Installing Confluence on Windows from Zip File

These instructions apply to:

  • Confluence distributed as an archive (zip) file. This distribution includes Apache Tomcat as the application server. 
  • Windows systems. For other operating systems please refer to the Confluence Installation Guide.
  • Manual installation and configuration using a zipped download file. For a simpler installation process, please use the  Confluence Installer instead.

Also, please check that the version of Confluence which you are installing coincides with the version that this documentation is written for.

On this page:

1. Before you Start

Please check the following points:

  1. Ensure that your system meets the minimum requirements to run Confluence. For more information, please refer to our Supported Platforms topic and for further details, our System Requirements topic.
  2. Have your Confluence license key ready. You can obtain a trial, free or commercial license, or retrieve your existing license key at

2. Install Java

Please refer to Installing Java for Confluence. If you are certain that this has already been installed and that the JAVA_HOME environment variable has been correctly configured, then proceed to the next step.

3. Download the Confluence Installation File

  1. If you have not downloaded Confluence already, download the zip file.
  2. Please check your unzip program before extracting the downloaded zip file. You should use a third-party unzip program like 7Zip or Winzip. If you do not have one, please download and install one of these before continuing:
    • 7Zip (recommended). If in doubt, download the '32-bit.exe' version.
    • Winzip.
  3. Use your unzip program to unzip the installation file to a directory such as c:\confluence.
    • Do not use spaces in your directory path.

(info) The directory into which you unzipped the Confluence installation is called the Confluence Installation directory. Next, you will define the Confluence Home directory.

4. Define your Confluence Home Directory

Now you need to define the Confluence Home directory. This is where Confluence will store its configuration information, indexes and attachments.
(tick) Tip: Another term for 'home directory' would be 'data directory'.

We suggest using different paths for your installation and home directories. This will facilitate easier upgrades.

Examples of Installation and Home Directories

Installation directory: c:\confluence\confluence-vX.X
Home directory: c:\confluence\data

  1. Open your Confluence Installation directory (created when you unzipped Confluence — see above).
  2. Under the Installation directory, open this file: confluence\WEB-INF\classes\ in a text editor such as Notepad.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the text and find this line:

  4. Remove the '#' and the space at the beginning of this line, so that Confluence no longer regards the line as a comment. The line should now begin with confluence.home
  5. If you decide to change the Confluence Home directory from the default, please note the following:
    • Avoid spaces in the directory path or file name.
    • Use forward slashes '/' to define the path.

For example:

5. Check the Ports

If you have another application running on your machine which is using the same ports that Confluence uses by default, you may need to change the port which Confluence will use. For example, if you have a JIRA application running on this machine, JIRA might be already using the port which Confluence requests by default.

By default, Confluence listens on port '8090'. If this port is already in use in your installation, follow these instructions to change the ports:

  • To change the ports for Confluence, open the file conf/server.xml under your Confluence Installation directory. The first four lines of the file look like this:
    Default conf/server.xml

    You need to modify both the server port (default is 8000) and the connector port (default is 8090) to ports that are free on your machine. The server port is required by Tomcat but is not user facing in any way. The connector port is what your users will use to access Confluence, eg in the snippet above, the URL would be

    (tick) Hint: You can use netstat to identify free ports on your machine. See more information on using netstat on Windows or on Linux.

    For example, here are the first four lines of a modified server.xml file, using ports '8020' and '8099':

    Modified conf/server.xml using ports 8020 and 8099

    To access Confluence in this configuration, point your web browser to http://localhost:8099/.

    Final Configuration

    • If this is the URL your users will use to access Confluence, update your Base URL to point to the new URL.

    • You should also ensure at this point that if you are using a firewall, it is configured to allow http/https traffic over the port you have chosen. 

You will find more information on this page.

6. Select an External Database

This step is optional for users evaluating Confluence. However, if you are installing Confluence for production purposes, this step is mandatory. Please refer to the database requirements listed on our System Requirements topic for help in choosing an external database.

(info) External databases are those listed on our Supported Platforms topic, excluding HSQLDB, which is bundled with Confluence and should not be used in production.

When you have chosen your external database, follow the the appropriate database setup guide to set up your database to work with Confluence.

You can learn more about migration from an existing installation or use of the evaluation database here. You will continue to use the database setup guide during the Confluence Setup Wizard. (See step 8 below.)

7. Start Confluence

  1. Go to your Confluence Installation directory (created when you unzipped Confluence — see above).
  2. Under your Confluence Installation directory, open the bin directory and run the startup script: startup.bat. A command prompt window should appear.
    (warning)Please do not close this command prompt window. If you do so, Confluence will stop running.


    If the window closes immediately when started, this means that an error is preventing Confluence from starting. To view this error:

    1. Open a command prompt: Click on your 'Start' menu, then click 'Run'. In the Run box, type cmd and click 'OK'.
    2. From the command prompt, go to your Confluence Installation directory.
    3. Go into the bin subdirectory.
    4. Run catalina.bat run.
      (warning) You should not run startup.bat at this point, because that would still produce a popup window that would close straight away.
    5. Read the error message.
    6. Find the solution to that error in the Installation Troubleshooting section of the Confluence Knowledge Base.
  3. Once Confluence is running, open a web browser and visit http://localhost:8090/.
    (tick) If you changed the port earlier, use the port you specified in step 5 above.
    (info) If your web browser window shows an error, try waiting for 30 seconds or so and then refresh the browser page.

8. Next Step is the Confluence Setup Wizard

The Confluence Setup Wizard should appear in your web browser, prompting you to enter your license key. Follow the instructions on the screens, and read more guidelines on the Confluence Setup Wizard.

9. Start Confluence automatically on Windows as a Service

Confluence should be run as a service.

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