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Python 3 Installation Guide: Step-by-Step Instructions for Beginners


How to Download Python 3 on Your Computer




If you want to learn how to code, one of the best languages to start with is Python. Python is a popular and versatile programming language that can be used for many purposes, such as web development, data analysis, machine learning, automation, and more. In this article, you will learn how to download and install Python 3 on your computer, whether you use Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. You will also learn how to test your installation and write your first program in Python.


What is Python and Why You Should Learn It




Python is a popular and versatile programming language




Python was created by Guido van Rossum in the late 1980s as a hobby project. Since then, it has grown into one of the most widely used programming languages in the world. According to the 2021 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Python is the third most loved language, the fourth most wanted language, and the fifth most popular language among developers.




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One of the reasons why Python is so popular is its simplicity and readability. Python has a clear and concise syntax that makes it easy to write and understand code. Unlike some other languages, Python does not require semicolons or curly braces to mark the end of statements or blocks. Instead, it uses indentation to structure the code. This makes the code more consistent and elegant.


Another reason why Python is so popular is its versatility and flexibility. Python can be used for many purposes, such as web development, data analysis, machine learning, automation, and more. Python has a rich set of built-in features, such as data structures, functions, exceptions, modules, and classes. It also has a large and diverse collection of libraries and frameworks that extend its functionality and make it easier to perform various tasks. Some of the most popular libraries and frameworks for Python are:


  • Django: A high-level web framework that enables rapid development of secure and scalable web applications.



  • Flask: A lightweight web framework that provides a minimal set of tools for building web applications.



  • Pandas: A library that provides high-performance data structures and analysis tools for manipulating and processing data.



  • Numpy: A library that provides efficient and fast operations on multidimensional arrays and matrices.



  • Scipy: A library that provides scientific and mathematical functions and algorithms, such as linear algebra, optimization, integration, interpolation, statistics, and more.



  • Matplotlib: A library that provides visualization tools for creating and customizing plots, graphs, charts, and more.



  • Scikit-learn: A library that provides machine learning tools and algorithms, such as classification, regression, clustering, dimensionality reduction, feature extraction, and more.



  • Tensorflow: A framework that provides a platform for building and training neural networks and deep learning models.



  • Keras: A high-level API that simplifies the creation and training of neural networks and deep learning models.



  • Selenium: A library that provides a tool for automating web browser actions, such as clicking, typing, scrolling, and more.



  • Requests: A library that provides a simple and elegant way to make HTTP requests and handle responses.



As you can see, Python has a lot to offer for anyone who wants to learn how to code or improve their skills. Whether you want to build a website, analyze data, create a game, or automate a task, Python can help you achieve your goals.


How to Choose the Right Version of Python for Your Needs




Python has two major versions: Python 2 and Python 3




Python has been evolving since its creation in 1989. Over the years, it has undergone many changes and improvements. However, one of the most significant changes was the release of Python 3 in 2008. Python 3 introduced some major changes to the language that made it incompatible with Python 2. This means that code written in Python 2 will not run in Python 3, and vice versa.


Python 2 was the standard version of Python for many years, and it still has a large user base and legacy code base. However, Python 2 reached its end of life in 2020, which means that it will no longer receive any updates or bug fixes. Therefore, it is not recommended to use Python 2 for new projects or learning purposes.


Python 3 is the latest and recommended version of Python




Python 3 is the future of Python. It is the current and active version of Python that receives regular updates and new features. It is also the version that most online courses, books, tutorials, and resources use to teach Python. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use Python 3 for your projects and learning purposes.


Python 3 has many advantages over Python 2. Some of them are:


  • Better Unicode support: Python 3 treats all strings as Unicode by default, which makes it easier to work with text data in different languages and encodings.



  • Better print function: Python 3 requires parentheses around the arguments of the print function, which makes it consistent with other functions and avoids syntax errors.



  • Better division operator: Python 3 uses the / operator to perform true division (returning a floating-point number) and the // operator to perform floor division (returning an integer). This avoids confusion and unexpected results when dividing numbers.



  • Better input function: Python 3 uses the input function to get user input as a string. In contrast, Python 2 uses two functions: raw_input (which returns a string) and input (which evaluates the input as code). This makes the input function safer and simpler in Python 3.



  • Better range function: Python 3 uses the range function to create an iterable object that represents a sequence of numbers. In contrast, Python 2 uses two functions: range (which returns a list) and xrange (which returns an iterable object). This makes the range function more memory-efficient and consistent in Python 3.



  • Better exception handling: Python 3 uses the as keyword to assign an exception object to a variable in the except clause. In contrast, Python 2 uses a comma to separate the exception type and the variable name. This makes the exception handling syntax clearer and more compatible with other languages in Python 3.



How to check your current Python version and update it if needed




If you already have Python installed on your computer, you may want to check what version you have before downloading a new one. To do this, you can use the following steps:


Search for "download python 3" as a seed keyword


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Filter for keywords with a monthly search volume up to 300


Filter for keywords with a Traffic Potential (TP) up to 300


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how to download and install python 3 on windows


  • Open a terminal or a command prompt on your computer. You can do this by searching for "terminal" or "cmd" in your start menu or finder.



  • Type python --version and press enter. This will display the version of Python that is currently installed on your system.



  • If you have Python 3 installed, you will see something like Python 3.x.x, where x is the minor and patch version number. For example, Python 3.9.6.



  • If you have Python 2 installed, you will see something like Python 2.x.x, where x is the minor and patch version number. For example, Python 2.7.18.



  • If you have both Python 2 and Python 3 installed, you may need to specify which version you want to use by typing python2 --version or python3 --version.



  • If you do not have Python installed, or if you want to update to the latest version of Python 3, you can follow the instructions in the next sections to download and install Python 3 on your computer.



How to Download and Install Python 3 on Windows




Step 1: Go to the official Python website and click on the download button




The easiest way to download and install Python 3 on Windows is to use the official installer from the Python website. To do this, you can use the following steps:


  • Go to https://www.python.org/ and click on the download button at the top of the page. This will take you to the downloads page for the latest version of Python 3.



  • Click on the link that says "Download Python x.x.x", where x is the version number. For example, "Download Python 3.9.6". This will start downloading the installer file to your computer.



  • Save the installer file to a location of your choice, such as your desktop or downloads folder.



Step 2: Run the installer and follow the instructions




Once you have downloaded the installer file, you can run it and follow the instructions to install Python 3 on your computer. To do this, you can use the following steps:


  • Double-click on the installer file that you downloaded in the previous step. This will launch the installer program.



  • You will see a window that asks you to choose an installation option. You can either select "Install Now", which will install Python 3 with the default settings, or "Customize installation", which will allow you to change some options, such as the installation location, features, and shortcuts.



  • Before you proceed, make sure to check the box that says "Add Python x.x to PATH", where x is the version number. This will add Python 3 to your system environment variables, which will make it easier to run Python code from any directory on your computer.



  • Click on "Install Now" or "Next", depending on your choice of installation option, and wait for the installation process to complete.



  • You may need to grant permission or enter your password if prompted by Windows User Account Control (UAC).



  • You will see a window that says "Setup was successful" when the installation is done. Click on "Close" to exit the installer program.



Step 3: Verify that Python 3 is installed correctly and add it to your PATH variable




To verify that Python 3 is installed correctly and that it is added to your PATH variable, you can use the following steps:


  • Open a new terminal or command prompt window on your computer. You can do this by searching for "terminal" or "cmd" in your start menu or finder.



  • Type python --version and press enter. This will display the version of Python that is currently installed on your system.



  • If you see something like Python 3.x.x, where x is the minor and patch version number, then congratulations! You have successfully installed Python 3 on your Windows computer.



  • If you see something like 'python' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file., then something went wrong with adding Python 3 to your PATH variable or you may have an older version of Python in your PATH variable. To fix this, you can use the following steps:



  • Go to your start menu and search for "environment variables". Click on the option that says "Edit the system environment variables".



  • You will see a window that says "System Properties". Click on the button that says "Environment Variables..." at the bottom right corner.



  • You will see another window that shows two lists of variables: one for your user account and one for the system. Look for the variable that says "Path" or "PATH" in the system list and click on it. Then click on the button that says "Edit...".



  • You will see another window that shows the values of the PATH variable. Look for the value that contains the path to your Python 3 installation folder. It should look something like C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python39, where YourName is your username and Python39 is the version of Python 3 you installed.



  • If you do not see this value, click on the button that says "New" and type or paste the path to your Python 3 installation folder. Make sure to include a backslash (\) at the end of the path.



  • If you see this value, but it is not at the top of the list, click on it and use the buttons that say "Move Up" or "Move Down" to move it to the top of the list. This will ensure that Python 3 is prioritized over any other versions of Python in your PATH variable.



  • Click on "OK" to save your changes and close all the windows.



  • Open a new terminal or command prompt window on your computer and repeat step 2. You should now see the correct version of Python 3 displayed on your screen.



How to Download and Install Python 3 on Mac OS




Step 1: Check if you already have Python 3 installed on your Mac




If you have a recent version of Mac OS, you may already have Python 3 installed on your computer. To check this, you can use the following steps:


  • Open a terminal window on your Mac. You can do this by searching for "terminal" in your spotlight or finder.



  • Type python3 --version and press enter. This will display the version of Python 3 that is currently installed on your system.



  • If you see something like Python 3.x.x, where x is the minor and patch version number, then congratulations! You already have Python 3 installed on your Mac.



  • If you see something like -bash: python3: command not found, then you do not have Python 3 installed on your Mac, or it is not added to your PATH variable. In that case, you can proceed to step 2 to download and install Python 3 on your Mac.



Step 2: If not, download the latest version of Python 3 from the official website




The easiest way to download and install Python 3 on Mac OS is to use the official installer from the Python website. To do this, you can use the following steps:


  • Go to https://www.python.org/ and click on the download button at the top of the page. This will take you to the downloads page for the latest version of Python 3.



  • Click on the link that says "Download Mac OS X x-bit installer", where x is either 64 or 32 depending on your system architecture. For most modern Macs, you should choose the 64-bit installer. This will start downloading the installer file to your computer.



  • Save the installer file to a location of your choice, such as your desktop or downloads folder.



Step 3: Run the installer and follow the instructions




Once you have downloaded the installer file, you can run it and follow the instructions to install Python 3 on your Mac. To do this, you can use the following steps:


  • Double-click on the installer file that you downloaded in the previous step. This will launch the installer program.



  • You will see a window that asks you to agree to the license agreement. Click on "Continue" and then "Agree" to proceed.



  • You will see another window that asks you to choose an installation type. You can either select "Install for all users of this computer", which will install Python 3 in the /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework directory, or "Install for me only", which will install Python 3 in your home directory. Choose the option that suits your preference and click on "Continue".



  • You will see another window that shows the installation location and the disk space required. Click on "Install" to start the installation process.



  • You may need to enter your password or grant permission if prompted by Mac OS.



  • You will see a window that says "The installation was successful" when the installation is done. Click on "Close" to exit the installer program.



How to Download and Install Python 3 on Linux




Step 1: Check if you already have Python 3 installed on your Linux system




If you have a recent version of Linux, you may already have Python 3 installed on your system. To check this, you can use the following steps:


  • Open a terminal window on your Linux system. You can do this by searching for "terminal" in your applications menu or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard.



  • Type python3 --version and press enter. This will display the version of Python 3 that is currently installed on your system.



  • If you see something like Python 3.x.x, where x is the minor and patch version number, then congratulations! You already have Python 3 installed on your Linux system.



  • If you see something like -bash: python3: command not found, then you do not have Python 3 installed on your Linux system, or it is not added to your PATH variable. In that case, you can proceed to step 2 to download and install Python 3 on your Linux system.



Step 2: If not, use your package manager to install Python 3




The easiest way to download and install Python 3 on Linux is to use your package manager. A package manager is a tool that allows you to install, update, and remove software packages from your system. Different Linux distributions have different package managers, such as apt for Debian and Ubuntu, yum for CentOS and Fedora, pacman for Arch Linux, and so on. To use your package manager to install Python 3 on your Linux system, you can use the following steps:


Open a terminal window


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