I just installed Nginx on Mac OS X (thanks http://www.kevinworthington.com/nginx-mac-os-snow-leopard-2-minutes/), but how do I restart Nginx on Mac OS X?


  • 3
    If you just want to restart because of an updated config then just do sudo nginx -s reload.
    – hobbes3
    Mar 16 '13 at 21:26
sudo nginx -s stop && sudo nginx
  • 1
    Quick question what does the && means? I guess it's something different then using ;?
    – hobbes3
    Mar 15 '13 at 20:03
  • 3
    @hobbes3 stackoverflow.com/questions/6152659/…
    – cbednarski
    Mar 16 '13 at 2:12
  • 5
    this answer is not working for brew installed nginx
    – vearutop
    Aug 9 '15 at 4:43
  • 1
    It seems to work for my brew installed nginx in 2019. Oct 22 '19 at 9:45
  • It doesn't work for my brew installed nginx.
    – SmallChess
    Feb 4 at 20:01

For a one-liner, you could just do:

sudo nginx -s reload

The -s options stands for signal, and is the option you'll use to send stop, quit, reopen and reload signals to nginx.

For more info on the options, just do nginx -h for a list of all of them and their functions.


  • 2
    This did not work for me so I had to actually do sudo nginx to get it to start. I think it had something to do with nginx already being stopped in my case. May 19 '16 at 17:40
  • 1
    Could you do sudo nginx -s reload || sudo nginx instead? Jul 1 '19 at 13:38

for brew installation: sudo brew services restart nginx

  • 1
    This command dosn't work for me at all. I install nginx via brew...
    – kris_IV
    Dec 22 '18 at 18:37
  • 1
    @kris_IV what is the output?
    – dimaninc
    Dec 23 '18 at 8:29
  • 1
    after start: brew services restart nginx i get response: Stopping nginx... (might take a while) ==> Successfully stopped nginx` (label: homebrew.mxcl.nginx)` ==> Successfully started nginx` (label: homebrew.mxcl.nginx)`
    – kris_IV
    Dec 25 '18 at 11:32
  • 1
    @kris_IV and why do you think this command not working then? everything is fine according to your output
    – dimaninc
    Dec 25 '18 at 20:47
  • 1
    I know that the output is OK, but new config doesn't work at all, but when I use sudo nginx -s stop && sudo nginx instead everything is OK and new config work.
    – kris_IV
    Dec 26 '18 at 11:11
sudo pkill nginx   
sudo nginx

If the pkill can't be found, then install it using brew install proctools first.

  • 3
    The above answers are much cleaner than this and enable nginx to stop gracefully.
    – Mike N
    Sep 15 '16 at 7:56
  • 1
    This came in handy when nginx started misbehaving and I couldn't kill it with sudo nginx -s quit or sudo -s reload
    – paperclip
    Oct 18 '16 at 11:34
  • 1
    This is the only thing that worked for me. Thank you.
    – A-Dubb
    Apr 19 '18 at 22:04

If you are using brew:

To see all services:

brew services list

Start nginx service:

brew services start nginx

Stop nginx Service:

brew services stop nginx

sudo nginx -s quit && sudo nginx

Checkout nginx guide

  • 1
    This does the job, but are you sure a proper shell script does not exist? This method is very raw.
    – asdmin
    Sep 2 '16 at 15:11
  • 1
    At least, this is the official documentation. For sure, I will follow the hereby solution also. Thank you. Feb 6 '19 at 9:55

Using MAMP and Nginx? Then you have an installed script:

sudo /Applications/MAMP/bin/restartNginx.sh 

Just another note, if you want to start nginx with launchctl, when your Mac boots up, you can do as follows:

sudo cp /usr/local/opt/nginx/*.plist /Library/LaunchDaemons
sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/homebrew.mxcl.nginx.plist

In short, you need to put your plist file in /Library/LaunchDaemons, not in ~/Library/LaunchAgents like the Homebrew instructions. Finally, use the -w option with launchctl. For further information, follow this guide.


If you installed nginx with brew and you started it as a service brew services start nginx then you can issue: brew services restart nginx

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