For some reason my install of XAMPP didn’t have mod_rewrite automatically enabled? Not really sure why but basically below are the instructions on how to enable .htaccess mod_rewrite in xampp.
1. Go to the directory of installation C:\xampp\apache\conf
2. Open and edit httpd.conf in a text editor
3. Find the line which contains
1 #LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so
and (uncomment) change to
1 LoadModule rewrite_module modules/mod_rewrite.so
4. Find all occurrences of
1 AllowOverride None
and change to
1 AllowOverride All
I think it appears 2 or 3 times on the configuration file.
5. Restart xampp
That’s it you should be good to go.