Microsoft hosts a community release of Python 3 in the Microsoft Store for computers running Windows 10+, the latest version of the operating system. This is now the recommended way to install Python: it handles auto-updates, can be uninstalled easily, and does not update PATH variables in a way that breaks other applications.

By contrast, if you download Python directly from the official Python website, the PATH configuration is complicated to manage and may break other applications.

Upgrading Windows 10

The first step is to confirm your computer is running Windows 10. To check, click the Start icon in the lower left corner of your screen, then on the gear icon (Settings).

Start Icon

Now click on “Update & Security”.

Update & Security

Then on the right panel, scroll down to “OS build info.” Under “Windows Specifications” you can confirm you’re on Windows 10.

Windows Specification

If you’re not on the latest version of Windows 10, click the back arrow to “Update & Security” and “Check for Updates.”

Windows Update

When complete, check the OS version again as described at the top of this page and ensure it is 18362.145 or higher.

Python App in the Microsoft Store

Now that you’re using Windows 10 navigate to the Microsoft Store. In the search bar type “Microsoft Store” and it should be the top result.

Microsoft Store

The Microsoft Store window will pop up. Click “Search” and then “Python.” The top results should be “Python 3.7” and “Python 3.8.” We will install the latest version in this tutorial: Python 3.8.

Python 3.8 Download

The app is free. Click the “Get” button.

Python 3.8 Get Button

Note: If you have a “See System Requirements” link below the Get button it’s likely you need to upgrade to Windows 10. And if you’re not logged into your Microsoft account, there will be a prompt asking if you want to sign in. It’s fine to say “No, thanks” for now.

Using Python

There are two ways to access Python now: via the command line or IDLE. The command line app in Windows is called PowerShell. We can open it by typing “PowerShell” in the Start Menu in the lower left corner.

Powershell Link

Once open, type Python --version to confirm Python 3.8 is installed.

Python --version
Python 3.8.0

And then type python and Return to open the command line Python shell.

Python 3.8.0 (tags/v3.8.0:fa919fd, Oct 14 2019, 19:37:50) [MSC v.1916 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits", or "license" for more information.

That’s it! You’re ready to go.


Next Steps

To learn more about Python, the book Python Crash Course is a great resource. For web development with Python, check out Django for Beginners.