How To Install PIP to Manage Python Packages On Windows

February 19, 2019


PIP is a package management system used to install and manage software packages written in Python. It stands for “preferred installer program” or “Pip Installs Packages.”

PIP for Python is a utility to manage PyPI package installations from the command line.

If you are using an older version of Python on Windows, you may need to install PIP. You can easily install PIP on Windows by downloading the installation package, opening the command line, and launching the installer.

This tutorial will show how to install PIP on Windows, check its version, upgrade, and configure.

How to install PIP to manage Python packages on Windows.

Note: The latest versions of Python come with PIP pre-installed, but older versions require manual installation. The following guide is for version 3.4 and above. If you are using an older version of Python, you can upgrade Python via the Python website.


  • Computer running Windows or Windows server
  • Access to the Command Prompt window

Before you start: Check if PIP is Already Installed

PIP is automatically installed with Python 2.7.9+ and Python 3.4+ and it comes with the virtualenv and pyvenv virtual environments.

Before you install PIP on Windows, check if PIP is already installed.

1. Launch the command prompt window:

  • Press Windows Key + X.
  • Click Run.
  • Type in cmd.exe and hit enter.

Alternatively, type cmd in the Windows search bar and click the “Command Prompt” icon.

2. Type in the following command at the command prompt:

pip help

If PIP responds, then PIP is installed. Otherwise, there will be an error saying the program could not be found.

Output showing PIP is not installed on Windows.

Installing PIP On Windows

Follow the steps outlined below to install PIP on Windows.

Step 1: Download PIP

Before installing PIP, download the file.

1. Launch a command prompt if it isn't already open. To do so, open the Windows search bar, type cmd and click on the icon.

2. Then, run the following command to download the file:

curl -o
Download PIP software package.

Step 2: Installing PIP on Windows

To install PIP type in the following:

Install PIP on Windows.

If the file isn’t found, double-check the path to the folder where you saved the file. You can view the contents of your current directory using the following command:


The dir command returns a full listing of the contents of a directory.

Step 3: Verify Installation

Once you’ve installed PIP, you can test whether the installation has been successful by typing the following:

pip help

If PIP has been installed, the program runs, and you should see the location of the software package and a list of commands you can use with pip.

Run pip help command to verify installation.

If you receive an error, repeat the installation process.

Step 4: Add Pip to Windows Environment Variables

To run PIP from any location, you need to add it to Windows environment variables to avoid getting the "not on PATH" error. To do so, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Open the System and Security window by searching for it in the Control Plane.
  2. Navigate to System settings.
Navigate to System settings in Windows.
  1. Then, select Advanced system settings.
  1. Open the Environment Variables and double-click on the Path variable in the System Variables.
  1. Next, select New and add the directory where you installed PIP.
  2. Click OK to save the changes.

Step 5: Configuration

In Windows, the PIP configuration file is %HOME%\pip\pip.ini.

There is also a legacy per-user configuration file. The file is located at %APPDATA%\pip\pip.ini.

You can set a custom path location for this config file using the environment variable PIP_CONFIG_FILE.

Upgrading PIP for Python on Windows

New versions of PIP are released occasionally. These versions may improve the functionality or be obligatory for security purposes.

To check the current version of PIP, run:

pip --version
Check PIP version.

To upgrade PIP on Windows, enter the following in the command prompt:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip

This command uninstalls the old version of PIP and then installs the most current version of PIP.

Downgrade PIP Version

Downgrading may be necessary if a new version of PIP starts performing undesirably. To downgrade PIP to a prior version, specifying the version you want.

To downgrade PIP, use the syntax:

python -m pip install pip==version_number

For example, to downgrade to version 18.1, you would run:

python -m pip install pip==18.1

You should now see the version of PIP that you specified.

Note: Learn how to update packages using winget upgrade command.


Congratulations, you have installed PIP for Python on Windows. Check out our other guides to learn how to install PIP on other operating systems:

Now that you have PIP up and running, you are ready to manage your Python packages.

NumPy is a library for the Python programming language, adding support for large, multi-dimensional arrays and matrices. Check out our guide and learn how to install NumPy using PIP.

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Goran Jevtic
Goran combines his leadership skills and passion for research, writing, and technology as a Technical Writing Team Lead at phoenixNAP. Working with multiple departments and on various projects, he has developed an extraordinary understanding of cloud and virtualization technology trends and best practices.
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