First, let me get the obvious out of the way: I have not touched the system-bundled Python. I know it’s important to leave it alone. I have, in fact, done exactly that. ☺


The Python official releases for Mac have a very handy Installer. (It’s the Installer’s brilliance that allowed me to put newer versions of Python on my system without screwing up the system-bundled version. Thanks, Pythonistas!)

Now, my primary Python installation is 2.7. Since it is the last 2.x release, that’s fine.

However, I was curious to learn about Python 3 as well, so I installed it. And it plays perfectly nicely with Python 2. In fact, Python 3 is opt-in, which is just what I wanted. “Works as advertised.”

Now, the weird part…

I have 2 installed versions of Python 3! The installers for Python 3.1 and Python 3.2 both installed to separate locations. So, now I have Python 3.1 hanging around and I’m never planning to use it. And since the installer is awesome (I’m not being sarcastic; I’m really impressed, especially since most programming languages require compilation from source), it also creates entries in /Applications with some handy utilities.

But since I have installed a newer Python 2 and two versions of Python 3, this means I now have:

  • /Applications/Python 2.7,
  • /Applications/Python 3.1, and
  • /Applications/Python 3.2

Help Wanted!

I just want to ditch Python 3.1.

And I want to be very thorough about it. No forgotten directories buried under /Library/* (or whatever).

Anybody know how to do this?

  • 1
    You should check the installation script for python 3.1 and build an installation file-list. After this do this for the python 3.2 too (you don't want remove files common to both versions.).
    – clt60
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


From python docs noting that they seem to have hard coded 2.5 instead of the current version and is not that well written

What you get after installing is a number of things:

A MacPython 2.5 folder in your Applications folder. In here you find IDLE, the development environment that is a standard part of official Python distributions; PythonLauncher, which handles double-clicking Python scripts from the Finder; and the “Build Applet” tool, which allows you to package Python scripts as standalone applications on your system.

A framework /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework, which includes the Python executable and libraries. The installer adds this location to your shell path. To uninstall MacPython, you can simply remove these three things. A symlink to the Python executable is placed in /usr/local/bin/.

so remove

/Applications/Python 3.1

(I use a different install so this might be python3.1 or similar)


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