How to add Python to Windows PATH

There are few ways in which you can add Python to Windows PATH. In this post, I’ll share with you two methods that you can use to add Python to Windows path:

  • Via the installation of a recent version of Python; and
  • Manual insertion

But why would you want to add Python to Windows path in the first place?

Well, if you try to install a Python package using PIP for example, you may get the following error in the Windows Command Prompt:

‘pip’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file

To overcome this error, you may apply any of the methods described below.

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’ during the installation.

Before you proceed, you may choose to uninstall the previous version of Python if needed.

In my case, the latest version of Python that was available to download was version 3.7.1.

In the Python installation box, just check the box to add Python to PATH as below:

 

How to add Python to Windows PATH

 

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

Alternatively, you may manually insert 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.

Note that I’ll be using Windows 10 to illustrate the concepts, but similar principles would apply when using previous versions of Windows.

Step 1: Get to the Windows Environment Variables screen

To get to the Windows Environment Variables screen, where you can add new paths, simply right click on the ‘This PC‘ icon. Then select ‘Properties.

 

This PC - Windows 10

 

Next, click on the ‘Advanced system settings

 

Advanced system settings

 

Finally, click on ‘Environment variables…

 

Environment variables

 

That should take you to the Environment Variables screen, where you can add new paths.

Click on ‘New…‘ which is located under the User variables box.

 

Environment variables - Windows 10

 

You should see the following box, which will allow you to add new variables.

 

User variables

 

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

  • The Python application path, which is the directory where you installed your 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 we saw earlier:

 

New User Variable

 

For the Variable name, you may type a name, such as ‘Path’ for example.

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

This is how my Variable value would look like:

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

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

 

New User Variable - Windows 10

 

Press ‘OK’ and you should 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.

 

User variables

 

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

 

You Python package will get installed successfully. Similarly, you may upgrade PIP easily by typing:

 

python.exe -m pip install --upgrade pip