Check Python Package Version: A Step-by-Step Guide

Checking which version of a Python package you have installed can be crucial for debugging, ensuring compatibility, or simply staying up-to-date with the latest features. Luckily, it’s a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. After reading the brief explanation, you’ll know exactly how to check your Python package version.

Step by Step Tutorial on Checking Python Package Version

When working with Python, it’s important to know which version of a package you’re using. The steps below will guide you through checking the version of any Python package installed on your system.

Step 1: Open Your Command-Line Interface or Terminal

Open your command-line interface (CLI) or terminal on your computer.

The CLI or terminal is where you input text commands to interact with your operating system. On Windows, you can search for ‘cmd’ to find the Command Prompt, while on Mac and Linux, you can look for ‘Terminal’.

Step 2: Use the pip command to list installed packages

Type pip list and press Enter to execute the command.

This command will display a list of all the packages you have installed via pip, Python’s package installer. Each package will be listed alongside its version number.

Step 3: Find the package in question

Scroll through the list to find the package whose version you want to check.

The list will be in alphabetical order, making it easier to find the package you’re looking for.

Step 4: Note the version number

The version number will be listed directly beside the package name.

The version number is usually in the format of ‘X.Y.Z’, where X is the major version, Y is the minor version, and Z is the patch level.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll know the version of the Python package you were curious about. This information can help you troubleshoot issues or determine if you need to update the package.

Tips for Checking Python Package Version

  • Make sure you have pip installed before attempting to check package versions.
  • Use pip show to get more detailed information about a specific package.
  • Keep your packages up to date by regularly running pip install --upgrade.
  • If you’re working in a virtual environment, ensure it’s activated before checking package versions.
  • Some packages may have a --version or -V flag you can use in the command line to check their version directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I install pip if I don’t have it?

Pip is usually installed automatically with Python. If you need to install it, download from the official pip website and run it using Python.

Can I check the version of a package within my Python script?

Yes, you can often use __version__ attribute or get_version() function within your script to check a package’s version.

What do major, minor, and patch levels in version numbers mean?

Major versions often include significant changes and may not be backward compatible. Minor versions typically add functionality in a backward-compatible manner. Patch levels are usually small, backward-compatible bug fixes.

What if the package isn’t listed after running pip list?

If the package you’re looking for isn’t listed, it may not be installed, or it could be installed in a different Python environment.

How do I update a package to the latest version?

Use the command pip install --upgrade to update a package to its latest version.


  1. Open your command-line interface or terminal.
  2. Use the pip command pip list.
  3. Find the package in the pip list.
  4. Note the package’s version number.


Keeping track of which versions of packages you’ve installed can make or break your Python project. Whether you’re a hobbyist tinkering with a personal project or a professional developer working in a collaborative environment, understanding how to check python package version is a fundamental skill. It’s like knowing the exact tools in your toolbox; without this knowledge, you’re working blind.

Besides troubleshooting and compatibility checks, being aware of package versions can help you leverage new features and improve performance. Developers often release updates that can optimize your code or make it more secure, so staying current is crucial.

Moreover, sharing this information with fellow developers or on forums can be instrumental when you need help. It’s easier for others to provide assistance when they know what you’re working with. And hey, you might even help improve a package by reporting bugs or issues specific to a version you’re using.

Remember, the Python community thrives on collaboration and shared knowledge. Don’t hesitate to explore further, ask questions, and contribute back. Happy coding!