How to Check Python Version: Step-by-Step Guide

Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, and it’s used by developers across a wide range of industries. Whether you’re building a web app, analyzing data, or automating tasks, Python can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently. However, as with any software, it’s important to keep your Python installation up-to-date for security and compatibility reasons.

One common question that Python users often have is how to check their Python version. This may seem like a simple task, but there are actually several different methods you can use depending on your operating system and development environment. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at why checking your Python version is important and walk you through the steps to do so on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.


Python is a high-level programming language that has become increasingly popular among developers worldwide due to its simplicity, versatility, and readability. However, with every new release of Python, developers must ensure that their code is compatible with the latest version. This is where the need for checking the Python version comes in.

Checking the Python version allows you to verify whether your system has the required version of Python installed or not. By doing so, you can avoid any compatibility issues that may arise when running code on a different version of Python. Additionally, updating to the latest version of Python can also improve the overall security of your system, as it includes bug fixes and security updates.

In this guide, we will discuss various methods of checking the Python version on different operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into how to check your Python version using different tools and techniques.

So, let’s dive into the world of Python version checking and explore the numerous possibilities it holds!

Why Should You Check Your Python Version?

If you are a programmer or developer who works with Python, then it is essential to keep your Python version up-to-date. Here are some reasons why you should be checking your Python version on a regular basis.


Python is an open-source programming language that is under constant development. Newer versions of Python are released frequently, and these updates can provide bug fixes, new features, and improvements in performance. By keeping your Python version up-to-date, you can ensure that you are taking advantage of the latest advancements in the language.


Incompatibility issues can arise when using different versions of Python. If you are working on a project with other developers, they may be using a different version of Python than you are. This can lead to compatibility issues when trying to run the same code. By checking your Python version, you can ensure that everyone on the team is using the same version, which can help prevent compatibility issues.


Keeping your Python version up-to-date is also important for security reasons. Older versions of Python may have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. By updating to the latest version, you can ensure that any security flaws have been addressed.

In conclusion, checking your Python version is a simple but crucial step in ensuring that your code runs smoothly and securely. By staying up-to-date with the latest version of Python, you can take advantage of new features, prevent compatibility issues, and protect yourself from security threats.

Methods to Check Python Version

Using Terminal or Command Prompt

Using Terminal or Command Prompt

As a developer, you may be familiar with the Command Line Interface (CLI). It is a powerful tool that provides direct access to the underlying operating system of your computer. The CLI enables you to interact with your computer using commands rather than clicking on icons or buttons. It is very efficient for executing repetitive tasks and automating workflows.

The Terminal application in macOS and the Command Prompt in Windows are two examples of CLIs that allow you to check your Python version easily. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the Terminal or Command Prompt
  2. Type python --version and press Enter
  3. The command output should show your current Python version

It’s that simple! You can see that the python --version command is used to print the installed Python version to the console. If you have multiple versions of Python installed, you can use the command pythonX.Y --version, where X.Y represents the major and minor version numbers of Python.

Using the CLI to check the Python version is not only quick and easy but also essential when working with Python code. It allows you to ensure that your code is compatible with the correct version of Python. Moreover, the CLI provides a way to check whether your Python installation is correctly set up and avoid any unexpected errors.

In conclusion, the CLI is a valuable tool for developers who work with Python. It provides a convenient way to check the installed Python version, among many other functionalities. Mastering the CLI will help you streamline your workflow and become more efficient in your coding endeavors.

Using IDLE

Using IDLE

IDLE stands for Integrated Development Environment and is a Python IDE that comes pre-installed with Python. It provides a user-friendly interface for writing, debugging, and executing Python code.

One of the main advantages of using IDLE is its simplicity. It has a clean interface that makes it easy to navigate and is perfect for beginners who are just starting to learn Python. IDLE also has a built-in debugger that helps you identify and fix errors in your code.

Another advantage of using IDLE is its integration with Python’s documentation. You can easily access the Python documentation within IDLE, which makes it easier to understand the different modules and functions that you can use in your code.

Using IDLE is very straightforward. To open a new file, simply click on “File” and then “New File”. This will open a blank Python file where you can start typing your code. Once you have written your code, you can save it by clicking on “File” and then “Save As”. You can then choose the location where you want to save your file and give it a name.

To run your code, simply click on “Run” and then “Run Module”. IDLE will execute your code and display the output in the shell window.

Overall, IDLE is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a simple and easy-to-use IDE for Python. Its integration with Python’s documentation and built-in debugger make it a great tool for both beginners and experienced programmers alike.

Checking Python Version in Different Operating Systems

Checking Python Version on Windows

python –version

This command will display the installed Python version on your system. If Python is not installed, it will show an error message.

Another way to check your Python version on Windows is through the Control Panel. Here's how to do it:

1. Open the Control Panel.
2. Click on "Programs" or "Programs and Features," depending on your Windows version.
3. Look for Python in the list of installed programs.
4. The version number will be displayed next to the Python program name.

It's important to note that if you have multiple versions of Python installed, you may need to specify which version you want to check. In that case, use the following command in Powershell:

python3 –version

This command will display the version number of Python 3.x. If you want to check the version of Python 2.x, use the following command:

python2 –version

Checking Python Version on MacOS

python –version“`

This will display the version of Python that is currently installed on your system. For example, if you have Python 3.9.2 installed, the output will look like this:

Python 3.9.2

Alternatively, you can also use the python3 command to check the Python version. Simply type the following command:

“`python3 –version

Checking Python Version on Linux

Checking Python Version on Linux

Linux is one of the most popular operating systems used by developers and programmers for its flexibility and open-source nature. If you are using Linux, checking your Python version can be done easily through the terminal.

Using the Terminal to Check Python Version

The terminal is a command-line interface that allows users to interact with the computer’s operating system. Here are the steps to check your Python version using the terminal:

  1. Open the terminal by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T” or by searching for “Terminal” in the applications menu.
  2. Type “python –version” in the terminal window and press enter.
  3. The terminal will display the Python version installed on your system.


Other Methods to Check Python Version on Linux

Besides the terminal method, there are other ways to check your Python version on Linux. For example, you can use the package manager to check if Python is installed and what version is currently available. You can also use the graphical user interface (GUI) to check the version.

However, using the terminal is the most straightforward and efficient way to check your Python version on Linux. It gives you detailed information about your Python installation and helps you ensure compatibility with different programs and scripts.

In conclusion, checking your Python version on Linux is essential for developers and programmers. Whether you are working on a personal project or developing software for a company, keeping your Python installation up-to-date is crucial. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can check your Python version with ease using the terminal.


After going through this comprehensive guide on how to check Python version, we have learned that there are different methods available for checking Python version across various operating systems. We have also understood the importance of keeping our Python updated for better compatibility and security.

By now, you should be able to check the Python version using different methods such as terminal or command prompt, IDLE, PowerShell, or Control Panel. You can choose the method that works best for you based on your familiarity with the respective operating system.

We hope this guide has been helpful in enhancing your understanding of how to check Python version. As you continue to work with Python, remember to keep it updated and stay current with the latest version releases.

Thank you for reading!
In conclusion, checking your Python version is an essential aspect of maintaining high-quality code. With multiple methods available, including using the terminal and IDLE, it’s easy to check your Python version on various operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Keeping your Python up-to-date improves compatibility, security, and ensures you have access to the latest features and functionalities.

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced developer, knowing how to check your Python version is one of the fundamental skills you should possess. It’s a simple task that can save you from hours of troubleshooting and debugging.

As you continue to work with Python, keep in mind that keeping your software updated with the latest versions is just as important as writing clean code. So, make sure to regularly check your Python version and update it when necessary.

And with that said, we hope this guide has been helpful in assisting you to check your Python version. Happy coding!

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