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How to Install Python on Mac and Execute Programs: A Comprehensive Guide

Installing & Running Python on Mac: Ultimate Guide

In this guide, we delve into the powerful programming language, Python. Famed for its extensive use in data science and machine learning, we take a step-by-step approach to install Python on Mac. We will also explore how to write and execute your first Python program in three different ways. Let’s dive in! 🎉


Checking For Existing Python Installation

To check if Python is already installed on your machine, type python-version in the terminal. If Python 3 is not installed, you will receive an error message. 👨‍💻


Installing Python 3

Head to to download the latest version of Python for Mac. The installation is straightforward, similar to other software installations. 🖥️


Verifying Python Installation

After installation, type python 3 space dash dash version in your terminal. You should now see the installed Python version. 🌟


Writing Your First Python Program Using IDLE

IDLE is a Python IDE that comes with your installation. It allows you to write Python commands and see the output straight away. Navigate to it from your launchpad, and you’re ready to code. 🔧


Executing Python Programs in text editor via Terminal

You can also write Python programs in a text editor like Atom, saving your program then executing it via terminal. A practical method for writing and testing your programs. 💪


Running Python Programs in Visual Studio Code

Another way to execute Python programs is through Visual Studio Code, a robust IDE for Python. First, install the Python extension in VS Code, then start to write and execute programs in the same editor! ⚙️

Conclusion: 🏁

That’s it, folks! This comprehensive guide has walked you through the process of installing Python 3 on your Mac, as well as executing Python programs in three different ways: using IDLE, a text editor, and Visual Studio Code. Now, you’re more than ready to start your Python journey in data science, machine learning, or any field that requires Python! 🚀


Python is a powerful and versatile programming language, widely used in web development, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and more. By installing Python on your Mac, you gain the ability to execute Python programs and take advantage of its many libraries.

Yes, Mac OS comes with a version of Python pre-installed. However, it may not be the latest version, and it’s generally not recommended to use this pre-installed version for development work.

It’s recommended to install the latest stable release of Python, which, as of this writing, is Python 3.9. However, some older packages may require older versions of Python.

You can check the version of Python installed on your Mac by opening Terminal and typing ‘python –version’.

You can download Python for Mac from the official Python website. Choose the version that suits your needs, download the Mac OS X installation package, and follow the instructions in the installer.

For most users, the recommended installer is the macOS 64-bit installer. It’s also recommended to choose the latest stable release.

After downloading Python from the Python website, double-click the installation package and follow the installation guide. You may need to provide your admin password to proceed with the installation.

The PATH is an environmental variable in Unix-like operating systems that specifies directories where executable programs are located. In the context of Python, adding Python to PATH means that you can execute Python from any directory without having to include the full path to the Python executable.

During the Python installation process, you’ll see a checkbox labelled ‘Add Python to PATH’. Make sure to check that box. If you’ve already installed Python, you can manually add it to the PATH by editing your ‘.bash_profile’ or ‘.zshrc’ file, depending on your shell.

If Python isn’t running in your terminal, it might be because Python isn’t added to your PATH, or you’re trying to run a version of Python that isn’t installed on your computer. Check your Python installation and PATH settings.

Yes, you can install multiple versions of Python on your Mac. You might need to do this if different projects require different Python versions. You can use tools like virtualenv or pyenv to manage multiple Python versions.

You can switch between Python versions on your Mac by using an environment manager like pyenv or conda. These tools let you create ‘environments’ with different Python versions and switch between them as needed.

To uninstall Python from your Mac, you can use the ‘sudo rm -rf’ command followed by the path to the Python version you want to remove. Be very careful using this command as it will permanently delete whatever you point it at.

IDLE is a Python Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that comes with Python when you install it. You can use IDLE to write and execute Python programs in a simple, user-friendly environment.

You can write Python programs using any text editor or IDE, then execute them by typing ‘python’ in Terminal, assuming you’re in the directory containing your Python file.

Python’s main strengths are its readability, simplicity, and vast standard library. It’s powerful enough for experts but also accessible to beginners, making it a great first programming language.

Yes, Python is widely used in web development. Libraries like Django and Flask make it easy to build complex websites using Python.

Yes, Python is widely used in data analysis. Libraries like pandas, NumPy, and Matplotlib make Python a powerful tool for data analysis.

Python is a good language for beginners because its syntax is straightforward and readability-prone, making it easier to learn coding concepts without getting lost in the syntax.

Yes, Python is in high demand in fields like web development, data science, artificial intelligence, and more. Learning Python can open up many job opportunities.

Python is used in a wide range of applications, including web development, data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, and more.

Python 2 and Python 3 are different versions of the Python language. Python 2 is no longer maintained, and most new development happens in Python 3. The languages have some differences in syntax and behavior.

pip is a package manager for Python. You can use pip to install and manage Python libraries.

To use pip to install Python packages, open Terminal and type ‘pip install packagename’, replacing ‘packagename’ with the name of the package you want to install.

A Python virtual environment is an isolated environment where you can install Python packages without interfering with other projects or the system-wide Python installation. It’s a best practice to use virtual environments for Python development.

To create a Python virtual environment, you first need to install the ‘virtualenv’ package using pip. Then, you can use the ‘virtualenv’ command to create a new virtual environment.

To activate a Python virtual environment, navigate to the directory containing the environment and run the ‘source bin/activate’ command.

Some popular alternatives to IDLE for Python development on Mac include PyCharm, Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, and Atom.

Anaconda is a distribution of Python that comes with many popular data science libraries. It also includes conda, a package and environment manager. Anaconda can be a good choice if you’re planning to do data analysis or scientific computing with Python.

Some good resources for learning Python include the documentation, ‘Learn Python the Hard Way’, Codecademy’s Python course, and ‘Automate the Boring Stuff with Python’.