Wondering how to install Python on Mac to utilize the robust hardware and operating system configuration of your Mac to develop and test programs faster? Keep reading!
Python is not just a programming language; it’s a cornerstone of the tech world, powering everything from web applications to machine learning algorithms. If you’re a Mac user, you’re in for a treat because the combination of Python and macOS creates a dynamic duo for software development and data science.
Python’s versatility, readability, and extensive libraries make it the go-to language for professionals and beginners alike. When paired with the user-friendly environment of macOS, you have a powerful combination that simplifies coding, experimentation, and project development.
Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a curious beginner, the Mac-Python alliance can significantly enhance your productivity.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through various methods for installing Python on your Mac, ensuring a seamless setup.
How Crucial Is Python as a Programming Language?
Python is an indispensable programming language for the world of computation. Its readability and simplicity make it accessible to beginners, while the robust libraries and frameworks cater to advanced users. Also, its versatility spans web development, data science, machine learning, and robotic process automation.
Python is integral to data analysis and artificial intelligence. That’s because its open-source nature fosters a vibrant community, and freelance or white-collar developers love to code programs or data science solutions as a Python script. Globally, developers know that they can get ample and reliable support for free for Python should the code break.
Moreover, tech giants like Google and Facebook heavily rely on it. Python’s ubiquity in education aids new programmers. Its adaptability ensures it remains a fundamental tool for diverse tasks.
The primary reason to use macOS and Python for programming is extreme security that no other operating system except Linux can provide. Hackers and spammers around the world develop malware and virus programs for Windows PCs because the majority of computer users use Windows.
Since macOS has a smaller market share, hackers rarely target MacBooks and iMacs. Also, Apple has a robust security team that leaves no stone unturned to make macOS virtually immune to malware and viruses.
Other major reasons are as follows:
MacBooks and iMacs have been specifically known for creative, scientific, and computer programming works.
macOS is Unix-based, providing a robust command-line interface for development and scripting.
Mac comes with a suite of developer tools like Xcode, Terminal, and Homebrew.
Macs are known for their high-quality hardware, ensuring a smooth and reliable development experience.
The intuitive macOS interface is conducive to productivity, with an efficient window management system.
If you’re into iOS app development, Mac is essential due to its compatibility with Xcode.
Macs tend to have a longer lifespan and are known for their reliability, reducing downtime.
Do Macs Come With Python for Mac Pre-Installed?
macOS uses Python scripting for some of its tasks and modules in the backend. Hence, until macOS 12.3, it would ship all MacBooks and iMacs with pre-installed Python 2.7 framework.
However, developers have stopped using Python 2.X editions because the Python Software Foundation is no longer supporting this Python build.
So, Apple announced in 2019 in a macOS Catalina 10.15 release note that it’ll stop shipping MacBooks and iMacs with preinstalled Python 2.7. However, Apple delayed the process and finally did it for macOS Monetery 12.3 releases.
So, if you’re using a dated Mac before macOS 12.3, you should have Python 2.7 preinstalled on your system. The newer Macs, like Ventura and Sonoma, no longer come with any build versions of Python.
If you need Python 3.X edition for functional programming, you must install it yourself by following any of the methods mentioned in the below sections.
How To Install Python on Mac
There are various ways to set up Python on Mac. Find below all the effortless and popular ways:
Update the Existing Version of Python for Mac
If you’re using macOS 12.3 or earlier versions, your MacBook or iMac already has a Python distribution. You just need to update or upgrade it to the latest Python build so you can develop awesome programs. Find below the steps:
Check Python Version
Launch the Terminal app by looking it up on Spotlight.
Type the following code in Terminal and hit Return:
The Terminal should show a version of the Python distribution like 2.7.
Since I’m using macOS Ventura to write this guide, my system is unable to show any Python distribution version because it doesn’t have any. But, macOS systems older than 12.3 will show a Python version.
After knowing your Python version, follow these steps to update or upgrade it using Homebrew:
Copy and paste this command into the Terminal app:
The above script is generated at the end of the Homebrew installation on the Terminal so you can copy it from there or edit the username in this /Users/tamaldas/.zprofile code element before using the code.
Update or Upgrade Python Distribution
Now that you have Homebrew in your MacBook or iMac follow these steps to update or upgrade Python:
Go to the same Terminal console.
Copy and paste this code into it:
brew upgrade python
This will start updating the existing Python installation after authorizing the action with a password.
The code will work just fine on an older Mac that has the Python 2.7 framework. Since I’m using the latest Mac, Python isn’t available, and hence the Terminal shows this message, “zsh:command not found.”
Once the process is over, reboot the Mac to enjoy the latest Python distribution when coding.
Install Python on Mac Using an Installer
This is the most convenient way of installing the latest Python edition on Mac. Follow the steps mentioned here:
There are two ways to remove the Python framework from your Mac. You can uninstall using the graphical user interface if you installed it using the package installer or the Terminal app. Here are the methods and their steps:
Uninstall Python for Mac From Applications
On your Mac, click Go on the Mac toolbar at the top of the screen.
A context menu will pop up. There, click the Applications button.
On the Applications window, scroll down to find the Python 3.12.0 folder.
Right-click to show the context menu.
There, click on the Move to Bin option.
Authenticate the action by using your Touch ID or Mac passcode.
That’s it! You’ve successfully uninstalled Python from your Mac.
Uninstall the Python Framework From Mac
Launch the Mac Terminal app from the Spotlight or Launchpad > Utilities.
In the command line interface, copy and paste the following command:
sudo rm -rf /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework
Enter the Mac passcode to authenticate the action.
Now, run the following command to validate if Python has been uninstalled or not:
The above method works only if Python is installed by Apple as a part of the macOS setup.
Uninstall Python Using Homebrew
If you installed Python 3.X.X edition using Homebrew, you must install a Homebrew command to uninstall Python. Follow these instructions to remove Python:
Launch the macOS Terminal app.
Copy the following command and paste it into the Terminal app:
brew uninstall python
Hit Enter to start the process.
You should see the Uninstalling notation on the Terminal app.
Once done, any and all activities on the Terminal app will stop.
Verify the uninstallation by running this command:
The Terminal app will show the following notation:
zsh: command not found: python
Knowing how to install Python on Mac is a fundamental skill you must know if you want to make a successful career in the programming sector.
Also, it becomes necessary to install Python 3.X or better on Mac because the dated Macs come with Python 2.7, which isn’t good for Pythoin scripting. Also, the newer Macs don’t contain any pre-installed Python framework so you must install it manually.
Try any of the above methods you like and enjoy blazing-fast Python scripting on your Mac.