Resolving MySQL Error 2016 (CR_NAMEDPIPEWAIT_ERROR): Troubleshooting Named Pipe Issues

Encountering MySQL Error 2016, also known as CR_NAMEDPIPEWAIT_ERROR, can be a bit perplexing. This error message typically reads “Can’t wait for named pipe to host: %s pipe: %s (%lu)” and occurs when a MySQL client on Windows tries to connect to the MySQL server using a named pipe and the connection attempt fails. Here’s a guide to diagnosing and fixing this issue, complete with examples and sample code.

Understanding Named Pipes

Named pipes are a method for inter-process communication on Windows. MySQL can use named pipes to communicate between the client and server on the same machine, providing an alternative to TCP/IP sockets.

Diagnosing the Problem

To diagnose the Error 2016, you need to verify several things:

  1. Named Pipe Support: Ensure that the MySQL server is configured to support named pipe connections. You can check this by looking at the my.ini file for the named_pipe setting under the [mysqld] section: [mysqld] enable-named-pipe If this line is not present, add it to enable named pipe support.
  2. Correct Pipe Name: The default named pipe name for MySQL is MySQL. If you have changed the default named pipe name in the server configuration, ensure that the client is trying to connect using the correct name. [mysqld] socket = your_pipe_name Make sure the client connection string uses the same pipe name.
  3. Permissions: The user account running the MySQL client needs to have sufficient permissions to access the named pipe.
  4. Firewall and Security Software: Ensure that no firewall or security software is blocking the named pipe communication.
  5. Server Running: Confirm that the MySQL server is actually running when you try to connect.

Fixing the Error

Once you’ve diagnosed the issue, here are the steps to fix it:

1. Enable Named Pipe Support

If named pipes are not enabled on the server, edit the my.ini file to include the enable-named-pipe directive under the [mysqld] section and restart the MySQL server.

2. Verify Pipe Name

Ensure that the client is using the correct pipe name to connect. If you’re using the command line, you can specify the pipe name with the --pipe and --socket options:

mysql --pipe --socket=your_pipe_name

3. Adjust Permissions

Make sure the user account running the MySQL client has the necessary permissions to access the named pipe. You may need to adjust the security settings on the machine to allow this.

4. Configure Firewall and Security Software

Check your firewall and security software settings to ensure they’re not blocking named pipe communications. You may need to add an exception for MySQL.

5. Check Server Status

If the server isn’t running, no named pipe connection can be established. Start the MySQL server and then attempt to connect again.


Error 2016 in MySQL is specific to named pipe connections on Windows and can usually be resolved by ensuring that named pipes are enabled, correctly named, and accessible. By methodically checking each potential cause—server configuration, pipe name, permissions, and external software—you can resolve the issue and establish a successful named pipe connection to your MySQL server. Always remember to apply changes carefully and restart the MySQL server for the new settings to take effect.

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