Python to .exe – How to Make a Python Script Executable?

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I have a confession to make. I use Windows for coding Python.

This means that I often need to run my practical coding projects as Windows .exe files, especially if I work with non-technical clients that don’t know how to run a Python file.

In this tutorial, I’ll share my learnings on making a Python file executable and converting them to an .exe so that they can be run by double-click.


To make a Python script executable as a .exe file on Windows, use a tool like pyinstaller. PyInstaller runs on Windows 8 and newer.

⭐ Pyinstaller is a popular package that bundles a Python application and its dependencies into a single package, including an .exe file that can be run on Windows without requiring a Python installation.

Here are the general steps to create an executable file from your Python script using Pyinstaller:

  1. Install Pyinstaller by opening a command prompt and running the command: pip install pyinstaller or pip3 install pyinstaller depending on your Python version.
  2. Navigate to the directory where your Python script is located in the command prompt using cd (command line) or ls (PowerShell).
  3. Run the command: pyinstaller --onefile This command creates a single executable file of your Python script with all its dependencies included.
  4. After the command completes, you can find the executable file in a subdirectory called dist.
  5. You can now distribute the executable file to users, who can run it on their Windows machines by double-clicking the .exe file.

What Does the –onefile Option Mean?

The --onefile file specifier is an option for Pyinstaller that tells it to package your Python script and all its dependencies into a single executable file.

By default, Pyinstaller will create a directory called dist that contains your script and a set of related files that it needs to run. However, using the --onefile option, Pyinstaller will generate a single .exe file, which is more convenient for the distribution and deployment of the application.

1-Paragraph Summary

To convert a Python file to an executable my_script.exe using Pyinstaller, install Pyinstaller using pip install pyinstaller, navigate to the script directory in the command prompt, run pyinstaller --onefile, then locate the executable file in the dist folder.

If you want to keep improving your coding skills, check out our free Python cheat sheets!