How to Upgrade to Python 3.6 with Conda: A Step-by-Step Guide

Upgrading to a new version of Python can seem daunting, especially when you're working within specific environments like Conda. However, the process to upgrade to Python 3.6, or any other newer version, is straightforward if you follow the right steps. This guide will walk you through how to upgrade your Python version using Conda, ensuring you can take advantage of the latest features and improvements in Python 3.6.

Why Upgrade to Python 3.6?

Before diving into the upgrade process, it's worth understanding why you might want to upgrade to Python 3.6. Python 3.6 introduced several new features and optimizations, including:

  • Formatted string literals for easier and more readable string formatting.
  • Improved dictionary comprehension, making your code more efficient.
  • New underscore literals that make large numbers more readable.
  • Asynchronous generators and comprehensions, enhancing asynchronous programming capabilities.

These improvements, among others, can significantly enhance your coding efficiency and the performance of your applications.

Upgrading Python with Conda

Conda is a powerful package manager and environment management system that allows you to install, run, and update packages and their dependencies. It's particularly favored in the data science and machine learning communities for its ease of managing complex environments. Here's how you can upgrade to Python 3.6 using Conda.

Step 1: Update Conda

Before you start the upgrade process, ensure your Conda is up to date. This can help avoid any compatibility issues. Open your terminal or command prompt and run:

conda update conda

Step 2: Check Your Current Python Version

It's good practice to check your current Python version before upgrading. This gives you a clear starting point. Use the following command:

python --version

Step 3: Create a New Environment (Optional)

It's often recommended to create a new environment when upgrading Python versions. This ensures that your existing projects remain stable and unaffected by the changes. To create a new environment named py36_env and install Python 3.6, execute:

conda create -n py36_env python=3.6

If you prefer to upgrade Python within an existing environment, skip this step.

Step 4: Activate the New Environment

If you created a new environment, activate it with:

conda activate py36_env

Step 5: Upgrade Python

To upgrade Python in your selected environment, use the following command:

conda install python=3.6

This command tells Conda to install Python 3.6, upgrading your environment's Python version.

Step 6: Verify the Upgrade

After the installation completes, verify that Python has been upgraded successfully by checking the version again:

python --version

You should now see Python 3.6.x as the version, indicating the upgrade was successful.


Upgrading to Python 3.6 with Conda is a straightforward process that can bring significant benefits to your projects. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth transition to Python 3.6, allowing you to leverage the latest features and improvements in your work. Remember, it's generally a good idea to test your projects in the new environment to ensure compatibility and take full advantage of the new Python version.