How to Install Python on Your Computer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Preparing for Python Installation

Preparing for Python Installation

Before we dive into the process of installing Python, let’s take a closer look at what preparation entails. First and foremost, you’ll need to determine which version of Python you need. Python offers multiple versions of their software and each version has its unique features. A beginner should ideally start with the latest stable version because it is more up to date with bug fixes and security patches.

Before downloading the software, ensure that your operating system is compatible with the version of Python you plan to install. Python is compatible with a range of operating systems from Windows, Linux, and macOS. The Python website specifies the version of Python that works with each operating system. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that your computer has enough storage space for Python because a full installation typically requires up to 1 GB of space.

Make sure you have the necessary permissions to install software on your computer. If you’re installing Python on a work computer, check with the IT department before starting the installation process. This is because Python requires administrator privileges to install the software, and you may need assistance from the IT department.

Before commencing the installation process, it is crucial to create a backup of any files on your computer that may be affected by the installation process. This precautionary measure ensures that you can easily restore your files if there are any issues during the installation process. Creating a backup also serves as a safety net in case of a mishap during the installation process.

If you plan to use Python solely for personal projects, you can install the software directly onto your computer. However, if you intend to use Python for work purposes or in an industry setting, consider setting up a virtual environment. A virtual environment allows you to install Python and the necessary packages in an isolated directory, so it does not interfere with your computer’s existing Python setup. Creating a virtual environment also means that you can quickly switch between different versions of Python with minimal interference.

Another point to note is that certain software requires specific versions of Python. For example, a particular package may require Python version 3.0 or above. Therefore, if you plan to use certain software or packages, ensure that you install the appropriate version of Python.

Finally, make sure you have a stable internet connection before commencing the installation process. Python requires an internet connection to download any additional packages or dependencies that you may need during the installation process. Slow or intermittent internet connections can lead to problems during installation. This can cause unexpected errors and interfere with the installation process.

Downloading Python and Selecting the Right Version

Python Installation

Python is a powerful and widely used programming language that is popular among developers and data scientists. If you are new to programming, Python is a great language to start with. The good thing about Python is it’s available for almost all platforms, like Windows, Linux, and macOS. The process of downloading and installing Python is also very straightforward.

To download Python, you need to visit the official Python website at and click on the Download button that corresponds to your operating system. Suppose you are using Windows; in that case, you will see a link to download the latest build for Windows. The same process applies to other platforms. For macOS, you can download the latest build by clicking on the macOS link. Similarly, for Linux, you can download the build that corresponds to your distribution.

Once the download is complete, open the executable file and follow the instructions provided by the installer to install Python on your system. During the installation process, you will be prompted to choose the installation options. For example, you can choose to add Python to your system’s PATH environment variable or select the location where you want Python to be installed on your computer.

After the installation process is complete, you can open the Python interpreter to ensure that Python is installed correctly. To do this, open the command prompt or terminal and type the command python. If Python is installed correctly, you should see the Python version and the Python prompt. You can also check the Python version by typing python --version or python -V in the command prompt or terminal.

Selecting the Right Version

Python Installation version

Python is available in two different versions: Python 2.x and Python 3.x. Although both versions are similar, they have a few significant differences. Python 3.x is the latest version and is the recommended version for new users. However, some legacy applications still use Python 2.x, so it’s essential to know which version to install.

If you are new to Python and don’t have any legacy applications to worry about, it’s recommended that you install Python 3.x. Python 3.x is the future of the language, and all new features and improvements will be added to this version. This version also has better support for Unicode and is more secure than Python 2.x.

If you have a legacy application that requires Python 2.x, you can still download and install this version from the official website. In this case, you might need to install both versions of Python or use a virtual environment to manage different Python versions.

If you are not sure which version to install, you can check with the developer of the application you want to use. The developer should be able to tell you which version of Python is required.

In conclusion, downloading and installing Python is a simple process that doesn’t require any advanced technical skills. To ensure a smooth installation process, make sure you download the correct version of Python that corresponds to your operating system. If you are new to programming, Python is an excellent language to start with. However, it’s crucial to know which version of Python to install and use, depending on your needs.

Installing Python on Windows

Installing Python on Windows

If you are looking to start learning python on your Windows-based system, the first step is to install Python. This is a simple process that can be accomplished by following the steps below.

Step 1 – Download Python Installer

The first step in installing Python is to download the installation file from the official Python website at Download the latest version of Python applicable for your system. Make sure to select the appropriate version based on your system’s architecture (either 32-bit or 64-bit).

Step 2 – Run Installer

Once the installer has been downloaded, navigate to the location where you saved it and run the executable file. This will initiate the installation process, and the installer will provide some options for you to choose from.

Step 3 – Select Installation Options

This is the most crucial step in the installation process. Here, you will have to select the appropriate installation options based on your preferences. The first option will be to select the directory where Python will be installed. By default, Python is installed in the C: drive, but you may choose another location if necessary.

The second option is to select the installation features you want to install. These are a set of pre-defined packages that come with Python. We recommend selecting all features included in the installation package to avoid missing out on important components of the Python ecosystem.

The third option is to choose whether or not to add Python to your system environment variables. By default, this option is selected, allowing you to run Python from any location on your system. If you deselect it, you will need to navigate to the Python installation directory every time you want to run a Python script.

The final option is to select the version of Python you want to use. If you have multiple versions of Python installed on your system, choosing the right version will ensure that your code is compiled and executed correctly. If you are just starting with Python, select the latest version, which is usually recommended.

Step 4 – Verify Installation

After selecting the appropriate options, click on the “Install” button to initiate the installation process. The installation process may take a few minutes, depending on your system’s performance. Once the installation is complete, you should be able to check if Python has been installed successfully by running a simple command in the command prompt.

Open the command prompt and type:

python --version

Hit the Enter key to execute the command. This should display the version of Python installed on your system.

Step 5 – Install an IDE or Code Editor

After you have completed installing Python, you will need to install an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) or a Code editor to start writing Python code. An IDE offers a complete package for developing Python applications with integrated features like code highlighting, auto-suggestion, debugging, and more, while a code editor offers a minimalist interface with few features. Some popular IDEs include PyCharm, Sublime Text, Atom, and Visual Studio Code. Some popular code editors include Notepad++, Atom, and vim.

With these steps, you should have Python up and running on your Windows system. With a solid foundation in programming, you can start building amazing and useful applications in Python.

Installing Python on Mac

Installing Python on Mac

Python is an easy-to-learn and user-friendly programming language, which allows developers to build a plethora of applications ranging from simple web-based tools to complex automation scripts. In this tutorial, we’ll go through the step-by-step process of installing Python on a Mac.

Step 1: Check if Python is Already Installed

By default, Mac comes with Python pre-installed. So, it’s worth checking if Python is already installed. Open “Terminal” and type the following command:

python --version

If Python is already installed, it will show the version number. If you see an error message saying “Command not found,” it means Python is not installed on your Mac, or the PATH environment variable is not set correctly.

Step 2: Install Python Using An Installer

The easiest way to install Python on a Mac is to use an installer. Visit the official Python website, and download the latest version of Python for Mac OS X. Currently, Python 3.x is recommended, as Python 2.x has reached its end-of-life.

Once the download is complete, open the .pkg file, and follow the installation wizard. The wizard will guide you through the installation process, and ask you to select the destination folder. You can choose the default location, or any other directory of your preference.

Step 3: Install Python Using Homebrew

If you prefer to use a package manager, Homebrew is an excellent option for installing and managing Python on a Mac. Homebrew is a free and open-source software package management system for Mac OS X.

To install Homebrew, open “Terminal” and paste the following command:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Once Homebrew is installed, type the following command to install Python:

brew install python

This will install the latest version of Python on your Mac. You can verify the installation by typing python --version.

Step 4: Configure the Environment Variables

After installation, you need to configure the environment variables to use Python from the Terminal. Open the “Terminal” and enter the following command:

nano ~/.bash_profile

This command will open the nano text editor, which allows you to edit the bash profile. Add the following lines at the end of the file:

export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"

Save the file by pressing “Control+X,” then “Y,” and then “Enter.”

Finally, restart the Terminal to apply the changes. You can now use Python from the Terminal by typing python.


In this tutorial, we covered the different ways to install Python on a Mac. You can use an installer, package manager, or install it manually from source. Regardless of the method, it’s important to configure the environment variables to use Python from the Terminal. With Python installed, you can explore the vast array of libraries and frameworks available, and start building your projects.

Verifying and Testing the Python Installation

python installation test

After successfully installing Python, it is important to verify and test your installation to ensure that it is fully functional. Verification of Python programming language involves checking whether your installation is complete and functional while testing ensures that you can create, edit and run Python scripts. Below are essential steps you can follow to verify and test your Python installation.

Checking Python Version

python version

The first step in verifying Python installation is to check the version of Python installed on your machine. Python has two primary versions; Python 2 and Python 3 hence it is important to know which one you have installed on your machine. This information will help you avoid compatibility issues when running Python scripts. To check the version of Python installed on your machine, open the terminal (or command prompt on Windows) and type the following command:

python –version

This command will print the version number of the Python installation you are using. For example, if you see Python 3.9.2, it means that you have Python 3 installed on your machine. If you get an error after running the command, it means that Python is either not installed or not properly installed on your machine.

Testing Python Interpreter

python interpreter test

Python also provides a built-in interpreter, which is a useful tool for testing and debugging Python code. The interpreter reads and executes Python code one line at a time. Testing the Python interpreter involves opening the terminal and typing the following command:


This command will open the Python interpreter shell, which allows you to interact with Python directly. To check whether the interpreter is working properly, type print(‘Hello World’) and press enter. If everything is working as expected, the interpreter will print ‘Hello World’ on the next line.

Creating Your First Python Program

python helloworld program

After verifying that Python is installed and working properly, it’s time to create your first Python program. A simple and common program to start with is the ‘Hello World’ program which prints the message ‘Hello, World!’ to the screen.

To create this program, open a text editor (e.g. Notepad on Windows) and type the following code:

print(‘Hello, World!’)

Save the file with the extension .py (e.g. in a directory on your computer. Open the terminal or command prompt, navigate to the directory where you saved the file, and type the following command:


This will run the Python program you just created, and the text ‘Hello, World!’ will be printed to the terminal.

Using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

pycharm ide

An integrated development environment (IDE) is an application that provides a more complete user interface for developing Python programs. IDEs typically provide a text editor, syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging tools to make the programming process more efficient. There are many popular Python IDEs, including Pyscripter, PyCharm, and Spyder.

Using an IDE can be a good choice, especially for more complex projects. IDEs can save time and make coding easier, especially for those who are new to programming or are working on large projects. However, it is important to note that using an IDE is not necessary for writing Python programs.

Running Python Tests

python test framework

After creating Python programs and scripts, it is important to test them to ensure they function correctly. Python provides testing frameworks that can help you test your code more efficiently. A popular framework is unittest, which is included with Python and can be used to write and run tests on Python code.

The unittest framework can help you isolate and test individual parts of your code to ensure that they are functioning correctly. Testing your code can help you avoid problems and errors that can be difficult to fix later on.

In conclusion, Python installation is an easy process that can be verified and tested to ensure that it is fully functional. Check your Python version, test the Python interpreter, create your first Python program, use an integrated development environment, and run Python tests to ensure your installation and Python code are functioning correctly.

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