Installing Python on Windows

Quickstart (TL;DR)

Visit the official Python website ( and download the installer for the latest version of Python (currently, 3.6.2; otherwise, whatever higher numbered version that’s available.)

Detailed Instructions

  1. Visit the official Python website (, and navigate to the Downloads navigation button. Click on the “Windows” item .. image:: ../_static/install-windows-1.png

  2. You will be presented with a list of different downloads for different versions of Python. Simply, you want the link to the “Latest Python 3 Release”.

  3. You will then be taken to a page with much text, and after some scrolling you will be presented with a potentially confusing list of download options for Windows. Most people would be fine selecting “Windows X86-64 executable installer”:


    Likely, you will be presented with some option to download the file (the below screenshot is from Firefox, mileage may vary.)

  4. Launch the Python installer, likely located in your Downloads folder. The file will be named something like python-3.6.2-amd64.exe (depending on the version downloaded).

    You will be greeted with a series of installation screens. Some options might need to be set.

    Select “Add Python 3.6 to PATH”, and click “Install Now”:

    ../_images/install-windows-5.png ../_images/install-windows-6.png

    Click “Disable path length limit”:

  5. You can access the Python applications by searching for them:

  6. You likely want to run IDLE. This will open the interpreter window, ready to receive “live” Python code. The program code entered here isn’t saved.


If you wish to create and run a saved program, you’ll want to create a new file.