I just upgraded my OS to Mountain Lion and found that my local server wasn't working anymore. As I began to work through trying to fix that, I found that running sudo apachectl stop returns launchctl: Error unloading: org.apache.httpd

What does this mean, and how do I fix it?

Thanks guys!

2 Answers 2


launchctl: is shown because apachectl is using launchd's control script, launchctl, to start and stop Apache.

Error unloading means the given daemon/service of launchd can not be stopped. This usually happens if the given daemon is already stopped.

org.apache.httpd is the name of the plist file defining how httpd is run by launchd. If you are curious the actual plist is at


If the server is merely off just use:

sudo apachectl start

to get it running again.

Otherwise I would check system.log (you can use Console.app) and see if there are any, more informative, error messages.


try running the following command to see more verbosely what errors you're getting

sudo bash -x /usr/sbin/apachectl -k stop

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