I started re-configuring a new laptop and started reinstalling everything.

These links helped me a lot and more specifically wclear's answer

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/41820953/enable-curl-on-php7-windows10-64-bit-apache-2-4#answer-42889258

The php.ini file suggests that on Windows the extension_dir folder is supposed to be ext/ BUT it doesn't work that way. You must use full path.

extension_dir = "C:/Copy/Dropbox/Dev/php-7.1.12-Win32-VC14-x64/ext"

Here are the steps from obtaining PHP to enabling cURL:

  1. Download PHP (these steps tested with 7.1)
  2. Add PHP folder to PATH environment variable
  3. Update php.ini file with absolute path for extension directory and uncomment php_curl.dll and php_openssl.dll extensions
  4. Update httpd.conf (Apache config file) to load php7apache2_4.dll module in PHP folder and set PHPIniDir to PHP directory
  5. Copy libeay32.dll libssh2.dll and ssleay32.dll into apache/bin (replace existing)
  6. Restart Apache.

Restart the server from the command line which should have been started as Administrator.

httpd.exe -k restart