Python is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command

Python is not recognized as an Internal or External Command is a common problem or issue, most of the newbies faced when the first time install Python in their system.

But you guys don’t need to worry as the quote says, “Every Expert was once a Beginner”.

So in this article, we are covering two ways or methods to solve the problem.

Why the Error Python is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command occurs?

This error means that your Windows don’t know about Python existence on ur machine. This happens because the cmd searches through certain files in predefined locations for the command you entered. Those certain locations are stored in a global (environmental) variable on ur machine called PATH. So you need to add your Python directory to the PATH variable.

So, we can say, this error occurs when the user does not specify the full path of python distribution.

How to Solve Python is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command

We can solve error using two ways.

  1. Adding Python PATH to Environmental Variable in Windows 
  2. Adding Python PATH to Windows Environmental at the time of installation.

1. How to add Python to Windows Environmental Variables PATH Manually

In case, if you want to utilize Python without defining the full path, then you need to add Python to the Windows Path manually.

Note that I’ll be using Windows 10 to demonstrate the steps, but similar principles would apply for previous versions of Windows.

  1. Right-click on this PC and Select Properties.
System Properties Python Pool

2. Inside ‘Property’ window click on ‘Advanced system settings’

Advanced System Settings - Python Pool

3. Now click Environment Variables button at the bottom (here we will add the full path of python distribution).

Environmental Variables - Python Pool Python is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command.

That will take you to the Environment Variables screen, where you can add new paths.

4. In the System variable window, find the Path variable and click Edit:

Edit Environment Variable - Python Pool

5. Click the New button and add Python’s path at the end of the list. Keep in mind that you can separate multiple paths by semicolons.

This is how my Variable value would look like:

C:\Users\PythonPool\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37-32

Here Change PythonPool with your username.

Adding Python Path

Press ‘OK’ and you would then see your new Python Path under the ‘User variables’ section. Don’t forget to press ‘OK’ again so that the changes will get implemented.

That’s it! You just added Python to the Windows Path.

2. Adding Python PATH to Windows Environmental at the time of installation.

If you’re sure you installed Python and you get this particular error, here’s what went wrong: you forgot to add Python to the PATH variable during the installation process.

You can easily add Python to Windows path by downloading a recent version of Python and then check the box to Add Python to PATH during the installation.

Before you proceed, you may choose to uninstall your previous version of Python if needed.

In my case, the latest version of Python that was available to download was version 3.8.1.

Python Latest Version -Python Pool

So, download the Latest Version According to your System configuration.

Installing Python 3.8 Python is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command.

After that, in the Python installation box, just check the box to add Python 3.8 to PATH.

PS: In some version, of Windows 10 instead of python py is working.

That’s It, Finish the installation, and you should be good to go.

Congratulations, you can now run Python from the command prompt and PowerShell.

Must Read: How Long Does It Take To Learn Python

Conclusion

Therefore, we detailed how to fix the error Python is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command and install Python on Windows. If you are installing a different version of Python, you can expect a similar process.

Remember, choose your version carefully, make sure that you have Pip installed, and use virtual environments when developing multiple projects on a single system.

If you are still facing some issue do let us know in the comment section below.

Happy coding!

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