Solution: ‘pip’ is not recognized as an internal or external command – Python

When working with Python you may encounter the error message “‘pip’ is not recognized as an internal or external command” in command prompt or terminal. This error usually occurs when your system cannot locate the pip command, which is used for managing Python packages. In this blog post, we’ll explore common causes of this error and provide steps to resolve it

Understanding the PIP Error

The error message “‘pip’ is not recognized as a internal or external command” suggests that your operating system does not know where to find the pip executable. This can happen for various reasons, including misconfigurations, incorrect installation, or issues with your system’s PATH environment variable.

Causes of the Error

  1. Missing or Misconfigured Python Installation: If Python is not installed correctly, or its location is not added to the PATH, the system won’t recognize pip.
  2. Missing ‘Scripts’ Folder: pip is typically installed in the “Scripts” directory within your Python installation directory. If this folder is missing or not included in your PATH, you encounter this error.
  3. Multiple Python Versions: If you have multiple Python versions installed, the pip command may be associated with a different version than the one you intend to use
  4. PATH Environment Variable: The PATH variable might not include the directory where pip is installed.


Here are several solutions to resolve the “‘pip’ is not recognized” error:

1. Check Python Installation

First, ensure that Python is installed correctly on your system. Open your command prompt or terminal and run:

python --version

This should display the installed Python version. If it doesn’t, you might need to reinstall Python.

2. Verify ‘Scripts’ Folder

Confirm that the “Scripts” folder within your Python installation directory contains the pip executable. By default, it’s located at C:\PythonXX\Scripts on Windows and /usr/local/bin on macOS and Linux.

3. Use the Correct Command

Make sure you’re using the correct command. For Python 3.x, you should use pip3 instead of pip. Try running:

pip3 --version

4. Update PATH Environment Variable

If the “Scripts” directory is not included in your PATH, you can add it manually:

  • On Windows, go to “Control Panel” > “System” > “Advanced system settings” > “Environment Variables,” and edit the “PATH” variable to include the path to your Python Scripts folder.
  • On macOS and Linux, you can add it to your ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file like this:
export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/your/python/bin

Replace /path/to/your/python/bin with the actual path to your Python “Scripts” or “bin” directory.

5. Reinstall Python

If none of the above solutions work, consider reinstalling Python to ensure clean installation.

6. Use a Virtual Environment

Consider using virtual environments to isolate Python packages and avoid conflicts between different Python versions. This can help you manage packages and avoid issues with pip.


The “‘pip’ is not recognized as an internal or external command” error is a common issue that can be resolved by checking your Python installation, verifying the “Scripts” folder and updating your PATH environment variable. By following these troubleshooting steps you should be able to resolve error and continue working with Python packages and libraries effectively.