MAMP, a local webserver environment for the Mac, is perfect for testing, developing and designing with WordPress. MAMP comes with a ready to use configuration of Apache, MySQL and PHP in a single folder.
But after installing and configuring a WordPress blog, you may loose the access to the MAMP start page:

Forbidden
You don’t have permission to access /MAMP/ on this server.
Apache/2.0.63 (Unix) PHP/5.2.11 DAV/2 Server at localhost Port XXXX

That’s a big issue, as the start page links to the local phpMyAdmin page for MySQL-database configuration. So you cannot admin the database anymore.
I traced down the problem to a wrong placed file: When I configured the WordPress installation via the web-interface, an .htaccess file was placed in the root directory of my harddrive. Quite scary … but a problem which can be fixed easily 😉

As always: no guarantee and on your own risk … especially the Terminal is a wonderful tool … but if you do the wrong thing, you may be in serious trouble!

You normally do not recognize the .htaccess file within the Finder: all filenames starting with a dot are hidden files in a UNIX system … and the Finder does not show those hidden files. But if you use the Terminal, you can look at all the hidden files easily.
So fire up the Terminal app and go to the root directory of your hard drive:

then looks at all the files in your root directory:

If you find a .htaccess there … you probably found your problem. But look inside the file before your rename or delete it:

The easiest way to proceed is to rename the htaccess file:

This way the file is shown in the Finder again and does not confuse your MAMP installation. If you know what to do you can delete the renamed file now within the Finder and drag it to the trash 😉

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