PyCharm 2020.2 Help

Configure a system interpreter

How to configure a system interpreter in PyCharm

To work with your Python code in PyCharm, you need to configure at least one interpreter. A system interpreter is the one that comes with your Python installation. You can use it solely for all Python scripts or take it as a base interpreter for Python virtual environments.

Configure a system Python interpreter

  1. Ensure that you have downloaded and installed Python on your computer.

    If you are on Windows, you can download Python from the Microsoft Store and install it as a Python interpreter. Once the Python application is downloaded from the Microsoft Store, it becomes available in the list of the Python executables.

    Python interpreter installed from the Windows store
    Note that interpreters added from the Microsoft Store installations come with some limitations. Because of restrictions on Microsoft Store apps, Python scripts may not have full write access to shared locations such as TEMP and the registry.

  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to open the project Settings/Preferences.

  3. In the Settings/Preferences dialogCtrl+Alt+S, select Project <project name> | Python Interpreter. Click the The Configure project interpreter icon and select Add.

    Selecting the Add command to create a new Python interpreter
  4. In the left-hand pane of the Add Python Interpreter dialog, select System Interpreter.

    Adding a system interpreter

  5. In the Interpreter field, type the fully-qualified path to the required interpreter executable, or click the Browse button and in the Select Python Interpreter dialog that opens, choose the desired Python executable and click OK.

    If PyCharm detects no Python on your machine, it provides two options: to download the latest Python versions from python.org or to specify a path to the Python executable (in case of non-standard installation).

    Downloading Python when installing the system interpreter

    You will need admin privileges to install, remove, and upgrade packages for the system interpreter. When attempting to install an interpreter package through an intention action, you might receive the following error message:

    System Interpreter warning message
    As prompted, consider using a virtual environment for your project.

  6. Click OK to complete the task.

For any of the configured Python interpreters (but Docker-based), you can:

Last modified: 05 October 2020