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How to Downgrade Python Version

How to Downgrade Python Version

Downgrading Python Version: A Simple Guide

Are you facing compatibility issues or simply need to switch back to an older Python version? Downgrading Python is a straightforward process that can be done effortlessly. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps to downgrade your Python version with easy-to-follow examples.

Step 1: Checking Your Current Python Version

Checking your current Python version is the first crucial step before proceeding with any downgrade. This step ensures that you are aware of the Python version currently installed on your system. Open your terminal or command prompt and enter the following command:

					python --version


Executing this command will display information about your current Python version. The version number will appear in the output, allowing you to identify the existing Python setup on your machine.

Understanding your current Python version is essential for a smooth downgrade process. Make sure to note down the version number as you will need it later when installing the desired Python version. With this information in hand, you’re ready to move on to the next steps of the downgrade process.

Step 2: Installing the Desired Python Version

Once you’ve identified your current Python version, the next step is to install the specific version you desire. This process involves using the ‘pip’ tool, which is the package installer for Python. Below, we’ll guide you through the straightforward steps.

1. Open your Terminal or Command Prompt: To begin, open the terminal or command prompt on your computer. This is where you’ll enter the commands to install the desired Python version.

2. Use the ‘pip install’ Command: The ‘pip install’ command is used to download and install Python packages. In this case, we’re going to use it to install a specific Python version. For example, if you want to downgrade to Python 3.7, type the following command:

					pip install python==3.7


Replace “3.7” with the version you want to install. This command will automatically download and install the specified Python version on your system.

3. Wait for the Installation to Complete: The terminal will display information about the installation progress. Allow the process to complete, and ensure that there are no error messages. Once the installation is finished, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Remember, the ‘pip install’ command fetches the desired Python version from the Python Package Index (PyPI) and installs it on your machine. It’s a quick and efficient way to switch between Python versions.


Let’s say you’re currently using Python 3.8, and you want to downgrade to Python 3.6. Here’s what the installation process would look like:

1. Check Current Version:

					pip install python==3.7


This command might output something like “Python 3.8.5”.

2. Install Python 3.6:

					pip install python==3.6


This command will download and install Python 3.6 on your system.

3. Verify Installation:

					python --version


After the installation, this command should now display the newly installed version, indicating that you have successfully downgraded to Python 3.6.

By following these simple steps, you can seamlessly install the Python version that best suits your requirements. This flexibility allows you to work with the version that is most compatible with your projects or dependencies.

Step 3: Verifying the Installation

After installing the desired Python version, it’s crucial to verify that the installation was successful. This step ensures that your system recognizes the newly installed Python version.

To confirm the installation, open your terminal or command prompt and enter the following command:

					python --version


Executing this command will display the currently active Python version. Check if it matches the version you intended to install. If the terminal output corresponds to the version you wanted, congratulations! You’ve successfully downgraded your Python version.

It’s essential to perform this verification step to avoid potential issues or confusion with multiple Python installations on your system. If the displayed version is different or if you encounter any errors, revisit the installation process to ensure accuracy.

Remember, a successful verification guarantees that your system is now running the desired Python version, allowing you to proceed with your development or projects using the specific features and compatibility you require.

In summary, the verification step is a quick and straightforward check to confirm that the Python version has been downgraded as intended. Once verified, you can confidently proceed with your programming tasks using the version that best suits your needs.

Common Issues and Solutions:

While downgrading your Python version is a relatively straightforward process, you might encounter a few common issues along the way. Here, we address these issues and provide simple solutions to help you navigate through any challenges.

Issue 1: Pip Version Compatibility

Problem: After downgrading Python, you may find that your pip version is no longer compatible.

Solution: Upgrade pip to ensure compatibility with the new Python version. Use the following command to upgrade pip:

					python -m pip install --upgrade pip


This ensures that your package manager is up-to-date and ready to work seamlessly with the downgraded Python version.

Issue 2: Virtual Environments

Problem: If you use virtual environments, they may not be compatible with the newly installed Python version.

Solution: Recreate your virtual environment to match the downgraded Python version. Follow these steps to create a new virtual environment:

1. Open your terminal or command prompt.

2. Navigate to your project directory.

3. Use the following command to create a new virtual environment:

					python -m venv venv


4. Activate the virtual environment:

  • For Windows:


  • For Unix/Linux:
					source venv/bin/activate


This ensures that your virtual environment is aligned with the Python version you’ve downgraded to.

Issue 3: Library Compatibility

Problem: Some libraries or packages may not be compatible with the older Python version.

Solution: Check the documentation of the libraries you use to ensure compatibility with the downgraded Python version. If issues persist, consider updating the libraries to versions that support the Python version you’ve installed.

Issue 4: Operating System Differences

Problem: Downgrading Python on different operating systems may lead to variations in behavior.

Solution: Be aware of potential operating system-specific differences. Refer to the documentation for your specific operating system to address any system-dependent issues.

Wrapping Up

By addressing these common issues, you can ensure a smoother experience when downgrading your Python version. Remember to follow the provided solutions corresponding to the challenges you encounter, and you’ll be well-equipped to work with the desired Python version without major complications. Happy coding!


In conclusion, downgrading your Python version is a manageable task, and armed with the right knowledge and solutions for common issues, you can navigate the process seamlessly. Always begin by checking your current Python version, install the desired version, and verify the installation to ensure a successful downgrade.

Should you encounter challenges, the solutions provided for common issues, such as pip version compatibility and virtual environment adjustments, offer practical ways to troubleshoot and overcome obstacles. Additionally, keeping an eye on library compatibility and being mindful of potential operating system differences can further contribute to a smoother transition.

By following these steps and being aware of potential pitfalls, you can confidently downgrade your Python version to meet your specific needs. Remember that flexibility in managing Python versions is a valuable skill for developers, allowing them to work on projects that require different versions of the language.

In the ever-evolving landscape of programming, the ability to adapt and switch between Python versions as needed enhances your versatility as a developer. Now equipped with the knowledge provided in this guide, you can confidently tailor your Python environment to suit the requirements of your projects. Happy coding!

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How to Downgrade Python Version

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