How to Find Path Where Python is Installed on Windows?

Windows normally installs Python on one of the two locations:

  • C:\Python39
  • C:\Users\YourUser\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python39

For me, it’s the latter. For you, it may be different—this article shows you how to check for yourself! 🙂

For your convenience, I’ve made a short gif that shows how I rushed through the code on my Windows machine:

How to Find Path Where Python is Installed on Windows?

Before you start, you may want to ask yourself the following question:

  • Do you have access to a Python interpreter/shell?
  • Do you have access to the command-line or PowerShell?
  • Do you have neither?

Do You Have Access to a Python Shell?

To get the installation path in a human-readable format, run the following two lines in your Python shell:

  1. Import the os and sys libraries with the command: import os, sys
  2. Print the path to the shell using the command: print(os.path.dirname(sys.executable))

This is shown in the following code snippet:

import os, sys
print(os.path.dirname(sys.executable))

The output on my computer is the following installation path:

'C:\Users\xcent\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python39'

You can copy it to the clipboard and use it wherever you need it.

An alternative way is shorter but generates an output that is less desirable with double front-slash path delimiters:

  1. import sys
  2. print(sys.executable)

You can see the output in a Python shell on my computer:

import sys
print(sys.executable)
'C:\\Users\\xcent\\AppData\\Local\\Programs\\Python\\Python39\\pythonw.exe'

Do You Have Access to the Command-Line or Powershell?

To get the Python installation path under Windows using the command line or PowerShell, you can pack the Python code in a concise and easy-to-copy one-liner command:

python -c "import os, sys; print(os.path.dirname(sys.executable))"

If Python is regularly installed, you can run the python command from any directory in your PowerShell which makes it extra convenient.

Alternatively, you can check your Python installation path in your Windows command-line by using the simple two-word command “where Python“. Here’s how this works on my Windows machine:

where python

This gives me the following output:

C:\Users\xcent\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\python.exe

You’ll learn an additional trick next that allows you to check your Python installation path without access to the Python interpreter or the windows command line.

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Get Python Installation Path Without Shell

To get the Python installation path on Windows without using either the Python interpreter or the command line, check the Windows registry that contains a key for each installed Python version. Both variants are possible:

  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Python\PythonCore\versionnumber\InstallPath
  • HKCU\SOFTWARE\Python\PythonCore\versionnumber\InstallPath

If you have a 64-bit Windows version, you can find the Python path under the Wow6432Node key:

  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Python\PythonCore\versionnumber\InstallPath

You can learn how to use these variants in your code on this post. An even more thorough discussion is provided on the official Python wiki here.