How to install and setup Python3 in macOS

2 minute read

Checking Python Installation

Starting from macOS Catalina, Python2 & Python3 is installed by default in macOS.You can check by entering python3 --version command in Terminal.

python3 version

Now Enter python2 --version or python --version to check if python2 was installed. Remember entering just python defaults to python2.

python2 version


Pip also called as Pypi is a package manager for python. For installing new packages and to update existing packages for our projects, we need pip.

Download pip

But there’s no pip installed by default. We have to install pip by downloading and running python file

  • Download file.
  • Go to the directory where file exists and execute file by entering python3
  • You can check installation by entering pip --version

Note: Open new terminal window to check pip installation so that environment variables take in effect.

Virtual Environments

Because different projects may have different python versions and packages, it is a better approach to create virtual environments for your projects to avoid dependency errors across projects.
Creating a virtual environment makes less overhead in future.

Create Virtual Environment

Install python packge virtualenv by using below command.

pip install virtualenv

To create a virtual environment you have to specify the path to the directory virtualenv <path and name of virtual environment>
To create virtual environment named ‘myvenv’ in current directory enter below command.

virtualenv myvenv

Activate Virtual Environment

To activate virtual environment on mac/linux enter

source myvenv/bin/activate

for windows enter


You can see the name of virtual environment preceeding in your terminal.

Deactivate Virtual Environment

For getting out of virtual environment to use your actual environment type ‘deactivate’.


python virtual environment

Happy Coding!