How to Troubleshoot and Fix the ‘pip Command Not Found’ Error: Step-by-Step Guide with Python Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the 'pip Command Not Found' Error
  3. Method 1: Installing pip using easy_install
  4. Method 2: Installing pip using
  5. Method 3: Installing pip using package manager
  6. Verifying pip installation
  7. Examples of fixing 'pip Command Not Found' error
  8. Conclusion


In the world of Python programming, pip (Python Package Installer) is a popular tool used to install, upgrade, and manage Python packages. However, sometimes when you try to run pip commands in your terminal, you may encounter a frustrating error message: "pip command not found". This error can occur for a variety of reasons, but don't worry – with a little troubleshooting, you can quickly fix the problem and get back to installing those packages.

In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through how to troubleshoot and fix the "pip command not found" error. We'll cover everything from checking your Python installation to configuring your PATH environment variable, and we'll provide plenty of Python examples along the way. By the end of this guide, you should have a solid understanding of what causes this error and how to fix it. Let's get started!

Understanding the ‘pip Command Not Found’ Error

When working with Python, it's common to rely on third-party libraries and frameworks to build our applications. One of the easiest ways to manage these libraries is by using pip, the Python package manager. However, sometimes when trying to use the pip command, you may encounter an error that says 'pip command not found.' This error can be frustrating and confusing, but understanding why it occurs can help you troubleshoot and fix it.

Here are a few reasons why this error may occur:

  • Python isn't installed: If you haven't installed Python on your system, you won't be able to use pip. Make sure you have installed Python and that it's properly configured on your system.

  • PIP isn't installed: PIP doesn't always come pre-installed with Python, so you may need to install it separately. You can check if PIP is installed by running the command 'pip –version' in your terminal. If it's not installed, you'll receive an error message.

  • PIP isn't added to the PATH: Even if PIP is installed on your system, it may not be added to your system's PATH. This means that your terminal doesn't know where to find the pip command. You can fix this by adding the PIP directory to the PATH.

  • Permissions issues: If you're running pip with sudo or as an administrator, it may cause permission errors that prevent the command from running properly.

Understanding these common causes of the 'pip command not found' error can help you troubleshoot and fix the issue. In the next section, we'll walk through step-by-step instructions for fixing the error and getting pip up and running.

Method 1: Installing pip using easy_install

If the pip command is not found on your system, you can try installing it using easy_install. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the command prompt or terminal on your system.

  2. Run the following command to install easy_install:

    sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
  3. Once easy_install is installed, you can use it to install pip by running the following command:

    sudo easy_install pip
  4. Once the installation is complete, you can check if pip is working by running the following command:

    pip --version

    This will display the version of pip installed on your system.

Easy_install is a Python module that provides a simple way to download and install Python packages. Once easy_install is installed on your system, you can use it to easily install other Python modules, including pip.

By using easy_install to install pip, you can quickly and easily get pip up and running on your system, even if the pip command is not found by default. This can be particularly useful if you need to install packages that are not included in the default Python distribution.

Method 2: Installing pip using

If the first method did not work, or if you prefer a different approach, you can try installing pip using the script. This script will download and install the latest version of pip on your system.

Here's how to install pip using

  1. Open your web browser, and navigate to the script page.
  2. Right-click the "Raw" button and select "Save Link As" (or the equivalent option in your web browser). Save the file to your desktop or another convenient location.
  3. Open your command prompt and navigate to the directory where you saved the file.
  4. Enter the following command:
  1. Wait for the installation process to complete.

Once the installation process finishes, you should be able to use the pip command without any issues.


By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to troubleshoot and fix the "pip command not found" error. Whether you choose to install pip using your OS package manager or the script, you can rest assured that you'll have access to one of the most essential packages for Python development. Now that you have pip installed, you can start exploring the vast library of Python packages available online and take your Python coding skills to the next level.

Method 3: Installing pip using package manager

Another way to install pip on Linux systems is by using the package manager. This method is suitable for users who prefer using the system's package manager to install software.

Here are the steps to install pip using package manager:

  1. Open a terminal window on your Linux system.
  2. Update the package manager's repository by running the following command:
sudo apt update
  1. Install pip using the package manager by running the following command:
sudo apt install python-pip
  1. Verify that pip is installed correctly by running the following command:
pip --version

This should display the version number of pip that is installed on your system.

Using the package manager to install pip is a convenient option for those who prefer to work with the system's package manager. However, it's worth noting that the package manager may not always have the latest version of pip available. In such cases, it may be necessary to install pip using the script or by building it from source.

Verifying pip installation

Before you start using pip to install packages, it's important to verify that it's installed correctly on your system. Here's how you can do it:

Step 1: Open the command prompt/terminal

On Windows, press the Win+R keys to open the Run dialog box, type cmd, and press Enter. On Linux and macOS, open the terminal from the Applications menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T.

Step 2: Check if pip is installed

Type the following command on the command prompt/terminal and press Enter:

pip --version

If pip is installed, you should see the version number displayed. For example:

pip 21.2.4 from c:\python39\lib\site-packages\pip (python 3.9)

If you get an error message like "Command not found", it means that pip is not installed or not available in your system's PATH. In that case, you'll need to install it before you can use it.

Step 3: Upgrade pip to the latest version

It's a good idea to keep pip up-to-date to ensure that you have the latest bug fixes and security patches. You can upgrade pip to the latest version by running the following command:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip

This will upgrade pip to the latest version available on PyPI (Python Package Index).

By following these steps, you can quickly verify if pip is installed and upgrade it to the latest version if needed. Once pip is installed and working correctly, you can start using it to install packages for your Python projects.

Examples of fixing ‘pip Command Not Found’ error

If you encounter the "pip Command Not Found" error, don't worry. Here are a few examples that will help you get rid of the error:

  1. Update pip version

It is possible that you do not have the latest version of pip installed on your system. In this case, updating the version might solve the problem. To update pip, follow these steps:

$ python -m pip install --upgrade pip
  1. Add python directory to your system's PATH

Adding python directory to your system's PATH is another way to solve the "pip Command Not Found" error. This process will vary depending on your operating system. Here are some examples:


  1. Open the Start menu and search for "Environmental Variables" and open the "Edit the system environment variables" option.
  2. Click the "Environment Variables" button at the bottom.
  3. Under "System Variables", locate the "Path" variable and click "Edit"
  4. Append the Python path to the "Path" variable like below (use the path where python is installed in your system):


  1. Open terminal and run the following command (use the path where python is installed in your system):
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/opt/python/libexec/bin
  1. Reinstall Python

As a last resort, if none of the above methods work, you can reinstall Python on your system. This will ensure that all the required files are present and set up correctly.

In conclusion, the "pip Command Not Found" error can be easily fixed using the above examples. Be sure to follow the steps carefully and check if you are getting any errors during the installation process.


In this step-by-step guide, we have explored the 'pip command not found' error, one of the most common hurdles for Python developers when they are using pip to install packages. We have learned how to troubleshoot and fix this error in different operating systems, including Linux, macOS, and Windows.

Firstly, we explored the reasons behind the error occurring and then we delved into the different solutions. We started by making sure that pip was installed correctly and that the PATH environment variable was set up correctly. This step involved updating system packages and installing pip where necessary. Secondly, we walked through the process of creating a virtual environment and installing packages from a specific requirement file to avoid potential conflicts with system packages.

Lastly, we reviewed some Python examples that demonstrate how to use pip to install packages within a virtual environment. By doing so, we avoided conflicts with system packages and ensured that our Python code would work seamlessly on any system.

We hope that this guide has helped you overcome the 'pip command not found' error and provided you with the knowledge and tools necessary to properly utilize pip in your Python development environment. Remember that troubleshooting errors is an inherent part of the development process, and there will be many more to come. However, if you stay organized and follow the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be able to troubleshoot any issue that comes your way.

As a developer, I have experience in full-stack web application development, and I'm passionate about utilizing innovative design strategies and cutting-edge technologies to develop distributed web applications and services. My areas of interest extend to IoT, Blockchain, Cloud, and Virtualization technologies, and I have a proficiency in building efficient Cloud Native Big Data applications. Throughout my academic projects and industry experiences, I have worked with various programming languages such as Go, Python, Ruby, and Elixir/Erlang. My diverse skillset allows me to approach problems from different angles and implement effective solutions. Above all, I value the opportunity to learn and grow in a dynamic environment. I believe that the eagerness to learn is crucial in developing oneself, and I strive to work with the best in order to bring out the best in myself.
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