How To Run Python On Mac

Do you want to run Python on your Mac?

You’re in the right place. As you’ve clicked on this article, we’re sure that you’ll agree with us when we say that, when it comes to code, Python and Mac are almost a perfect match for each other. 

In fact, many coders find that the lack of confusing syntax in favor of easier to understand coding, high-level data structures, and dynamic semantics make it a great option for running on a Mac laptop or PC. 

Not only that, but thanks to the simplicity of Python, it also just so happens to be a great programming language for beginner coders who are just getting started and want to refine their skill set. 

The only question is, how do you run Python 3 on a Mac, exactly?

This is where we come in to help!

How To Run Python On Mac

To ensure that you are able to get this upgraded programming language up and running, in this guide, we are going to be sharing with you two different ways that will allow you to install it onto your laptop or PC. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

How to Run Python 3 on Mac Using Python Launcher

If you’re already pretty familiar with the macOS system, then you might be aware that it comes with a basic version of Python already installed.

However, many people do not use this version as it is outdated  – so you’ll need to run Python 3. 

The first method that we are going to be sharing with you is by using the Python Launcher, which is the lesser-known method out of the two methods that we are going to be sharing with you today.

In case you are unable to run Python via the Terminal method, it’s good to have a backup. 

With that being said, let’s take a look at the instructions for running Python using the Launcher below:

  • Install The Launcher: First things first, you are going to need to install the dedicated Python installer. Once you have done this, you will have access to the Launcher tool. 
  • Locate The File: After you have done this, all you will need to do is simply locate the Python script via the Finder, and select “Get Info” via the dropdown menu.
  • Open With Python Launcher: After you have done this, from the additional sidebar menu that pops up, press on “Open With”, and then “Python Launcher”. 
  • Begin Running Python: After you have done this, all you are then going to need to do is doubleclick on Python Launcher and you will be able to begin running Python on your Mac PC or laptop.

As a side note, if you find that you enjoy running Python on your Mac laptop or PC in this way, then there are a variety of ways that you can customize your launcher to suit your preferences and to improve your experience of using it.

To provide you of a few examples of what we mean by this, you will have the ability to choose which version of Python that you would like to run, have the ability to adjust how the script runs on your Mac laptop or PC. As well as even have the ability to debug to get rid of any potential problems that may interfere with Python.

How To Run Python on Mac Using the Terminal

The second (and most common way) that you can run Python on your Mac is by using the Terminal, which is a tried and true way to run Python script on macOS. Let’s check out the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Locate the path of the Python script: If you want to try this method out for yourself, the first thing that you are going to need to do is to find the path of the Python script, which you will be able to locate within Finder on your Mac. However, if you get stuck and can not find it, then you can alternatively choose to simply press “Option” and then right-click the file to copy the path to your clipboard for easy access. 
  2. Drag The File Onto The Terminal Window: Once you have located the file, you can then drag it onto the Terminal window which will allow you to view its absolute path. To do this, click on the “cd” command and then locate the correct folder. Once you have done this, you can then use python3 <name of file> in order to access the Python script.
  3. Begin using Python: Once you have done this the script will be ready for you to begin using. The name of the file will represent the name of your script, and as we’re sure you’ll agree, is the easiest way to use Python out of the two methods we have shared.

Wrapping Up

All in all?

Setting up and running Python on your Mac is easy as can be, especially thanks to the fact that the Python Programming Files come with some built-in functionality to help offer versatility and ease of use.

Thanks to this, it means that you have the option of setting up and working with Python on your Mac via two different methods as you will have seen above.

Generally speaking, the most common way that you can work Python files on your Mac is via the Terminal method.

Although if that doesn’t work for you, then you can also opt to use the less commonly used way of installing and setting up Python via the first method of using the Launcher.

Whichever method you choose to use, by making sure to follow the tips and guidance we have provided above, you should find yourself using Python programming on your Mac in no time at all. Thank you for reading.