How to install pip for Python 3 on Mac OS X?

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Problem :

OS X (Mavericks) has Python 2.7 stock installed. But I do all my own personal Python stuff with 3.3. I just flushed my 3.3.2 install and installed the new 3.3.3. So I need to install pyserial again. I can do it the way I’ve done it before, which is:

  1. Download pyserial from pypi
  2. untar pyserial.tgz
  3. cd pyserial
  4. python3 install

But I’d like to do like the cool kids do, and just do something like pip3 install pyserial. But it’s not clear how I get to that point. And just that point. Not interested (unless I have to be) in virtualenv yet.

Solution :

UPDATE: This is no longer necessary with Python3.4. It installs pip3 as part of the stock install.

I ended up posting this same question on the python mailing list, and got the following answer:

# download and install setuptools
curl -O
# download and install pip
curl -O

Which solved my question perfectly. After adding the following for my own:

cd /usr/local/bin
ln -s ../../../Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.3/bin/pip pip

So that I could run pip directly, I was able to:

# use pip to install
pip install pyserial


# Don't want it?
pip uninstall pyserial

I had to go through this process myself and chose a different way that I think is better in the long run.

I installed homebrew

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"


brew doctor

The last step gives you some warnings and errors that you have to resolve. One of those will be to download and install the Mac OS X command-line tools.


brew install python3

This gave me python3 and pip3 in my path.

pieter$ which pip3 python3

Install Python3 on mac

1. brew install python3
2. curl | python3
3. python3

Use pip3 to install modules

1. pip3 install ipython
2. python3 -m IPython


Here is my simple solution:

If you have python2 and python3 both installed in your system, the pip upgrade will point to python2 by default. Hence, we must specify the version of python(python3) and use the below command:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip

This command will uninstall the previously installed pip and install the new version- upgrading your pip.

This will save memory and declutter your system.

Image – How the upgrading of pip in Python3 works on MacOS

when you install requests with python3, the command is:

pip3 install requests


pip install requests

  1. brew install python3
  2. create alias in your shell profile

    • eg. alias pip3="python3 -m pip" in my .zshrc

➜ ~ pip3 –version

pip 9.0.1 from /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (python 3.6)

To use Python EasyInstall (which is what I think you’re wanting to use), is super easy!

sudo easy_install pip

so then with pip to install Pyserial you would do:

pip install pyserial

On Mac OS X Mojave python stands for python of version 2.7 and python3 for python of version 3. The same is pip and pip3. So, to upgrade pip for python 3 do this:

~$ sudo pip3 install --upgrade pip

Also, it’s worth to mention that Max OSX/macOS users can just use Homebrew to install pip3.

$> brew update
$> brew install python3
$> pip3 --version
pip 9.0.1 from /usr/local/lib/python3.6/site-packages (python 3.6)

On MacOS 10.12

download pip: pip as

download python3: python3

  1. install python3
  2. open terminal: python3
  3. pip3 is available

simply run following on terminal if you don’t have pip installed on your mac.

sudo easy_install pip

download python 3 here: python3

once you’re done with these 2 steps, make sure to run the following to verify whether you’ve installed them successfully.

python3 --version
pip3 --version

For a fresh new Mac, you need to follow below steps:-

  1. Make sure you have installed Xcode
  2. sudo easy_install pip
  3. /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
  4. brew doctor
  5. brew doctor
  6. brew install python3

And you are done, just type python3 on terminal and you will see python 3 installed.

I had the same problem with python3 and pip3. Decision: solving all conflicts with links and other stuff when do

brew doctor

After that

brew reinstall python3

I’m using MacOS 11.6 and in my case I did two things;

  1. Install Python 3 from clicking on first link Download macOS 64-bit universal2 installer from Stable Releases list

  2. Create alias for Python3 running the following command on Terminal echo "alias python='/usr/bin/python3'" > ~/.bash_profile

After that open a new terminal and type python -V to check if the version of python 3 is enabled by default for your use so now you can use the command pip3 to install your packages like pip3 install somepackage

use port to install it, it is better than brew, in case you have an old machine.

sudo port install py38-pip

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