How to Update Python?

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Python gets updated roughly once per year with a major update and security fixes. So, Python’s update cycle is 12 months. The end-of-life, i.e., the period during which one Python version is supported, is normally set to 5 years.

The following graphic shows a great screenshot of supported and unsupported Python versions at the time of writing:


So, your Python version will become stale in a time period between 12 months and 5 years. In this article, you’ll learn how to update it!

Should You Update Python? General Tips for Win/Mac/Linux

Generally, you can install as many Python versions as you want on your operating system, no matter if you run Windows, macOS, Linux, or Ubuntu. To access a specific minor version 3.x , you can run py -3.x in your terminal or shell.

For example, to run Python 2.6 and Python 3.9, both being installed in your system, you’d run:

py -2.6
py -3.9

On my Windows machine, for example, I first tried running Python 3.8 by using py -3.8 but it told me it didn’t find it. However, it found Python 3.9 and 3.10 so I ran py -3.9 which opened the Python shell. See here:

So, should you update your Python version?

In most cases, you don’t need to update your Python version by means of updating your PATH environment variables etc. It’s usually enough to just install a new version of Python alongside the old version.

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