If you are currently using a windows operating system, the follow the steps to install Python on Windows.

Where to download?

Always download from a reputable source



Which version?

We are going to use version three of python. It is going to get most of the future updates with version 2 only getting bug fixes.

At the time of writing version 3.5.2 is the latest. So install it. I always try to install the MSI version.

If offered an option to install for all users or just the current user. Install for all users.

Accept the default file location. I was given c:\users\mark\appdata\local\programs\python\python35-32

If given an option to add python exe to the path say yes. This will make your life a lot easier.
Python Install setup window

Start Up A Windows Command Prompt

Command prompt is the interface to issue type commands to windows. It should be under Accessories in your Windows start menu or just press Windows Key + R cmd <enter>

Commad Prompt Windows


Check The Version Number Command Prompt

Type in python at the command prompt and look at the output. Make sure it gives the version number you downloaded.

Command Prompt Windows python setup


At the python prompt type in

print Hello World

and check the output


Type in


To get out python and go back to the command prompt


Upgrade pip with

Pip install --upgrade pip


I get an error message as well as I success message, but the upgrade works.Pip is the preferred program it use to download python components. But we upgrade because recent versions offers much better performance.


Create a project directory

Mkdir testproj

Cd testproj

This is where our code would go


Make a test project with virtualenv

Install virtualenv

Pip install virtualenv


We use virtualenv to keep our list of requirements for the different versions of our requirements seperate. We are going to test downloading requirements to make sure everything is set up correctly.


Builds the virtualenv. This is just a set of directories that python puts special versions of everything in.

Type in at the command line


This activates your virtualenv meaning with python will use libraries and modules inside of it.

Do a dir to see the list of directories it has created.


Once set up we need to activate the virtualenv which means we will use the versions of libraries in it by default. The (testproj) is the name of the virtualenv that we have activated.


Example with numpy

We are going to use an example from numpy to check that everything is set up correctly.

First download numpy with pip

Pip install numpy


At the Windows Command prompt make sure you have activated the virtualenv.

Next start up python. Type at the command prompt



Then at the python console

import numpy as np


a = np.array([1, 2, 3])  # Create a rank 1 array
print (type(a))            # Prints "<type 'numpy.ndarray'>"
print (a.shape)            # Prints "(3,)"
print (a[0], a[1], a[2])   # Prints "1 2 3"
a[0] = 5                 # Change an element of the array
print (a)                  # Prints "[5, 2, 3]"

b = np.array([[1,2,3],[4,5,6]])   # Create a rank 2 array
print (b.shape)                     # Prints "(2, 3)"
print (b[0, 0], b[0, 1], b[1, 0])   # Prints "1 2 4"


If the output matches the comment numpy works correctly.