How to Install Python PIP on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Anthony Grant Updated 21-01-2020

Just like any serious programming language, Python supports third-party libraries and frameworks that you can install to avoid reinventing the wheel with every new project. If you want to use them you can find these Python libraries on a central repository called the Python Package Index (PyPI).


Downloading, installing, and managing these packages by hand can be frustrating and time-consuming. This is why many Python developers rely on a special tool called PIP for Python (or Python PIP) to make everything much easier and faster.

What Is PIP for Python?

PIP is an acronym that stands for “PIP Installs Packages” or “Preferred Installer Program”. It’s a command-line utility that allows you to install, reinstall, or uninstall PyPI packages with a simple and straightforward command: pip.

If you’ve ever done any command-line work on Windows (with the Command Prompt The Quickest Way to Install Windows Software: The Command Prompt Installing apps on Windows takes up a lot of time. Install and update your apps through the command prompt with this method. Read More ) or Mac or Linux (with the Terminal and Bash Become a Linux Command Line Master With These Tips and Tricks Whether you're brand new to Linux, or a seasoned Linux veteran, the command line offers a bevy of uses. Try these tips for mastering the command line. Read More ), then you can skip down to the installation instructions for your particular operating system.

Is PIP Installed With Python?

If you’re using Python 2.7.9 (or greater) or Python 3.4 (or greater), then PIP comes installed with Python by default. If you’re using an older version of Python, you’ll need to use the installation steps below. Otherwise, skip to the bottom to learn how to start using PIP.

If you’re running Python in a virtual environment created with either virtualenv or pyvenv, then PIP will be available regardless of the Python version.


Is Python Correctly Installed?

You have to make sure Python is properly installed on your system. On Windows, open up the Command Prompt using Windows key + X and selecting Command Prompt. On Mac, open the Terminal using Command + Space and searching for terminal. On Linux, open the Terminal using Ctrl + Alt + T. Linux shortcuts may vary by distribution.

Then type:

python --version

On Linux, Python 3.x users may need to use:

python3 --version

If you get a version number (e.g. “Python 2.7.5”) then Python is ready to go.


If you get a “Python is not defined” message, then you’ll have to first install Python properly. That’s beyond the scope of this article. The Python site has some detailed instructions for installation.

How to Install PIP on Windows

These instructions should work on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10:

  1. Download the installer script. If you’re on Python 3.2, you’ll need this version of instead. Either way, right-click on the link and select Save As… and save it to any safe location, such as your Downloads folder.
  2. Open the Command Prompt and navigate to the file.
  3. Run the following command: python

How to Install PIP on Mac

Modern Mac systems come with Python and PIP already installed. However, this version of Python tends to be outdated and not the best choice for serious Python development. It’s highly recommended that you install a more current version of Python and PIP.

If you want to use the native system Python installation but don’t have PIP available, you can install PIP with the following command in Terminal:

sudo easy_install pip

If you’d rather install a more up-to-date version of Python, then you can use Homebrew. Don’t know what that is? Learn more about installing software with Homebrew on Mac How to Install Mac Apps in Terminal Using Homebrew Did you know you can install Mac software in the Terminal? Here's how to use Homebrew to install Mac apps easily. Read More . These instructions will assume you already have Homebrew installed and ready to go.

Installing Python with Homebrew is done with a single command:

brew install python

This will install the latest version of Python, which should come packaged with PIP. If the installation is successful but PIP is unavailable, you may need to re-link Python using the following Terminal command:

brew unlink python && brew link python

How to Install PIP on Linux

If your Linux distribution came with Python already installed, you should be able to install PIP using your system’s package manager. This is preferable since system-installed versions of Python do not play nicely with the script used on Windows and Mac.


Advanced Package Tool (Python 2.x)

sudo apt-get install python-pip

Advanced Package Tool (Python 3.x)

sudo apt-get install python3-pip

pacman Package Manager (Python 2.x)

sudo pacman -S python2-pip

pacman Package Manager (Python 3.x)

sudo pacman -S python-pip

Yum Package Manager (Python 2.x)

sudo yum upgrade python-setuptools
sudo yum install python-pip python-wheel

Yum Package Manager (Python 3.x)

sudo yum install python3 python3-wheel

Dandified Yum (Python 2.x)

sudo dnf upgrade python-setuptools
sudo dnf install python-pip python-wheel

Dandified Yum (Python 3.x)

sudo dnf install python3 python3-wheel

Zypper Package Manager (Python 2.x)

sudo zypper install python-pip python-setuptools python-wheel

Zypper Package Manager (Python 3.x)

sudo zypper install python3-pip python3-setuptools python3-wheel

How to Install PIP on Raspberry Pi

As a Raspberry Pi user, you’re probably running Raspbian since it’s the official operating system designated and provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. You’re free to install another operating system, such as Ubuntu How to Get Ubuntu Running on Your Raspberry Pi Raspbian Jessie is a great Raspberry Pi operating system. But what if you want a more traditional Linux experience? Well, you could go ahead and install Ubuntu instead. Read More . If that is the case you should look at the Linux instructions.

Starting with Raspbian Jessie, PIP comes installed by default. It’s one of the big reasons to upgrade to Raspbian Jessie instead of sticking with Raspbian Wheezy or Raspbian Jessie Lite. However, if you’re on an older version of Raspbian, you can still install PIP.

On Python 2.x:

sudo apt-get install python-pip

On Python 3.x:

sudo apt-get install python3-pip

With Raspbian, Python 2.x users should use pip while Python 3.x users should use pip3 when issuing PIP commands.

How to Upgrade PIP for Python

While PIP itself doesn’t update very often, it’s still important to stay on top of new versions because there may be important fixes to bugs, compatibility, and security holes. Fortunately, upgrading PIP is quick and easy.

On Windows:

python -m pip install -U pip

On Mac, Linux, or Raspberry Pi:

pip install -U pip

On certain versions of Linux and Raspberry Pi, you may need to use pip3 instead.

How to Manage Python Packages With PIP

Once PIP is ready, you can start installing packages from PyPI:

pip install package-name

To install a specific version of a package instead of the latest version:

pip install package-name==1.0.0

To search PyPI for a particular package:

pip search "query"

To see details about an installed package:

pip show package-name

To list all installed packages:

pip list

To list all outdated packages:

pip list --outdated

To upgrade an outdated package:

pip install package-name --upgrade

Note that older versions of a package are automatically removed by PIP when upgrading to a newer version of that package.

To completely reinstall a package:

pip install package-name --upgrade --force-reinstall

To completely get rid of a package:

pip uninstall package-name

Learn More About Python

We recommend reading up on reasons why Python is useful today and how it is used in some very high-paying software jobs. This can give you the motivation to keep learning Python and push your skills to the next level.

If you’re still a beginner, check out these these best websites to learn Python programming or our guide on how to build a basic web crawler.

If you’re more of an intermediate Python developer, consider sharpening your knowledge with some real-world applications like building your own social media bot using Python How to Build Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit Bots Using Python Want to build your own social media bots? Here's how to auto-post updates to Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit using Python. Read More .

Related topics: Programming, Python.

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  1. Noel Ramirez
    July 26, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    I could install pip only through "windows shell (admin)"

  2. Christopher Gonzales
    November 17, 2018 at 4:40 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was trying to install pip for over 20 minutes until I found this, thank you

  3. Thomas Grainger
    August 14, 2018 at 7:41 am is the only correct way. It will either install pip correctly or print out a message telling you how

  4. Iphy Kelvin
    May 28, 2018 at 5:25 am

    I cant upgrade the pip to the new version on my windows. I followed your instruction and got the file for the pip i.e get pip file.
    And also i cant get scitools too.
    I need help.

  5. OM
    May 18, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    How do I check my version of Pip?