If you are unfamiliar with the Windows Command Prompt, you are not alone. Windows designers have made its use rare for non-programmers. But it remains a very useful tool for working with programs like Python (so much so, the author created a tile for it on the right above).

To access the command line, open the Start Menu via clicking the Start Button, lower left of the screen. Scroll the left side all the way down to Windows System - click the icon and sub menu items pop in, select Command Prompt with the black icon.

Unlike the Python app noted in the previous page, the Command Prompt does not put you in a REPL or IDLE. It is the Windows command line and you can perform many system functions. It is handy to know where to find the Command Prompt for system administration.


You can access Python in the Command Line by just typing python, python3, or python3.7, python3.8, or python3.9, depending on which version you installed. If you have more than one version installed, you'll need to be more specific. You will then get the familiar REPL prompt.

If you have not used Python before this and not installed the app as on the previous page, typing python may take you to the Microsoft Store to download the components. Follow the previous page if it does so.


Typing the word idle in the command prompt runs the IDLE Python editor, just like installing the app on the previous page. Rather than showing up in the command prompt window, a new IDLE window will appear (see image below).


The pip package manager is available for this install of Python as well, pip opens up a world of open source packages to install for your projects.

Typing pip3 list will list the currently installed packages. Consult the pip documentation (available at the link below) on all the commands used to work with packages with pip.


Windows 10 May 2019 update opens up a new, world of Python 3 on Windows.

If you want to learn more about using Python, go to python.org, where you can find documentation, community and more. 

Documentation for Python's standard library, along with tutorials and guides, are available at docs.python.org.

Have fun!

This guide was first published on Jun 03, 2019. It was last updated on May 31, 2019.

This page (Command Line Python) was last updated on May 31, 2019.

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