How to Install OpenCV Using PIP: A Step-by-Step Guide

OpenCV is an open-source computer vision and machine learning software library that's become an indispensable tool for developers working on image and video analysis, facial recognition, and motion detection projects. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, setting up OpenCV on your system can sometimes seem like a daunting task. However, with Python and PIP, installing OpenCV is straightforward. This guide will walk you through the process step by step.

Step 1: Ensure Python and PIP Are Installed

Before you can install OpenCV, you need to have Python installed on your system. Python 3.x versions are recommended for better compatibility. You can check if Python is installed and determine its version by running the following command in your terminal (for Unix/Linux) or command prompt (for Windows):

python --version

If Python is installed, you'll see the version number. If not, you'll need to download and install it from the official Python website.

PIP is the package installer for Python and is usually installed with Python. To check if PIP is installed, run:

pip --version

If PIP isn't installed, you can download and install it by following the instructions on the PIP documentation page.

Step 2: Install OpenCV

Once Python and PIP are ready, installing OpenCV is as simple as running a single command. Open your terminal or command prompt and enter:

pip install opencv-python

This command fetches the OpenCV package from the Python Package Index (PyPI) and installs it on your system. If you're interested in also getting OpenCV's optional modules and GUI features, you can install opencv-python-headless instead.

Step 3: Verify the Installation

After the installation process completes, it's a good idea to verify that OpenCV has been installed correctly. You can do this by attempting to import the cv2 module (the name OpenCV goes by in Python) and checking its version:

import cv2

If the installation was successful, this code will print the installed version of OpenCV to the console.


Although the installation process is usually smooth, you might encounter some issues depending on your system's configuration. Common problems include:

  • Compatibility Issues: Make sure the version of Python installed on your system is compatible with the OpenCV version you're trying to install.
  • Permission Errors: If you encounter a permission error, try running the install command with sudo (for Unix/Linux) or by opening your command prompt as an administrator (for Windows).


Installing OpenCV using PIP is a simple process that can be completed in just a few steps. Whether you're working on a personal project or a large-scale application, OpenCV offers a powerful set of tools for computer vision applications. By following this guide, you should now have OpenCV installed and ready to use in your Python projects. Happy coding!