Install Python 3 on Microsoft Windows

Photo by Chris Ried on Unsplash

Welcome back, developers!

Today, in this brief story, I want to share with you another part of my journey to become a software developer. And I’ll begin this new bunch of stories talking about the new programming language that I’m learning nowadays: Python.

Are you ready to follow me in this beautiful journey? Let’s go!

Introduction

First, it’s crucial to understand that, unlike many other programming languages, Python should be installed on your PC, you can’t just download an IDE and start to work with it.

Note : You can do it, but you would lose a lot of potential from this programming language, so take this like a little advice.

Follow these easy steps and in a few minutes you will have Python on your machine and you can start coding with it.

Note : We will install the newest version of Python on our machines, at the moment I’m writing this I’m using Python 3. Things can change (software developers know well this sh@*t), so in case there will be some changes I will post another article.

Now stop with the boring part and let’s start!

Installing Python on Windows PC

First of all, you should know that there are three methods to install Python on your machines, I will display all the methods here, than you can choose whatever method you prefer:

  1. The Microsoft Store : This method involves installing Python from the Microsoft Store app. This is recommended for beginner Python users looking for an easy-to-set-up experience.
  2. The full installer : This approach involves downloading Python directly from the Python.org website. This is recommended for intermediate and advanced developers who need more control during the setup process.
  3. Windows Subsystem for Linux : The WSL allows you to run a Linux environment directly in Windows. If you don’t know how to enable the WSL on your Windows PC you can check the Microsoft Documentation on Installing WSL on Windows.

Note: In this section, we’ll focus on only the first two options, which are the most popular installation methods in a Windows environment.

Before to install Python let’s check if we already have Python on our Windows machine.

How to check Python version on Windows

First let’s open the PowerShell.

  1. Type PowerShell in Search Bar
  2. Then press Enter

After you opened the PowerShell, type:

python --version

The --version switch will allows you to check what version of Python is installed on your machine. In either case, if you see a version less than 3.10, which was the most recent version at the time of writing, then you’ll want to upgrade your installation.

Note: If you don’t have a version of Python on your system, the above command will launch the Microsoft Store and redirect you to the Python application page. You’ll see how to complete the installation from the Microsoft Store in the next section.

If you’re interested in where the installation is located, then you can use the where.exe command, in this way:

where.exe python

Note: Remember that the where.exe command will work only if Python is installed on your machine.

Note: Remember that the power shell commands are case sensitive and space sensitive use spaces or upper/lower cases where needed.

Install Python with Microsoft Store

The official Python documentation has this to say about the Microsoft Store package:

The Microsoft Store package is an easily installable Python interpreter that is intended mainly for interactive use, for example, by students. (Source)

The key takeaway here is that the Microsoft Store package is “intended mainly for interactive use.” That is, the Microsoft Store package is designed to be used by students and people learning to use Python for the first time.

To install Python with Microsoft Store, follows these two easy steps:

  1. Open the Microsoft Store app and search for Python.

As you can see you can choose among multiple versions.

Select Python 3.10, or the highest version number you see available in the app, to open the installation page.

Warning: Make sure that the Python application you’ve selected is created by the Python Software Foundation. The official Microsoft Store package will always be free, so if the application costs money, then it’s the wrong application.

Note: you can open PowerShell and type python , in this way you will open the Microsoft Store on the latest version of Python.

2. Install the Python app

After you’ve selected the version to be installed, follow these steps to complete the installation:

  1. Click Get.
  2. Wait for the application to download. When it’s finished downloading, the Get button will be replaced with a button that says Install on my devices.
  3. Click Install on my devices and select the devices on which you’d like to complete the installation.
  4. Click Install Now and then OK to start the installation.
  5. If the installation was successful, then you’ll see the message “This product is installed” at the top of the Microsoft Store page.

Congratulations! You now have access to Python, including pip and IDLE!

How to install Python with the Full Installer

Follow these steps to download the full installer:

  1. Open a browser window and navigate to the Python.org Downloads page for Windows.
  2. Under the “Python Releases for Windows” heading, click the link for the Latest Python 3 Release — Python 3.x.x. As of this writing, the latest version was Python 3.10.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select either Windows x86–64 executable installer for 64-bit or Windows x86 executable installer for 32-bit.

When the installer is finished downloading, run the installer.

The full installer gives you total control over the installation process.

Then click Install Now. That’s all there is to it!

Congratulations, you now have the latest version of Python 3 on your Windows machine!

Thank all of you for reading this article. I hope that I helped someone who is struggling with the installation of Python 3.

I will post more about Python in Windows, so see you soon in the next article. Cheers!!🍻

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