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.

‘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.

‘Pip‘ Is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command 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.

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

Fix 3: Open the Python Package Without the Adding 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.

‘Pip‘ Is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command 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 the Adding 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.

‘Pip’ Is Not Recognized as an Internal or External Command Python 3.9

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.
  6. Download the latest Python installer for your OS.
  7. Launch the installation file and ensure that the “Add Python to PATH“ check box is checked.
  8. Select “Customize installation.“
  9. From “Optional Features,“ ensure the “pip“ option is checked, then click “Next.“
  10. The default location can be left as is. Click “Install.“
  11. Once the installation is complete, you should be prompted to restart your computer.
  12. 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.

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