How to run a Python script in the terminal or CMD

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Python is an extremely powerful and flexible programming language that is particularly popular among newcomers to coding thanks to its relatively gentle learning curve. That said, the flexibility of Python can also be what makes it complicated to get to grips with in some cases. There is no single set of tools used for Python programming and you won’t be able to build your programs into apps that you can share and sell without relying on external tools. Thus, you may find yourself needing to learn how to run a Python script in terminal – at least to begin with.

Also read: How to install Python and start coding on Windows, Mac, or Linux

How to run a Python script in terminal or command prompt

It really couldn’t be simpler to run a Python script in the terminal or command prompt! All you need to do is to open up a command prompt or terminal in the right directory (wherever the Python script is stored) and then type:


You can also use:


This will then open up your Python project!

To open up the command prompt in Windows, just hit Win+R and then type “CMD.exe.” You can navigate to your chosen directory by typing it out and using the “cd” command:


In Mac OS and Linux, you open the terminal (hit command+space on Mac and type “terminal”). Here, you’ll use the pwd command in order to change directory.

Further reading

And there you have it! That’s how to run a Python script in terminal or CMD. It’s a very straightforward process, but it’s extremely handy if you ever want to quickly carry out a bespoke task. Many programmers use Python primarily to support their own workflows, whether that’s quickly churning numbers, or scraping information from the web.

If you want to learn how to do this and much more, then a Python course might be a great next step for you. We have a breakdown of the best online Python courses here. Python for Everybody is a great choice for beginners and hobbyists, while The Python Data Science Bundle is the best choice for anyone serious about starting a career in Python coding!