How to Fix ‘Pip‘ is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command

Pip Installs Packages (“pip”) is a package organization system to install and operate Python software packages. It’s typically used for Python Package Index packages.

How to Fix ‘Pip‘ is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command

When installing Python packages, many users report receiving the message “’pip’“ is not recognized as an internal or external command” and aren’t sure how to troubleshoot. If you’re seeing this error, read on for tips on how to fix it.

The Causes for ‘Pip‘ is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command Operable Program or Batch File

Let’s look at the two most common reasons for this error:

The Pip Install is Not in the System Variable

For Python commands to run from a Windows Command Prompt, the path of your pip install will need to be added to your PATH system variable. It should be added automatically if you installed Python via the installation file.

The Installation Was Added to Your PATH Incorrectly

If you’ve manually added the path, the problem could simply be a typo. One missing semicolon before the new path or an extra space somewhere will produce an error.

How to Fix ‘Pip‘ is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command in Windows 10

Try the following fixes to resolve the problem in Windows 10:

Fix 1: Ensure Pip Was Added to Your PATH Variable

If you’re confident that it has been added, move on to Fix 3.

Here’s a quick way to check:

  1. Open the “Run“ dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. Type “cmd“ and hit Enter.
  3. For a list of all the locations added to your PATH variable, type “echo %PATH%“ into the command prompt, then press Enter.
  4. If you find a path like “C:\Python39\Scripts” (depending on your Python version), the path was added to the PATH variable.

If pip hasn’t been added, try the next fix.

Fix 2: Add Pip to the PATH Environment Variable

Here’s how to manually add pip to the PATH environment using the Windows GUI and command prompt. Once the path has been added, open a new command window and try to install a pip package to see whether the problem was solved.

Add pip to the PATH using Windows GUI:

  1. Open the “Run“ dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. Type in “sysdm.cpl“ and press Enter to access System Properties.
  3. Select the Advanced tab, then Environment Variables.
  4. Go to System variables and select Path.
  5. Click the Edit button.
  6. Click on New to add the pip installation path. The default location is: “C:\users\“your-username“\AppData\Programs\Python\Python39“ for Python 3.9.

Add pip to the PATH using CMD:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. For a new command prompt window, type “cmd“ and then hit Enter.
  3. Type the command “setx PATH “%PATH%; C:\Python39\Scripts“ and press Enter to run it.
    Windows 10 Command Prompt - Setting Python Path Variable

Note: If you installed Python in a different location, change the path after “;“ accordingly.

Fix 3: Open the Python Package Without Adding the Pip Variable

Follow these steps to open Python install packages in CMD without adding the pip variable:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type “cmd“ and press Enter to open the command prompt.
  3. Enter the command “python -m pip install (package name)“ and run it.

Fix 4: Ensure Pip is Included in the Installation

Some Python installers exclude pip from the default installation. You can fix this by changing the Python install to include pip, and here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type “appwiz.cpl“ and Enter.
  3. In Program and Features, right-click Python and click Change.
  4. Select Modify.
  5. In Optional Features, check the pip box and hit Next.
  6. To apply the changes, click Install.
  7. When the installation is complete, open a CMD window to verify whether you can install a Python package without receiving the error.

If you’re still seeing the error, head to the last section of this article for steps on how to uninstall and reinstall Python 3.9.

How to Fix ‘Pip‘ is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command in Visual Studio Code

If you see this error message when working with Visual Code, it usually means there is a problem with the Python install, or the PATH has not been set correctly. Try the following tips to fix the issue:

Fix 1: Ensure ‘Pip’ is Added to Your PATH Variable

If you’re sure that pip has been added, move on to Fix 3.

To check that pip has been added to your PATH variable:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type “cmd“ and then press Enter for the command prompt.
  3. For a list of the locations added to your PATH variable, type “echo %PATH%“ and hit Enter.
  4. Seeing a path like “C:\Python39\Scripts“ means the path was added to the PATH variable.

If pip hasn’t been added, try either of the following two methods to add it:

Fix 2: Add Pip to the PATH Environment Variable

Follow these next steps to manually add pip to the path environment using Windows GUI or CMD. Once the path is added, open a new CMD window and try to install a pip package to see whether the problem is solved.

Add pip to the PATH using Windows GUI:

  1. Open the “Run” dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. Type in “sysdm.cpl” and press “Enter” to access “System Properties.”
  3. Select the “Advanced” tab, then “Environment Variables.”
  4. Go to “System variables” and select “Path.”
  5. Click the “Edit” button.
  6. Click on “New” to add the pip installation path. The default location is: “C:\users\”your-username”\AppData\Programs\Python\Python39” for Python 3.9.

Add pip to the PATH using CMD:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. For a new command prompt window, type “cmd” and then hit Enter.
  3. Type the command “setx PATH “%PATH%; C:\Python39\Scripts” and press Enter to run it.

Fix 3: Open the Python Package Without Adding the Pip Variable

Follow these steps to open Python install packages in CMD without adding the pip variable:

  1. Open a Run dialog box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press Enter to open the command prompt.
  3. Enter the command “python -m pip install (package name)” and run it.

Fix 4: Ensure Pip is Included in the Installation

Some Python installers omit pip from the default installation. You can fix this by changing the Python install to include pip, and here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type “appwiz.cpl” and Enter.
  3. In Program and Features, right-click Python and click Change.
  4. Select Modify.
  5. In Optional Features, check the pip box and hit Next.
  6. To apply the changes, click Install.
  7. When the installation is complete, open a CMD window to verify whether you can install a Python package without receiving the error.

If you’re still seeing the error, head to the last section of this article for steps on how to uninstall and reinstall Python 3.9.

Reinstall Python to Fix ‘Pip’ is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command

This error usually means there’s a problem with the Python installation, or the system variable PATH is not set up correctly. Try reinstalling Python and all its components to fix the problem. The easiest way is via the Python executable installer. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Open a Run dialog box.
  2. Run appwiz.cpl“ to get to Programs and Features.
  3. Scroll down to the program list to find the Python installation.
  4. Right-click it and select Uninstall, then follow the instructions.
  5. Once Python is uninstalled, restart your computer and download the latest Python installer for your OS.
  6. Launch the installation file and ensure that the Add Python 3.x to PATH check box is checked, the x being whatever Python version 3 you have.
  7. Select Customize installation.
  8. From Optional Features, ensure the pip option is checked, then click Next.
  9. The default location can be left as is, click Install.
  10. Once the installation is complete, you should be prompted to restart your computer.
  11. Once your computer has restarted, try installing a Python package again.

Pip is Now Recognized

The “‘pip’ is not recognized as an internal or external command“ error message is common. The cause is usually down to the path of the pip install not being available or being added incorrectly to the system variable path. There are a few ways to resolve this problem. You can manually add it via the Windows GUI or CMD, change the Python install to include pip, or uninstall and reinstall Python to ensure the “pip“ options are checked.

Were you able to get pip recognized? What did you do to fix the problem? Tell us in the comments section below.

3 thoughts on “How to Fix ‘Pip‘ is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command”

D3ViL says:
I HAVE TRIED ALL THE ABOVE OPTIONS BUT STILL CAN’T SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
I HAVE WINDOWS 8 AND PYTHON 3.8.10.
PLEASE HELP ME.

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