How to restart Apache?

Learn the step-by-step process of restarting the Apache web server on CentOS and Ubuntu operating systems. Get expert tips to troubleshoot common issues and keep your server running smoothly.

Updated: 13 Mar, 23 by Susith Nonis 8 Min

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You might know that Apache is a cross-platform, open-source HTTP server. It has robust capabilities and can be expanded with a broad range of modules. If you work as a developer or a system administrator, you probably deal with Apache regularly. Today, we want to learn how to restart Apache.

While you work with an Apache web server, the typical tasks are starting, halting, and restarting/reloading in the perfect order. However, the instructions for administering the Apache service vary depending on the Linux distribution.

SystemD is the default init system and service manager in most modern Linux distributions. Older distributions are SysVinit-based and use init scripts to control services. Another distinction is the service's name. The Apache service is known as apache2 in Ubuntu and Debian and httpd on Red Hat-based systems such as CentOS.

This article will teach us all the basic info we need to use Apache. So, stay with us and keep your devices close.

We can’t understand Apache, and we can’t answer “How to restart Apache?” if we don’t know what a Web server is! For those who don’t know, Webserver is software your website hosting company uses to serve web pages to visitors. Apache is widely used by WordPress hosting companies.

The program functions similarly to a Hotel reception! When you arrive at a Hotel, the receptionist will greet you, verify your reservation information, and show you to your room. Similarly, the webserver looks for the web page you requested.

Of course, this is not all of a Webserver capability, and they can do more. Webserver’s actions, like retrieving the page and serving it to you, function similarly to the hotel reception. This means without something like Apache, no one can get what they want.

Finally, a web server functions similarly to Hotel’s cleaning service. It clears the RAM, cache, and modules for new website visitors. In summary, a webserver such as Apache handles a variety of tasks:

  • Your request to visit a website is handled in Apache
  • It performs a few security checks on your HTTP request before redirecting you to the web page.
  • It may request that the server execute additional modules while creating the page to provide you.

Before we answer How to restart Apache, we need to know what it is. Apache is the most extensively used web server software, powering 67% of all websites. It is free, open-source software developed and maintained by the Apache Software Foundation.

Apache is quick, dependable, and secure. And, with extensions and modules, it may be substantially modified to fit the demands of a wide range of scenarios.

It's worth mentioning that most WordPress hosting companies use the Apache webserver software. However, WordPress can also operate on alternative web server software.

Although it is referred to as a Webserver, Apache is not a physical server but software that operates on an HTTP server. Its job is to link a server to website users' browsers and transmit files back and forth between them. Please note that the Apache software runs on every operating system, from Windows to Linux.

When visitors request a page on your website, such as the homepage or the "About Us" page, their browser requests your server, and Apache responds with all required files, including text, graphics, and so on.

The HTTP protocol communicates between the server and the client, and the Apache web server ensures a seamless and secure connection between the two machines.

Because of its open-source architecture, Apache is very configurable. As a result, web developers and users can modify their source code to suit the sort of website they're constructing.

Furthermore, Apache has many modules that allow server administrators to toggle extra functionality on and off. Security, caching, URL rewriting, password authentication, and other features are built into the Apache web server.

Please keep in mind that you'll need to access .htaccess to configure Apache. All Hostinger web hosting plans support this Apache configuration file.

Let’s examine the pros/cons of An Apache webserver. Apache is a great option for running your website on a robust and adaptable platform. However, it has certain drawbacks that you should be aware of.


  • Even for business usage, open-source and free.
  • Dependable software.
  • Security fixes are often updated.
  • Because of its module-based structure, it is adaptable.
  • Simple to set up and understand.
  • Cross-platform (works on both Unix and Windows servers) (works on both Unix and Windows servers).
  • Static file delivery optimization and interoperability with any programming language (PHP, Python, etc.)
  • Works right away with WordPress sites.
  • A large community and readily available help in the event of a crisis.


  • Performance issues on particularly busy websites.
  • Too many configuration choices might result in security flaws.

Now that we know all we want, it’s time to answer our first question: How to restart Apache?

Let’s presume you're logged in as root or a user with Sudo capabilities. If you are not, follow another guide of ours to see how you can do that. To control the Apache service, both SystemD service units and the SysVinit script require the following arguments:

  1. Start: This command starts the Apache service.
  2. Stop: Stops the Apache service.
  3. Restart: This command stops and then restarts the Apache service.
  4. Reload: Restarts the Apache service gracefully. The main Apache process shuts down the child processes, loads the new configuration, and starts new child processes when the page is reloaded.
  5. Status: Displays the status of the service.

Are you using Debian or Ubuntu? Follow this guide

There are multiple answers to How to restart Apache! However, if you are using Ubuntu or Debian, it’s better to follow the guide below. You might know, but SystemD is a system and service manager included in the most recent Ubuntu and Debian editions. Run the following command to start the Apache service:

$ sudo systemctl start apache2

To stop the Apache service, run the following command:

$ sudo systemctl stop apache2

It would be best to restart the server processes whenever you change the Apache configuration. To restart the Apache service, run the following:

$ sudo systemctl restart apache2

Older (EOLed) versions of Ubuntu or Debian use init.d scripts to start, stop and restart the Apache daemon:

$ sudo service apache2 start

$ sudo service apache2 stop

$ sudo service apache2 restart

Are you using CentOS? No worries

Our guide is a little bit different when it comes to  CentOS. Systemd is the RHEL/CentOS 7 and 8 system and service manager. So, if you want to start the Apache service, you can type:

$ sudo systemctl start httpd

Stop the Apache service:

$ sudo systemctl start httpd

Restart the Apache service:

$ sudo systemctl restart httpd

To start, halt, and restart the Apache daemon on a CentOS 6 or older system that utilizes SysV, use the following commands:

$ sudo service httpd start

$ sudo service httpd stop

$sudo service httpd restart

Apache is one of the most used web servers, enabling you to host a secure website without too much difficulty. It is free and open-source, making it a popular alternative for solopreneurs and small enterprises seeking an online presence.

The Apache HTTP server accepts requests from web browsers such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge and converts programming scripts into web pages whose contents are visible to visitors. This means Apache is one of the most important bridges between you and your audience.

You may design a WordPress website on an Apache web server without any modifications. Furthermore, the Apache server integrates with various alternative content management systems, web frameworks, and programming languages. This made it an excellent choice for all web hosting systems, including VPS and shared hosting.

We hope you learned about all your questions and have a clear answer on “How to restart Apache”. Please share your experience with Apache; we’ll be happy to update this article with new information.

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Susith Nonis

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.