Python in Visual Studio Code (2023)

Working with Python in Visual Studio Code, using the Microsoft Python extension, is simple, fun, and productive. The extension makes VS Code an excellent Python editor, and works on any operating system with a variety of Python interpreters. It leverages all of VS Code's power to provide auto complete and IntelliSense, linting, debugging, and unit testing, along with the ability to easily switch between Python environments, including virtual and conda environments.

This article provides only an overview of the different capabilities of the Python extension for VS Code. For a walkthrough of editing, running, and debugging code, use the button below.

Python Hello World Tutorial

Install Python and the Python extension

The tutorial guides you through installing Python and using the extension. You must install a Python interpreter yourself separately from the extension. For a quick install, use Python from and install the extension from the VS Code Marketplace.

Once you have a version of Python installed, activate it using the Python: Select Interpreter command. If VS Code doesn't automatically locate the interpreter you're looking for, refer to Environments - Manually specify an interpreter.

You can configure the Python extension through settings. Learn more in the Python Settings reference.

Windows Subsystem for Linux: If you are on Windows, WSL is a great way to do Python development. You can run Linux distributions on Windows and Python is often already installed. When coupled with the WSL extension, you get full VS Code editing and debugging support while running in the context of WSL. To learn more, go to Developing in WSL or try the Working in WSL tutorial.

(Video) Getting Started with Python in Visual Studio Code | Python with VSCode

Run Python code

To experience Python, create a file (using the File Explorer) named and paste in the following code:

print("Hello World")

The Python extension then provides shortcuts to run Python code in the currently selected interpreter (Python: Select Interpreter in the Command Palette):

  • In the text editor: right-click anywhere in the editor and select Run Python File in Terminal. If invoked on a selection, only that selection is run.
  • In Explorer: right-click a Python file and select Run Python File in Terminal.

You can also use the Terminal: Create New Terminal command to create a terminal in which VS Code automatically activates the currently selected interpreter. See Environments below. The Python: Start REPL activates a terminal with the currently selected interpreter and then runs the Python REPL.

For a more specific walkthrough on running code, see the tutorial.

Autocomplete and IntelliSense

The Python extension supports code completion and IntelliSense using the currently selected interpreter. IntelliSense is a general term for a number of features, including intelligent code completion (in-context method and variable suggestions) across all your files and for built-in and third-party modules.

IntelliSense quickly shows methods, class members, and documentation as you type, and you can trigger completions at any time with ⌃Space (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Space). You can also hover over identifiers for more information about them.

Python in Visual Studio Code (1)

Tip: Check out the IntelliCode extension for VS Code (preview). IntelliCode provides a set of AI-assisted capabilities for IntelliSense in Python, such as inferring the most relevant auto-completions based on the current code context.

Enhance completions with AI

GitHub Copilot is an AI-powered code completion tool that helps you write code faster and smarter. You can use the GitHub Copilot extension in VS Code to generate code, or to learn from the code it generates.

(Video) Visual Studio Code für die Python-Programmierung einrichten

Python in Visual Studio Code (2)

GitHub Copilot provides suggestions for numerous languages and a wide variety of frameworks, and it works especially well for Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, Ruby, Go, C# and C++.

You can learn more about how to get started with Copilot in the Copilot documentation.


Linting analyzes your Python code for potential errors, making it easy to navigate to and correct different problems.

The Python extension can apply a number of different linters including Pylint, pycodestyle, Flake8, mypy, pydocstyle, prospector, and pylama. See Linting.


No more print statement debugging! Set breakpoints, inspect data, and use the debug console as you run your program step by step. Debug a number of different types of Python applications, including multi-threaded, web, and remote applications.

For Python-specific details, including setting up your launch.json configuration and remote debugging, see Debugging. General VS Code debugging information is found in the debugging document. The Django and Flask tutorials also demonstrate debugging in the context of those web apps, including debugging Django page templates.


The Python extension automatically detects Python interpreters that are installed in standard locations. It also detects conda environments as well as virtual environments in the workspace folder. See Configuring Python environments.

The current environment is shown on the left side of the VS Code Status Bar:

(Video) How to set up Python on Visual Studio Code in 2021

Python in Visual Studio Code (3)

The Status Bar also indicates if no interpreter is selected:

Python in Visual Studio Code (4)

The selected environment is used for IntelliSense, auto-completions, linting, formatting, and any other language-related feature other than debugging. It is also activated when you run Python in a terminal.

To change the current interpreter, which includes switching to conda or virtual environments, select the interpreter name on the Status Bar or use the Python: Select Interpreter command.

Python in Visual Studio Code (5)

VS Code prompts you with a list of detected environments as well as any you've added manually to your user settings (see Configuring Python environments).

Installing packages

Packages are installed using the Terminal panel and commands like pip install <package_name> (Windows) and pip3 install <package_name> (macOS/Linux). VS Code installs that package into your project along with its dependencies. Examples are given in the Python tutorial as well as the Django and Flask tutorials.

Jupyter notebooks

If you open a Jupyter notebook file (.ipynb) in VS Code, you can use the Jupyter Notebook Editor to directly view, modify, and run code cells.

(Video) Visual Studio Code PYTHON 🐍 [Tutorial]

Python in Visual Studio Code (6)

You can also convert and open the notebook as a Python code file. The notebook's cells are delimited in the Python file with #%% comments, and the Python extension shows Run Cell or Run All Cells CodeLens. Selecting either CodeLens starts the Jupyter server and runs the cell(s) in the Python interactive window:

Python in Visual Studio Code (7)

Opening a notebook as a Python file allows you to use all of VS Code's debugging capabilities. You can then save the notebook file and open it again as a notebook in the Notebook Editor, Jupyter, or even upload it to a service like Azure Notebooks.

Using either method, Notebook Editor or a Python file, you can also connect to a remote Jupyter server for running the code. For more information, see Jupyter support.


The Python extension supports testing with unittest and pytest.

To run tests, you enable one of the frameworks in settings. Each framework also has specific settings, such as arguments that identify paths and patterns for test discovery.

Once discovered, VS Code provides a variety of commands (on the Status Bar, the Command Palette, and elsewhere) to run and debug tests, including the ability to run individual test files and individual methods.


The Python extension provides a wide variety of settings for its various features. These are described on their relevant topics, such as Editing code, Linting, Debugging, and Testing. The complete list is found in the Settings reference.

(Video) How to setup Python for VSCode in 2023 in 5mins! | Install Python and Setup VSCode for Windows 10

Other popular Python extensions

The Microsoft Python extension provides all of the features described previously in this article. Additional Python language support can be added to VS Code by installing other popular Python extensions.

  1. Open the Extensions view (⇧⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+X)).
  2. Filter the extension list by typing 'python'.

The extensions shown above are dynamically queried. Click on an extension tile above to read the description and reviews to decide which extension is best for you. See more in the Marketplace.

Next steps

  • Python Hello World tutorial - Get started with Python in VS Code.
  • Editing Python - Learn about auto-completion, formatting, and refactoring for Python.
  • Basic Editing - Learn about the powerful VS Code editor.
  • Code Navigation - Move quickly through your source code.
  • Django tutorial
  • Flask tutorial



Can I use Python in Visual Studio Code? ›

Visual Studio Code is a free source code editor that fully supports Python and useful features such as real-time collaboration.

How do I run Python interactive in Visual Studio Code? ›

When editing Python code, select something and press Shift + Enter . This will open the interactive window and run your selection as a single cell.

How to install Python modules in Visual Studio Code? ›

2.5. 1. Visual Studio Code
  1. Open the Marketplace by clicking the Extensions tab on the VS Code activity bar.
  2. Search for “Python” in the search bar.
  3. Select the extension named “Python” and then click Install.

Is Visual Studio A good IDE for Python? ›

The most popular IDEs for experienced Python developers are PyCharm and Visual Studio Code.

Is VS Code better than PyCharm? ›

PyCharm is the way to go if you want a powerful, focused, and well-configured Python development environment. However, VS Code is preferred if you want something lightweight with the ability to customize. Both are excellent tools that, depending on how you choose to utilize them, can be used for a variety of tasks.

Do I need to install pip? ›

PIP for Python is a utility to manage PyPI package installations from the command line. If you are using an older version of Python on Windows, you may need to install PIP.

How to run a Python script? ›

The most basic and easy way to run a Python script is by using the python command. You need to open a command line and type the word python followed by the path to your script file like this: python Hello World! Then you hit the ENTER button from the keyboard, and that's it.

How do I add a Python environment to Visual Studio? ›

Right-click Python Environments in Solution Explorer and select Add Environment. In the Browse dialog that appears, navigate to and select the folder that contains the virtual environment, and select OK. If Visual Studio detects a requirements. txt file in that environment, it asks whether to install those packages.

How to install Python extension in Visual Studio Code manually? ›

You can manually install a VS Code extension packaged in a .vsix file. Using the Install from VSIX command in the Extensions view command dropdown, or the Extensions: Install from VSIX command in the Command Palette, point to the .vsix file.

Which Python extension for Visual Studio Code? ›

Python Snippets 3 is a helpful VS Code extension that makes Python code snippets available while you are typing.

How to install a Python library? ›

  1. Install launcher for all users.
  2. Add Python to the PATH.
  3. Install pip (which allows Python to install other packages)
  4. Install tk/tcl and IDLE.
  5. Install the Python test suite.
  6. Install py launcher for all users.
  7. Associate files with Python.
  8. Create shortcuts for installed applications.

How to install packages in VS Code? ›

> To install new package:
  1. Open your project workspace in VSCode.
  2. Open the Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P)
  3. Select > Nuget Package Manager GUI.
  4. Click Install New Package.

What IDE do professional Python programmers use? ›

PyCharm. One of the best (and only) full-featured, dedicated IDEs for Python is PyCharm. Available in both paid (Professional) and free open-source (Community) editions, PyCharm installs quickly and easily on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms.

Which Python IDE mode is best for coding? ›

Our Top 4 Python IDEs and Editors
  • Spyder. The first IDE on the list is Spyder. ...
  • Jupyter Notebooks. The next IDE is a free popular tool for developing data science projects. ...
  • Visual Studio Code. ...
  • PyCharm. ...
  • An Honorable Mention: The Vim Text Editor.
Sep 21, 2022

Is VS Code good enough for Python? ›

One of the coolest code editors available to programmers, Visual Studio Code, is an open-source, extensible, light-weight editor available on all platforms. It's these qualities that make Visual Studio Code from Microsoft very popular, and a great platform for Python development.

Is there a better IDE than VS Code? ›

Atom, Visual Studio, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and WebStorm are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Visual Studio Code.

Which is better for Python Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code? ›

If you need to collaborate with team members on development or debugging, then Visual Studio is the better choice. If you need to do serious code analysis or performance profiling, or debug from a snapshot, then Visual Studio Enterprise will help you. VS Code tends to be popular in the data science community.

What does pip stand for Python? ›

Developed in 2008, pip (an acronym of “pip Install Packages”) is today the standard tool for installing Python packages and their dependencies in a secure manner. Most recent distributions of Python come with pip preinstalled. Python 2.7. 9 and Python 3.4 and later versions include pip by default.

How do I manually install pip? ›

How to Install PIP on Windows
  1. Check If Python Is Available. ...
  2. Check If PIP Is Already Installed. ...
  3. Download PIP. ...
  4. Install PIP on Windows. ...
  5. Verify the PIP Installation Process and Check the PIP Version. ...
  6. Add PIP to Windows Environment Variables.
Jun 9, 2022

How do you check if I have Python installed? ›

Python is probably already installed on your system. To check if it's installed, go to Applications>Utilities and click on Terminal. (You can also press command-spacebar, type terminal, and then press Enter.) If you have Python 3.4 or later, it's fine to start out by using the installed version.

Where do I write Python code in Windows? ›

Go to your Start menu (lower left Windows icon), type "Microsoft Store", select the link to open the store. Once the store is open, select Search from the upper-right menu and enter "Python".

How do I practice Python scripts? ›

Where can I practice Python programming?
  1. has dozens of free interactive practice questions, as well as free interactive lessons, project ideas, tutorials, and more.
  2. HackerRank is a great site for practice that's also interactive.
  3. CodingGame is a fun platform for practice that supports Python.
Dec 19, 2022

How do I run Python code on Windows? ›

Run Python Code from the Command Prompt

Search for cmd on the toolbar, then hit Enter. Once the command prompt is open, simply type python and hit Enter again. When you're in an interactive session, every Python statement is executed immediately and any output is displayed directly beneath.

What's the difference between Visual Studio and Visual Studio code? ›

“Visual Studio” and “Visual Studio Code” are not the same thing. Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) and Visual Studio Code is a rich text editor like Sublime Text and Atom.

How do I setup my Python environment? ›

  1. Local Environment Setup. Open a terminal window and type "python" to find out if it is already installed and which version is installed. ...
  2. Getting Python. ...
  3. Installing Python. ...
  4. Setting up PATH. ...
  5. Setting path at Unix/Linux. ...
  6. Setting path at Windows. ...
  7. Python Environment Variables. ...
  8. Running Python.

How do you automate a Python script to run daily? ›

Get Started Using Windows Task Scheduler
  1. Create Your First Task. Search for “Task Scheduler”. ...
  2. Create an Action. Go to Actions > New.
  3. Add the Python Executable File to the Program Script. ...
  4. Add the Path to Your Python Script in the Arguments. ...
  5. Trigger Your Script Execution.
Oct 9, 2022

What are the 2 modes of Python? ›

Python has two basic modes: script and interactive. The normal mode is the mode where the scripted and finished . py files are run in the Python interpreter. Interactive mode is a command line shell which gives immediate feedback for each statement, while running previously fed statements in active memory.

Can you automate a Python script? ›

Fortunately, we can automate some of these processes so that we can focus on doing other things that really need our energy and attention. In this article, we will talk about some Python automation scripts that you can easily use to perform automation tasks.

Do you need to pip install pandas? ›

If you're using an earlier version of Python, you'll need to install pip before you can install Pandas.

How do I enable pandas in Python? ›

Here is the how-to to install Pandas for Windows:
  1. Install Python.
  2. Type in the command “pip install manager”
  3. Once finished, type the following: Copy. *pip install pandas* Wait for the downloads to be over and once it is done you will be able to run Pandas inside your Python programs on Windows. Sign in to comment.
Sep 16, 2020

How to install numpy in Python in VS Code? ›

To install numpy, select pip from the dropdown for Python Environment, then type numpy and click on the “install numpy from PyPI” as shown below. Similarly search for scipy and install it using pip. If you get any errors in installing scipy, then download first anaconda from the following site.

How to install extensions in Visual Studio? ›

To install extensions from within Visual Studio:
  1. From Extensions > Manage Extensions, find the extension you want to install. (If you know the name or part of the name of the extension, you can search in the Search window.)
  2. Select Download. The extension is scheduled for install.
Sep 1, 2022

What libraries should I install for Python? ›

Top 10 Python Libraries You Must Know In 2023
  • TensorFlow.
  • Scikit-Learn.
  • Numpy.
  • Keras.
  • PyTorch.
  • LightGBM.
  • Eli5.
  • SciPy.
Jan 3, 2023

How do I import and install Python? ›

Ways to Install Python Package
  1. Open RUN box using shortcut Windows Key + R.
  2. Enter cmd in the RUN box. Command Prompt. ...
  3. Search for folder named Scripts where pip applications are stored. Scripts Folder.
  4. In command prompt, type cd <file location of Scripts folder> cd refers to change directory. ...
  5. Type pip install package-name.

How do I find my Python library? ›

Check the version of Python package/library
  1. Get package version in Python script: __version__ attribute.
  2. Check package version with pip command. List installed packages: pip list. List installed packages: pip freeze. Check details of installed packages: pip show.
  3. Check package version with conda command: conda list.
Sep 20, 2019

How to install sklearn in Python VS Code? ›

For this you must compile the sources inplace from the source directory:
  1. python build_ext --inplace. Test can now be run using nosetests:
  2. nosetests -v sklearn/ This is automated by the commands:
  3. make in. and:
  4. make test. You can also install a symlink named site-packages/scikit-learn.

What program to use for Python? ›

One of the best (and only) full-featured, dedicated IDEs for Python is PyCharm. Available in both paid (Professional) and free open-source (Community) editions, PyCharm installs quickly and easily on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms. Out of the box, PyCharm supports Python development directly.

Can I use any programming language in Visual Studio? ›

Visual Studio offers powerful HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JSON editors. Tap into the power of LESS, and Sass, use PHP, Python, or C# with ASP.NET. All the popular languages are supported and you can move between languages and project types with ease.

What languages does VS Code support? ›

Learn about programming languages supported by VS Code. These include: C++ - C# - CSS - Dart - Dockerfile - F# - Go - HTML - Java - JavaScript - JSON - Julia - Less - Markdown - PHP - PowerShell - Python - R - Rust - SCSS - T-SQL - TypeScript.

How do I run a Python code? ›

To run Python scripts with the python command, you need to open a command-line and type in the word python , or python3 if you have both versions, followed by the path to your script, just like this: $ python3 Hello World! If everything works okay, after you press Enter , you'll see the phrase Hello World!

What tool do most Python developers use? ›

9 Best Tools for Python Developers
  • IDLE. IDLE is Python's Integrated Development and Learning Environment. ...
  • Sublime Text. Sublime Text is one of the most popular code editors for programmers, supporting almost all platforms. ...
  • Atom. ...
  • Visual Code Studio. ...
  • Jupyter Notebook. ...
  • Spyder. ...
  • PyCharm. ...
  • PyDev.
Dec 13, 2022

What do professionals use Python for? ›

Python has become a staple in data science, allowing data analysts and other professionals to use the language to conduct complex statistical calculations, create data visualizations, build machine learning algorithms, manipulate and analyze data, and complete other data-related tasks.

Do I need to install Python if I have Visual Studio Code? ›

You must install a Python interpreter yourself separately from the extension. For a quick install, use Python from and install the extension from the VS Code Marketplace. Once you have a version of Python installed, activate it using the Python: Select Interpreter command.

Is Visual Studio Code best for programming? ›

Pros: Visual studio code is one of the best code editor available in market it makes so much easier to code and maintain projects it has a great support for plugins as well as it also supports all the github source control features.

Is VS Code good for beginners? ›

While marketing primarily to professional programmers, VS Code is an excellent editor for students and other learner just getting started with HTML and CSS. This course focuses mainly on those students and learners who in the beginner to intermediate stages of learning to code with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Why is VS Code so popular? ›

It's Free (open source). It's written in Typescript, meaning bugs in the program are less weird than other Electron things are, usually. (Not everyone uses strong types when writing JavaScript apps, and that's terrible.)

Is Visual Studio the best IDE? ›

Visual Studio is the best IDE to build rich, beautiful, cross platform applications for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Build rich clients apps using a range of technologies such as; WinForms, WPF, WinUI, MAUI, or Xamarin.

What is difference between Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code? ›

Visual Studio vs Visual Studio Code - Differences

Visual Studio is an Integrated Development Environment, also known as an IDE. Visual Studio Code is a code editor. A developer can easily edit their code. VS is slower when it comes to performing across different platforms.

How do I run my first Python code? ›

Running Your First Program
  1. Go to Start and click on Run.
  2. Type cmd in the Open field and click OK.
  3. A dark window will appear. ...
  4. If you type dir you will get a listing of all folders in your C: drive. ...
  5. Type cd PythonPrograms and hit Enter. ...
  6. Type dir and you should see the file


1. Powerful VSCode Tips And Tricks For Python Development And Design
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