How to add Python to Windows PATH

There are few ways to add Python to Windows PATH. In this guide, you’ll see two methods to add Python to Windows path:

  • Via the installation of a recent version of Python
  • Manual entry of the paths

Method 1: Install a Recent Version of Python

You can easily add Python to Windows path by downloading a recent version of Python, and then checking the box to Add Python to PATH at the bottom of the setup screen:

Add Python to PATH

Finish the installation, and you should be good to go.

Alternatively, you may manually add the paths into the Environment variables.

Method 2: Manually add Python to Windows Path

If you wish to stick with your previous version of Python, you may apply the steps below to manually add Python to Windows path.

Windows 10 will be used to demonstrate the steps, but similar principles apply for other versions of Windows.

Step 1: Navigate to the Windows Environment Variables screen

To navigate to the Windows Environment Variables screen (where you can add/edit your paths):

  • Press the Windows Key + R on your keyboard in order to open the Run dialog box
  • Type sysdm.cpl to open the System Properties
  • Go to the Advanced tab and then click on the ‘Environment Variables…

That should take you to the Environment Variables screen, where you can add/edit your paths.

Click on ‘New…‘ to add the ‘Path’ variable (note that if your ‘Path’ variable already exists, then click on ‘Edit…’ instead):

add Python to path

You should then see the following box, where you may add/edit variables:

New User Variable

Before you type any values, you’ll need to locate the relevant Python paths. The paths that you’ll need to get are:

  • The Python application path, which is the folder where you originally installed Python; and
  • The Python Scripts path. The Scripts folder should be located within the Python application path.

Here is how my Python application path looks like:

Python application path

And this is how my Python Scripts path looks like:

Python Scripts path

Now let’s fill the New User Variable box that you saw earlier:

New User Variable

For the Variable name, type ‘Path‘.

For the Variable value, copy the full Python application path, then use semicolon (as highlighted in yellow below), and finally copy the Python Scripts path.

This is how my Variable value looks like:

C:\Users\Ron\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37-32;C:\Users\Ron\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37-32\Scripts

Put all the values together in the New User Variable box:

New User Variable - Windows 10

Press ‘OK’ and you would then see your new Python Path under the ‘User variables’ section. Don’t forget to press ‘OK’ again so that the changes will get implemented.

How to add Python to Windows PATH

That’s it! You just added Python to the Windows Path.

You’ll now be able to install Python packages easily, by opening the Windows Command Prompt and then typing:

pip install package name

For example, to install the pandas package, simply type ‘pip install pandas’ and then press Enter:

How to add Python to Windows PATH

Similarly, you may upgrade PIP by typing the following command:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip