Xdebug on Windows

To debug PHP applications with PHP Tools for Visual Studio Code, it is necessary to install and enable Xdebug extension.

With installer

XAMPP or WAMPP will install and configure PHP, Xdebug and Apache server.

Adding Xdebug to existing PHP installation

If you already have PHP installed, but missing Xdebug, download binaries directly from Xdebug

Choose the version depending on your PHP version. You can use the tool provided by Xdebug developers: Xdebug Wizard. Copy and paste your phpinfo() function output or output of php -i command. The tool will give you the correct version to download.

Copy downloaded binaries into the PHP extensions folder(ext sub-folder of the PHP installation).

Configuring Xdebug

You will need to edit PHP Configuration file

You can locate it by running the following command:

php --ini

The command will output similar lines:

Configuration File (php.ini) Path:
Loaded Configuration File:         C:\Program Files\PHP\v8.1\php.ini
Scan for additional .ini files in: (none)
Additional .ini files parsed:      (none)

Open the php.ini file and make sure the following lines are present:

zend_extension="C:\Program Files\PHP\v8.1\ext\php_xdebug.dll"
xdebug.client_host =
xdebug.client_port = 9003

Alter the path to php_xdebug.dll according to your PHP installation and make sure it's an absolute path.

Optionally you can switch xdebug.start_with_request to yes (in Xdebug 2 it was xdebug.remote_autostart = 1). This option will instruct Xdebug to contact IDE on each request. By default Xdebug initiates the debug session only when it's instructed to, e.g. when URL has XDEBUG_SESSION_START query parameter, which might complicate scenarios like debugging AJAX requests.

Verify the installation

Verify the installation by running the following command:

php -v

The output should indicate both PHP and Xdebug are installed:

PHP 8.1.0 (cli) (built: Nov 23 2021 21:46:10) (NTS Visual C++ 2019 x64)
Copyright (c) The PHP Group
Zend Engine v4.1.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Xdebug v3.1.1, Copyright (c) 2002-2021, by Derick Rethans

See Also