How to Run a Basic Web Server With Google Chrome

This short guide will show you how you can turn Chrome into a web server that can be accessed across your network and even the Internet.

Using a small, free extension you can turn Chrome from a web browser into a web browser and server. It’s super helpful for web development and perhaps the easiest and fastest way to get a web server up and running. Although it’s not going to replace a full fledged server with a database, PHP etc, it does have quite a few features – which you can read about here.

One of the particularly helpful features is that this works in Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS – any operating system that Chrome works with.

  1. Start by heading over to the Chrome Web Server extension page on the Chrome Web Store. Install it as you would any other extension by clicking the Add to Chrome button.
  2. install the Web Server extension for Chrome

  3. Launch Web Server from your list of Chrome Apps (enter chrome://apps in the Chrome address bar to get the full list).
  4. list of Chrome apps

  5. The web server will instantly start and a window will appear with a bunch of options. The first thing you’ll need to do is specify a web directory – the place where all of the html and related files you want to use with your web server are stored. To do so, click the CHOOSE FOLDER button.
  6. Web Server for Chrome options

  7. Navigate to the folder that contains the files that make up your web site, select it and click the Select Folder button.
  8. selecting a folder to use as web root

  9. Now review the Options and make any changes you see fit. Then click the Show Advanced Options link.
  10. an arrow pointing at the link to Advanced Options for the Chrome Web Server extension

  11. Again, make any changes you see fit. As you’d expect, you can of course change these at any point in the future.
  12. advanced options for an extension

  13. You can view your web site by visiting the URL http://localhost:8887 or http://127.0.0.1:8887
  14. a local web site displayed in the Chrome browser

  15. If you enabled the Accessible on local network option you’ll be able to access the web server from other computers/devices on your network by entering its IP address followed by :8887 (the default port). For help determining your IP address, see this guide for Windows 10, or this one for older versions of Windows, or this one for macOS.
  16. a web site on a networked computer displayed in Chrome for macOS

  17. That’s it! To stop the web server, just close its window.

If you want to run a much more advanced web server on your Windows PC, we have a guide that explains how to easily install WordPress in Windows.


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