ModuleNotFounderror: No Module Named ‘Image’ in Python

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Quick Fix: Python raises the ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'Image' when the PIL/pillow library providing the module Image is not installed but used as from PIL import Image or, wrongly, import Image. You can fix this by running pip install pillow.

You may also want to try the following installation approaches:

πŸ’‘ If you have only one version of Python installed:
pip install pillow

πŸ’‘ If you have Python 3 (and, possibly, other versions) installed:
pip3 install pillow

πŸ’‘ If you don't have PIP or it doesn't work
python -m pip install pillow
python3 -m pip install pillow

πŸ’‘ If you have Linux and you need to fix permissions (any one):
sudo pip3 install pillow
pip3 install pillow --user

πŸ’‘ If you have Linux with apt
sudo apt install pillow

πŸ’‘ If you have Windows and you have set up the py alias
py -m pip install pillow

πŸ’‘ If you have Anaconda
conda install -c anaconda pillow

πŸ’‘ If you have Jupyter Notebook
!pip install pillow
!pip3 install pillow

I have written a detailed blog tutorial on the topic:

🌎 Recommended Tutorial: PIP Install PIL/Pillow – A Helpful Illustrated Guide

Alternatively, you may have different Python versions on your computer, and pillow is not installed for the particular version you’re using.

Problem Formulation

You’ve just learned about the awesome capabilities of the pillow library and you want to try it out, so you start your code with the following statement:

import Image

This is supposed to import the image library into your (virtual) environment. However, it only throws the following ImportError: No module named 'Image':

>>> import Image
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#1>", line 1, in <module>
    import Image
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'Image'

Solution Idea 1: Install Library Pillow

The most likely reason is that Python doesn’t provide pillow in its standard library. You need to install it first!

Also, you should import the Image module correctly using this line:

from PIL import Image

For example, this is a standard way to import Image shown in the docs:

from PIL import Image
with"hopper.jpg") as im:

Before being able to import the pillow (previously, PIL) module, you need to install it using Python’s package manager pip. Make sure pip is installed on your machine.

To fix this error, you can run the following command in your Windows shell:

$ pip install pillow

This simple command installs pillow in your virtual environment on Windows, Linux, and MacOS. It assumes that your pip version is updated. If it isn’t, use the following two commands in your terminal, command line, or shell (there’s no harm in doing it anyways):

$ python -m pip install --upgrade pip
$ pip install pillow

πŸ’‘ Note: Don’t copy and paste the $ symbol. This is just to illustrate that you run it in your shell/terminal/command line.

Solution Idea 2: Fix the Path

The error might persist even after you have installed the pillow library. This likely happens because pip is installed but doesn’t reside in the path you can use. Although pip may be installed on your system the script is unable to locate it. Therefore, it is unable to install the library using pip in the correct path.

To fix the problem with the path in Windows follow the steps given next.

Step 1: Open the folder where you installed Python by opening the command prompt and typing where python

Step 2: Once you have opened the Python folder, browse and open the Scripts folder and copy its location. Also verify that the folder contains the pip file.

Step 3: Now open the Scripts directory in the command prompt using the cd command and the location that you copied previously.

Step 4: Now install the library using pip install pillow command. Here’s an analogous example:

After having followed the above steps, execute our script once again. And you should get the desired output.

Other Solution Ideas

  • The ModuleNotFoundError may appear due to relative imports. You can learn everything about relative imports and how to create your own module in this article.
  • You may have mixed up Python and pip versions on your machine. In this case, to install image for Python 3, you may want to try python3 -m pip install pillow or even pip3 install pillow instead of pip install pillow
  • If you face this issue server-side, you may want to try the command pip install --user pillow
  • If you’re using Ubuntu, you may want to try this command: sudo apt install pillow
  • You can check out our in-depth guide on installing pillow here.
  • You can also check out this article to learn more about possible problems that may lead to an error when importing a library.

Understanding the “import” Statement

from pillow import Image

In Python, the import statement serves two main purposes:

  • Search the module by its name, load it, and initialize it.
  • Define a name in the local namespace within the scope of the import statement. This local name is then used to reference the accessed module throughout the code.

What’s the Difference Between ImportError and ModuleNotFoundError?

What’s the difference between ImportError and ModuleNotFoundError?

Python defines an error hierarchy, so some error classes inherit from other error classes. In our case, the ModuleNotFoundError is a subclass of the ImportError class.

You can see this in this screenshot from the docs:

You can also check this relationship using the issubclass() built-in function:

>>> issubclass(ModuleNotFoundError, ImportError)

Specifically, Python raises the ModuleNotFoundError if the module (e.g., image) cannot be found. If it can be found, there may be a problem loading the module or some specific files within the module. In those cases, Python would raise an ImportError.

If an import statement cannot import a module, it raises an ImportError. This may occur because of a faulty installation or an invalid path. In Python 3.6 or newer, this will usually raise a ModuleNotFoundError.

Related Videos

The following video shows you how to resolve the ImportError:

How to Fix : β€œImportError: Cannot import name X” in Python?

The following video shows you how to import a function from another folder—doing it the wrong way often results in the ModuleNotFoundError:

How to Call a Function from Another File in Python?

How to Fix “ModuleNotFoundError: No module named ‘Image'” in PyCharm

If you create a new Python project in PyCharm and try to import the Image module from the pillow library, it’ll raise the following error message:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:/Users/.../", line 1, in <module>
    from PIL import Image
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'Image'

Process finished with exit code 1

The reason is that each PyCharm project, per default, creates a virtual environment in which you can install custom Python modules. But the virtual environment is initially empty—even if you’ve already installed image on your computer!

Here’s a screenshot exemplifying this for the pandas library. It’ll look similar for pillow.

The fix is simple: Use the PyCharm installation tooltips to install Pandas in your virtual environment—two clicks and you’re good to go!

First, right-click on the pandas text in your editor:

Second, click “Show Context Actions” in your context menu. In the new menu that arises, click “Install Pandas” and wait for PyCharm to finish the installation.

The code will run after your installation completes successfully.

As an alternative, you can also open the Terminal tool at the bottom and type:

$ pip install pillow

If this doesn’t work, you may want to set the Python interpreter to another version using the following tutorial:

You can also manually install a new library such as image in PyCharm using the following procedure:

  • Open File > Settings > Project from the PyCharm menu.
  • Select your current project.
  • Click the Python Interpreter tab within your project tab.
  • Click the small + symbol to add a new library to the project.
  • Now type in the library to be installed, in your example Pandas, and click Install Package.
  • Wait for the installation to terminate and close all popup windows.

Here’s an analogous example:

Here’s a full guide on how to install a library on PyCharm.