Jira Administrator Login – this is the username and password of a user account that has the Jira System Administrator global permission in your Jira application. Confluence will also use this username and password to create a local administrator account which will let you access Confluence if Jira is unavailable. Note that this single account is stored in Confluence's internal user directory, so if you change the password in Jira, it will not automatically update in Confluence.
  • Confluence Base URL – this is the URL Jira will use to access your Confluence server. The URL you give here overrides the base URL specified in Confluence, for the purposes of connecting to the Jira application.
  • User Groups – these are the Jira groups whose members should be allowed to use Confluence. Members of these groups will get the 'Can use' permission for Confluence, and will be counted in your Confluence license. The default user group name differs depending on your Jira version:
    • Jira 6.4 and earlier: jira-users
    • Jira Software 7.x and later: jira-software-users
    • Jira Core 7.x and later: jira-core-users
    • Jira Service Desk 3.x and later: jira-servicedesk-users
  • Admin Groups – provide one or more Jira groups whose members should have administrative access to Confluence. The default group is jira-administrators. These groups will get the system administrator and Confluence administrator global permissions in Confluence.

11. Create your administrator account

Enter details for the administrator account.  

Skip this step if you chose to manage users in a Jira application or you imported data from an existing site. 

12. Start using Confluence

That's it! Your Confluence site is accessible from a URL like this: http://<computer_name_or_IP_address>:<port>

If you plan to run Confluence behind a reverse proxy, check out Proxy and SSL considerations before you go any further. 

Here's a few things that will help you get your team up and running:


Running into problems installing Confluence?
  • If your web browser window shows an error the first time you try to access Confluence, wait for 30 seconds or so and then refresh the page.
  • If the command prompt window closes immediately, your JAVA_HOME variable may not be set correctly. See Setting the JAVA_HOME Variable in Windows

 Head to Installation Troubleshooting in our Knowledge Base for more help.  

Last modified on May 21, 2020

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