Prior to installing ArcGIS Pro 1.3 (I am now at 1.3.1), on Windows 7 SP1, I have been starting IDLE in a Python Shell Window from the Windows Start Menu using IDLE (Python GUI) in the Python 3.4 folder. I can still do that but it reports that I am using Python 3.4.3.

However, when I use Windows Explorer and right-click a *.py file and choose Edit with IDLE (ArcGIS Pro) the Python Script Window that opens reports that I am using Python 3.4.4.

In the help for Python in ArcGIS Pro 1.3 it says:

In prior versions of ArcGIS Pro, Python was accessed outside of ArcGIS Pro through a separate installation of Python for ArcGIS Pro. Starting in ArcGIS Pro 1.3, Python for ArcGIS Pro is no longer required and should be uninstalled to avoid confusion.

which makes me suspect that I should no longer be using or have the Python 3.4 folder under All Programs on the Windows Start Menu.

If I were to delete it, then how would I start the Python Shell Window of IDLE with Python 3.4.4?

  • 2
    My ArcGIS Pro python install is found at :\Program Files\ArcGIS\Pro\bin\Python\envs\arcgispro-py3 (for ArcGIS Pro 1.3.1). I removed all my other Python 3.x installs (since I wasn't using them for anything other than ArcGIS Pro). And for what it's worth, my 1.3.1 python install says it's Python 3.5.1
    – Midavalo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 3:24
  • 1
    @Midavalo I think my Python 3.4 is left over from ArcGIS Pro 1.2 and I would simply remove it except that would cut me off from an obvious way to start the Python Shell Window of IDLE with Python 3.4.x.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 3:25
  • 1
    Idle is included in the new python install location
    – Midavalo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 3:30
  • 1
    Before I try that (which I am confident will work) I am keen to know whether there is something more OOTB. Whenever I train people new to Python in ArcPy I find it easiest to just do vanilla installs of ArcGIS Pro/Desktop. It has been useful to say "simply install ArcGIS Pro/Desktop and here is an IDE ready to use".
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 3:45
  • 1
    @MichaelMiles-Stimson My reading is that conda is there to allay those fears and abstract complex installs to something easier: pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/arcpy/get-started/what-is-conda.htm I think it is just IDLE users losing out in one place due to the change. Other parts of the change seem to be advantageous.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 4:56

2 Answers 2


You can start the Python IDLE GUI from the Start Menu using the ArcGIS Pro Python command prompt.

Start Menu > All Programs > ArcGIS > ArcGIS Pro > Python Command Prompt

This will open a command prompt window at the current ArcGIS Pro python conda environment. Typing idle at this prompt will open the IDLE GUI.

  • Clicking Python Command Prompt gives an Access denied error unless I run it as Administrator but either way at least I can get to IDLE's Python Shell and Script windows now.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 2:30

There is a lot of information explaining where paths are and how to launch things in this post here. It should be the first stop (besides doc) on the changes to Python in Pro 1.3.

In short if you want to launch IDLE, it'd typically be found here now: "C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Pro\bin\Python\envs\arcgispro-py3\lib\idlelib\idle.bat" Note - in the post above there was mention of possible problems running IDLE. (So your mileage may vary)

As for an unsolicited personal opinion: Idle really isn't great. Theres so many better options out there. Yes, Idle may come bundled up with the installation, but so does Notepad with Windows. Both serve a purpose, but fall so incredibly short compared to freely available options for download.

  • It's a shame that post does not itself mention IDLE. It is currently only mentioned in one of the many comments on it.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 1:00

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