How to change default install location for pip

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Question :

How to change default install location for pip

I’m trying to install Pandas using pip, but I’m having a bit of trouble. I just ran sudo pip install pandas which successfully downloaded pandas. However, it did not get downloaded to the location that I wanted. Here’s what I see when I use pip show pandas:

Name: pandas
Version: 0.14.0
Location: /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pandas-0.14.0-py2.7-macosx-10.9-intel.egg
Requires: python-dateutil, pytz, numpy

So it is installed. But I was confused when I created a new Python Project and searched under System Libs/lib/python for pandas, because it didn’t show up. Some of the other packages that I’ve downloaded in the past did show up, however, so I tried to take a look at where those were. Running pip show numpy (which I can import with no problem) yielded:

Name: numpy
Version: 1.6.2
Location: /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python

Which is in a completely different directory. For the sake of confirming my error, I ran pip install pyquery to see where it would be downloaded to, and got:

Name: pyquery
Version: 1.2.8
Location: /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages
Requires: lxml, cssselect

So the same place as pandas…

How do I change the default download location for pip so that these packages are downloaded to the same location that numpy is in?

Note: There were a few similar questions that I saw when searching for a solution, but I didn’t see anything that mentioned permanently changing the default location.

Asked By: weskpga


Answer #1:

According to pip documentation at

You will need to specify the default install location within a pip.ini file, which, also according to the website above is usually located as follows

On Unix and Mac OS X the configuration file is: $HOME/.pip/pip.conf

On Windows, the configuration file is: %HOME%pippip.ini

The %HOME% is located in C:UsersBob on windows assuming your name is Bob

On linux the $HOME directory can be located by using cd ~

You may have to create the pip.ini file when you find your pip directory. Within your pip.ini or pip.config you will then need to put (assuming your on windows) something like


Except that you would replace C:UsersBobDesktop with whatever path you desire. If you are on Linux you would replace it with something like /usr/local/your/path

After saving the command would then be

pip install pandas

However, the program you install might assume it will be installed in a certain directory and might not work as a result of being installed elsewhere.

Answered By: Austin

Answer #2:

You can set the following environment variable:


Answered By: barbolo

Answer #3:

Open Terminal and type:

pip config set /Users/Bob/Library/Python/3.8/lib/python/site-packages

except instead of


you would use whatever directory you want.

Answered By: Jarrell Khoo

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