How to Update Python on Windows, Linux, and Mac

Posted in Python by Dirk - last update: Dec 20, 2023

Why you should update Python

It is important to keep your Python version up-to-date, for several reasons:

  • Security: Updates often include security patches that address vulnerabilities discovered in previous versions. Running outdated versions of Python may expose your system to potential security risks.
  • Bug Fixes: Updates also come with bug fixes that address issues found in earlier releases. By keeping Python up to date, you benefit from a more stable and reliable programming environment.
  • New Features: New versions of Python introduce enhancements and new features, improving the language’s capabilities, performance, and overall user experience. Staying current allows you to take advantage of these improvements.
  • Compatibility: Some third-party libraries and frameworks may deprecate support for older Python versions as they evolve. Updating Python ensures that you can use the latest versions of these libraries and frameworks, maintaining compatibility with the broader ecosystem.
  • Performance: Newer Python versions often include optimizations and performance improvements, leading to better overall execution speed and resource utilization.
  • Ecosystem Compatibility: Python has a rich ecosystem of packages, tools, and frameworks. Keeping Python updated ensures compatibility with the latest versions of these components, helping you stay productive and take advantage of the latest developments in the Python ecosystem.
  • End-of-Life (EOL) Concerns: Python releases have a lifecycle, and older versions eventually reach end-of-life status, meaning they no longer receive updates or support. It’s essential to migrate to supported versions to avoid using outdated and potentially insecure software.

Update Python on Windows

The recommended way to update Python on Windows is using the official Python installer.


1. Download the Latest Version:

  • Visit the official Python website at
  • Navigate to the “Downloads” section.
  • Click on the “View the full list of downloads” link.
  • Find the latest version of Python and download the Windows installer executable (.exe) file.

2. Run the Installer:

  • Double-click the downloaded installer to run it.
  • Make sure to check the box that says “Add Python to PATH” during installation.
  • Click “Install Now” to start the installation process.

3. Verify Installation:

  • Open a Command Prompt and type python –version or python -V.
python --version
  • Ensure that the version number matches the newly installed version.

Note: Make sure to restart your Command Prompt or PowerShell session after installing Python to apply the changes to the PATH environment variable.

Update Python on Mac

1. Install Homebrew (if not installed):

  • Open Terminal.
  • Install Homebrew by following the instructions on

2. Install Python using Homebrew:

  • In Terminal, type brew install python.
brew install python
  • This command will download and install the latest version of Python.

3. Verify Installation:

  • In Terminal, type python3 –version or python3 -V.
python3 --version
  • Ensure that the version number matches the newly installed version.

Update Python on Linux (Ubuntu as example)

1. Update Package Lists:

  • Open a terminal.
  • Run the following commands to update the package lists:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

2. Install Python:

  • Run the following command to install Python 3:
sudo apt install python3

3. Verify Installation:

In the terminal, type python3 –version or python3 -V.

python3 --version

Ensure that the version number matches the newly installed version.

Important: Some system tools and scripts might rely on the Python 2 interpreter that comes with your Linux distribution, and removing it could potentially break these dependencies, leading to system errors. The recommended approach is to install Python 3 alongside Python 2 and use the python3 command explicitly when you want to invoke Python 3. This allows both Python 2 and Python 3 to coexist peacefully on the system.

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