How to upgrade all Python packages with pip


Is it possible to upgrade all Python packages at one time with pip?

Note: that there is a feature request for this on the official issue tracker.

  • 51
    Beware software rot—upgrading dependencies might break your app. You can list the exact version of all installed packages with pip freeze (like bundle install or npm shrinkwrap). Best to save a copy of that before tinkering. May 22 '13 at 13:01
  • 1
    If you want to update a single package and all of its dependencies (arguably a more sensible approach), do this: pip install -U --upgrade-strategy eager your-package
    – Cyberwiz
    Feb 24 at 15:33
  • 4
    I use PowerShell 7 and currently I use this one-liner: pip list --format freeze | %{pip install --upgrade $_.split('==')[0]} (I am unable to post an answer here yet) Mar 7 at 5:11

There isn't a built-in flag yet, but you can use

pip list --outdated --format=freeze | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1  | xargs -n1 pip install -U

Note: there are infinite potential variations for this. I'm trying to keep this answer short and simple, but please do suggest variations in the comments!

In older version of pip, you can use this instead:

pip freeze --local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1  | xargs -n1 pip install -U

The grep is to skip editable ("-e") package definitions, as suggested by @jawache. (Yes, you could replace grep+cut with sed or awk or perl or...).

The -n1 flag for xargs prevents stopping everything if updating one package fails (thanks @andsens).

  • 68
    Right :( The issue now lives at . But every suggestion seems to be answered with "Yeah, but I'm too sure if X is the right way to do Y"... Now is better than never? Practicality beats purity? :(
    – rbp
    Aug 12 '11 at 8:40
  • 25
    It also prints those packages that were installed with a normal package manager (like apt-get or Synaptic). If I execute this pip install -U, it will update all packages. I'm afraid it can cause some conflict with apt-get.
    – Jabba
    Sep 13 '11 at 4:11
  • 8
    How about changing grep to: egrep -v '^(\-e|#)' (i get this line when running it on ubuntu 12.10: "## FIXME: could not find svn URL in dependency_links for this package:". Mar 5 '13 at 14:29
  • 36
    I'd throw in a tee before doing the actual upgrade so that you can get a list of the original verisons. E.g. pip freeze --local | tee before_upgrade.txt | ... That way it would be easier to revert if there's any problems.
    – Emil H
    Mar 4 '14 at 6:29
  • 10
    I added -H to sudo to avoid an annoying error message: $ pip freeze --local | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 sudo -H pip install -U
    – Mario S
    Mar 17 '16 at 1:53

You can use the following Python code. Unlike pip freeze, this will not print warnings and FIXME errors. For pip < 10.0.1

import pip
from subprocess import call

packages = [dist.project_name for dist in pip.get_installed_distributions()]
call("pip install --upgrade " + ' '.join(packages), shell=True)

For pip >= 10.0.1

import pkg_resources
from subprocess import call

packages = [dist.project_name for dist in pkg_resources.working_set]
call("pip install --upgrade " + ' '.join(packages), shell=True)
  • 25
    This works amazingly well… It's always so satisfying when a task takes a REALLY long time… and gives you a bunch of new stuff! PS: Run it as root if you're on OS X!
    – Alex Gray
    Dec 31 '11 at 4:13
  • 55
    Is there no way to install using pip without calling a subprocess? Something like import pip pip.install('packagename')?
    – endolith
    Mar 6 '12 at 16:18
  • 6
    I wrapped this up in a Thanks!
    – Josh K
    Apr 29 '13 at 21:54
  • 7
    @BenMezger: You really shouldn't be using system packages in your virtualenv. You also really shouldn't run more than a handful of trusted, well-known programs as root. Run your virtualenvs with --no-site-packages (default in recent versions). Aug 26 '13 at 2:01
  • 3
    Thumbs up for this one, the chosen answer (above) fails if a package can't be found any more. This script simply continues to the next packages, wonderful.
    – Josh
    Jun 3 '14 at 12:42

To upgrade all local packages; you could use pip-review:

$ pip install pip-review
$ pip-review --local --interactive

pip-review is a fork of pip-tools. See pip-tools issue mentioned by @knedlsepp. pip-review package works but pip-tools package no longer works.

pip-review works on Windows since version 0.5.

  • 2
    @hauzer: It doesn't support Python 3. Though it might be a bug
    – jfs
    Apr 25 '14 at 0:27
  • 7
    @mkoistinen It's a good tool but until it's merged in PIP it means installing something additional which not everyone may desire to do.
    – Wernight
    Jul 22 '14 at 8:50
  • 2
    @Daniel: pip-tools no longer works, pip-review (fork of pip-tools) works.
    – jfs
    Oct 12 '15 at 6:00
  • 7
    pip-review works just fine (at least for Python version 3.5.0) Feb 13 '16 at 12:13
  • 23
    To update all without interactive mode: pip-review --local --auto
    – Dlamini
    May 21 '18 at 1:07

The following works on Windows and should be good for others too ($ is whatever directory you're in, in the command prompt. For example, C:/Users/Username).


$ pip freeze > requirements.txt

Open the text file, replace the == with >=, or have sed do it for you:

$ sed -i 's/==/>=/g' requirements.txt

and execute:

$ pip install -r requirements.txt --upgrade

If you have a problem with a certain package stalling the upgrade (NumPy sometimes), just go to the directory ($), comment out the name (add a # before it) and run the upgrade again. You can later uncomment that section back. This is also great for copying Python global environments.

Another way:

I also like the pip-review method:

$ pip install pip-review

$ pip-review --local --interactive

$ pip3 install pip-review

$ py -3 -m pip_review --local --interactive

You can select 'a' to upgrade all packages; if one upgrade fails, run it again and it continues at the next one.

  • 32
    You should remove requirements.txt's =={version}. For example: python-dateutil==2.4.2 to python-dateutil for all lines.
    – youngminz
    May 15 '16 at 5:28
  • 5
    I found that this didn't actually upgrade the packages on macOS.
    – jkooker
    Mar 8 '17 at 14:42
  • 12
    @youngminz I would recommand a quick 'Replace all "==" > ">=" ' in your editor/ide before running 'pip install...' to fix this Mar 16 '17 at 11:12
  • 8
    for linux: $ pip freeze | cut -d '=' -f1> requirements.txt in order to remove the version
    – Cavaz
    Jan 14 '18 at 18:22
  • 2
    If the shell you use is bash, you can shorten it into one command via pip3 install -r <(pip3 freeze) --upgrade Effectively, <(pip3 freeze) is an anonymous pipe, but it will act as a file object Sep 3 '18 at 22:17

Use pipupgrade!

$ pip install pipupgrade
$ pipupgrade --verbose --latest --yes

pipupgrade helps you upgrade your system, local or packages from a requirements.txt file! It also selectively upgrades packages that don't break change.

pipupgrade also ensures to upgrade packages present within multiple Python environments. It is compatible with Python 2.7+, Python 3.4+ and pip 9+, pip 10+, pip 18+, pip 19+.

Enter image description here

Note: I'm the author of the tool.

  • 2
    This method has much cleaner output than @rbp's answer
    – Gaia
    Jan 27 '19 at 16:52
  • 9
    Nice idea, but it's stuck at Checking... forever when I tried it.
    – CGFoX
    Mar 22 '19 at 6:46
  • 1
    Just installed it and also stuck at checking [0;93mChecking...[0m
    – Chris
    May 29 '19 at 17:11
  • 1
    @nathandrake care to open an issue on the issues page? Jul 15 '19 at 16:50
  • 2
    Got an error on Windows 10 and Python 3.7.5: ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'ctypes.windll'
    – Qin Heyang
    Nov 13 '19 at 3:55

Windows version after consulting the excellent documentation for FOR by Rob van der Woude:

for /F "delims===" %i in ('pip freeze -l') do pip install -U %i
  • 24
    for /F "delims= " %i in ('pip list --outdated') do pip install -U %i Quicker since it'll only try and update "outdated" packages Apr 19 '16 at 19:30
  • 3
    @RefaelAckermann I suspect this will be slower than the original :) To know which packages are outdated pip has to first check what's the latest version of each package. It does exactly the same as the first step when updating and does not proceed if there's no newer version available. However in your version pip will check versions two times, the first time to establish the list of outdated packages and the second time when updating packages on this list. Jan 17 '17 at 9:22
  • 3
    @RefaelAckermann Spinning up pip is order of magnitude faster than checking version of a package over network so that's number of checks which should be optimized not number of spin ups. Mine makes n checks, yours makes n+m checks. Jan 18 '17 at 14:38
  • 2
    +1 - It's 6.20.2019, I'm using Python 3.7.3 on WIndows 10, and this was the best way for me to update all my local packages.
    – MacItaly
    Jun 20 '19 at 17:44
  • 2
    Need to skip the first two lines of the output: for /F "skip=2 delims= " %i in ('pip list --outdated') do pip install --upgrade %i. If this is run from a batch file, make sure to use %%i instead of %i. Also note that it's cleaner to update pip prior to running this command using python -m pip install --upgrade pip.
    – Andy
    Jul 13 '19 at 8:15

This option seems to me more straightforward and readable:

pip install -U `pip list --outdated | awk 'NR>2 {print $1}'`

The explanation is that pip list --outdated outputs a list of all the outdated packages in this format:

Package   Version Latest Type 
--------- ------- ------ -----
fonttools 3.31.0  3.32.0 wheel
urllib3   1.24    1.24.1 wheel
requests  2.20.0  2.20.1 wheel

In the awk command, NR>2 skips the first two records (lines) and {print $1} selects the first word of each line (as suggested by SergioAraujo, I removed tail -n +3 since awk can indeed handle skipping records).

  • If one upgrade fails, none of the upgrades happen.
    – Boris
    Nov 11 '18 at 14:19

You can just print the packages that are outdated:

pip freeze | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n 1 pip search | grep -B2 'LATEST:'
  • 14
    Inside a virtualenv, I do it like this: pip freeze --local | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n 1 pip search | grep -B2 'LATEST:' Mar 28 '12 at 19:46
  • Nowadays you can also do that with python -m pip list outdated (though it's not in requirements format).
    – Jacktose
    Oct 28 '16 at 18:22
  • 3
    @Jacktose I think you meant python -m pip list --outdated.
    – Hugues
    Mar 12 at 15:55

The following one-liner might prove of help:

(pip > 20.0)

pip list --format freeze --outdated | sed 's/=.*//g' | xargs -n1 pip install -U

Older Versions:

pip list --format freeze --outdated | sed 's/(.*//g' | xargs -n1 pip install -U

xargs -n1 keeps going if an error occurs.

If you need more "fine grained" control over what is omitted and what raises an error you should not add the -n1 flag and explicitly define the errors to ignore, by "piping" the following line for each separate error:

| sed 's/^<First characters of the error>.*//'

Here is a working example:

pip list --format freeze --outdated | sed 's/=.*//g' | sed 's/^<First characters of the first error>.*//' | sed 's/^<First characters of the second error>.*//' | xargs pip install -U
  • Had to add filters for lines beginning with 'Could' and 'Some' because apparently pip sends warnings to stdout :( Aug 13 '15 at 23:03
  • OK, this is fair: You can add as many | sed 's/^<First characters of the error>.*//' as needed. Thank you!
    – raratiru
    Nov 3 '15 at 0:31
  • 14
    Or: pip list --outdated | cut -d ' ' -f 1 | xargs -n 1 pip install --upgrade
    – Jens
    Dec 9 '15 at 21:15

More Robust Solution

For pip3, use this:

pip3 freeze --local |sed -rn 's/^([^=# \t\\][^ \t=]*)=.*/echo; echo Processing \1 ...; pip3 install -U \1/p' |sh

For pip, just remove the 3s as such:

pip freeze --local |sed -rn 's/^([^=# \t\\][^ \t=]*)=.*/echo; echo Processing \1 ...; pip install -U \1/p' |sh

OS X Oddity

OS X, as of July 2017, ships with a very old version of sed (a dozen years old). To get extended regular expressions, use -E instead of -r in the solution above.

Solving Issues with Popular Solutions

This solution is well designed and tested1, whereas there are problems with even the most popular solutions.

  • Portability issues due to changing pip command line features
  • Crashing of xargs because of common pip or pip3 child process failures
  • Crowded logging from the raw xargs output
  • Relying on a Python-to-OS bridge while potentially upgrading it3

The above command uses the simplest and most portable pip syntax in combination with sed and sh to overcome these issues completely. Details of the sed operation can be scrutinized with the commented version2.


[1] Tested and regularly used in a Linux 4.8.16-200.fc24.x86_64 cluster and tested on five other Linux/Unix flavors. It also runs on Cygwin64 installed on Windows 10. Testing on iOS is needed.

[2] To see the anatomy of the command more clearly, this is the exact equivalent of the above pip3 command with comments:

# Match lines from pip's local package list output
# that meet the following three criteria and pass the
# package name to the replacement string in group 1.
# (a) Do not start with invalid characters
# (b) Follow the rule of no white space in the package names
# (c) Immediately follow the package name with an equal sign
sed="s/^([^=# \t\\][^ \t=]*)=.*"

# Separate the output of package upgrades with a blank line

# Indicate what package is being processed
sed="$sed; echo Processing \1 ..."

# Perform the upgrade using just the valid package name
sed="$sed; pip3 install -U \1"

# Output the commands

# Stream edit the list as above
# and pass the commands to a shell
pip3 freeze --local | sed -rn "$sed" | sh

[3] Upgrading a Python or PIP component that is also used in the upgrading of a Python or PIP component can be a potential cause of a deadlock or package database corruption.

  • 3
    another way to overcome the jurassic BSD sed of OS X is to use gsed (GNU sed) instead. To get it, brew install gnu-sed Jan 9 '19 at 7:33
  • @WalterTross ... Jurassic ... good adjective use. So we now have two ways to group update pip packages with a nice audit trail on the terminal. (1) Use the -E option as in the answer and (2) install gsed to leave the Jurassic period. Jan 9 '19 at 8:13

This seems more concise.

pip list --outdated | cut -d ' ' -f1 | xargs -n1 pip install -U


pip list --outdated gets lines like these

urllib3 (1.7.1) - Latest: 1.15.1 [wheel]
wheel (0.24.0) - Latest: 0.29.0 [wheel]

In cut -d ' ' -f1, -d ' ' sets "space" as the delimiter, -f1 means to get the first column.

So the above lines becomes:


then pass them to xargs to run the command, pip install -U, with each line as appending arguments

-n1 limits the number of arguments passed to each command pip install -U to be 1

  • I received this warning DEPRECATION: The default format will switch to columns in the future. You can use --format=(legacy|columns) (or define a format=(legacy|columns) in your pip.conf under the [list] section) to disable this warning.
    – Reman
    Nov 26 '16 at 14:01
  • 2
    @Reman: that is because you are using Pip v9.0.1. This is just a deprecation message meaning that some functionalities will not survive in a future Pip release. Nothing to be concerned about ;)
    – AlessioX
    Dec 17 '16 at 20:11
  • However, this has to be marked as the final solution. Indeed the accepted answer will run all over your pip packages, which is a waste of time if you have to update only 1 or 2 packages. This solution, as instead, will run just all over the outdated packages
    – AlessioX
    Dec 17 '16 at 20:12

I had the same problem with upgrading. Thing is, I never upgrade all packages. I upgrade only what I need, because project may break.

Because there was no easy way for upgrading package by package, and updating the requirements.txt file, I wrote this pip-upgrader which also updates the versions in your requirements.txt file for the packages chosen (or all packages).


pip install pip-upgrader


Activate your virtualenv (important, because it will also install the new versions of upgraded packages in current virtualenv).

cd into your project directory, then run:


Advanced usage

If the requirements are placed in a non-standard location, send them as arguments:

pip-upgrade path/to/requirements.txt

If you already know what package you want to upgrade, simply send them as arguments:

pip-upgrade -p django -p celery -p dateutil

If you need to upgrade to pre-release / post-release version, add --prerelease argument to your command.

Full disclosure: I wrote this package.

  • 9
    This is what pip should do by default.
    Jun 8 '17 at 15:51
  • heads up with your tool some character escapes don't seem to work correctly on my windows machine but other than that it's fine
    – Luke
    Jul 12 '17 at 12:43
  • haven't really tested it on windows, but i'll install a virtual machine. Thanks Jul 12 '17 at 14:01
  • If virtualenv is not enabled pip-upgrade --skip-virtualenv-check
    – Morse
    Apr 2 '18 at 15:15
  • 2
    This works also with a requirements folder having common, dev and prod requirements. Simply great!
    – cwhisperer
    Oct 3 '19 at 8:56

One-liner version of Ramana's answer.

python -c 'import pip, subprocess; ["pip install -U " + d.project_name, shell=1) for d in pip.get_installed_distributions()]'
  • 5"sudo pip install... in case you need permissions May 27 '14 at 19:50
  • 4
    @MaximilianoRios Please do not sudo pip install, use a virtual env, instead.
    – Bengt
    Feb 20 '16 at 15:28


$ pip install -U `yolk -U | awk '{print $1}' | uniq`

However, you need to get yolk first:

$ sudo pip install -U yolk
  • 2
    Last commit 7 years ago
    – Boris
    Jul 29 '19 at 6:33
  • in year 2013 AD
    – dotbit
    Dec 10 '19 at 19:09

When using a virtualenv and if you just want to upgrade packages added to your virtualenv, you may want to do:

pip install `pip freeze -l | cut --fields=1 -d = -` --upgrade

The simplest and fastest solution that I found in the pip issue discussion is:

pip install pipdate


  • 3
    Whereas other solutions stalled upon encountering the slightest anomaly, this solution warned and then skipped the problem to continue with the other packages. Great! May 10 '18 at 20:14
  • up voting this, Works perfectly in windows Aug 11 '20 at 8:42
  • 1
    I used pipdate and now can't find pip or python. Use at your own risk. Aug 28 '20 at 22:22

Windows PowerShell solution

pip freeze | %{$_.split('==')[0]} | %{pip install --upgrade $_}
  • pip list --outdated | %{$_.split('==')[0]} | %{pip install --upgrade $_}?
    – Foad
    May 22 '19 at 8:38
  • 3
    Perhaps pip list --outdated --format freeze | %{$_.split('==')[0]} | %{pip install --upgrade $_} would be more appropriate.
    – brainplot
    Jan 3 '20 at 5:06

Use AWK update packages:

pip install -U $(pip freeze | awk -F'[=]' '{print $1}')

Windows PowerShell update

foreach($p in $(pip freeze)){ pip install -U $p.Split("=")[0]}
  • And for python 3... pip3 install -U $(pip3 freeze | awk -F'[=]' '{print $1}') Apr 3 '19 at 7:48

The pip_upgrade_outdated (based on this older script) does the job. According to its documentation:

usage: pip_upgrade_outdated [-h] [-3 | -2 | --pip_cmd PIP_CMD]
                            [--serial | --parallel] [--dry_run] [--verbose]

Upgrade outdated python packages with pip.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help         show this help message and exit
  -3                 use pip3
  -2                 use pip2
  --pip_cmd PIP_CMD  use PIP_CMD (default pip)
  --serial, -s       upgrade in serial (default)
  --parallel, -p     upgrade in parallel
  --dry_run, -n      get list, but don't upgrade
  --verbose, -v      may be specified multiple times
  --version          show program's version number and exit

Step 1:

pip install pip-upgrade-outdated

Step 2:

  • 2
    Step 1: pip install pip-upgrade-outdated Step 2: pip-upgrade-outdated ...done
    – shao.lo
    Oct 23 '18 at 22:55
  • This is indeed a really good package. Needs more publicity, I have been working in python for a long while and this is the first time I hear about it. Nice! Sep 17 '20 at 5:37
  • 1
    @MarioChapa Thanks -- I wrote it (based on a gist). Aug 19 at 14:13

You can try this:

for i in ` pip list | awk -F ' ' '{print $1}'`; do pip install --upgrade $i; done
  • this is the cleanest, highest readable way to update pip packages in the most amount of brevity. great. Oct 28 '13 at 12:41

The rather amazing yolk makes this easy.

pip install yolk3k # Don't install `yolk`, see
yolk --upgrade

For more information on yolk:

It can do lots of things you'll probably find useful.

  • 3
    Your answer has been changed from yolk to yolk3k, your original answer definitely had issues with python3.
    – AXO
    Dec 19 '16 at 19:41

A pure Bash/Z shell one-liner for achieving that:

for p in $(pip list -o --format freeze); do pip install -U ${p%%=*}; done

Or, in a nicely-formatted way:

for p in $(pip list -o --format freeze)
    pip install -U ${p%%=*}
  • 1
    What does <p%%=*> stand for? Jun 9 '20 at 17:31
  • 2
    @ᐅdevrimbaris this removes version spec and leaves only package name. You can see it by running for p in $(pip list -o --format freeze); do echo "${p} -> ${p%%=*}"; done. In more general way, ${haystack%%needle} means delete longest match of needle from back of haystack. Jun 10 '20 at 12:15

Updating Python Packages On Windows Or Linux

1-Output a list of installed packages into a requirements file (requirements.txt):

pip freeze > requirements.txt

2- Edit requirements.txt, and replace all ‘==’ with ‘>=’. Use the ‘Replace All’ command in the editor.

3 - Upgrade all outdated packages

pip install -r requirements.txt --upgrade


  • This just works. Just do an pip freeze > requirements.txt afterwards to see the acutal diff.
    – aggsol
    Mar 9 at 10:09

Ramana's answer worked the best for me, of those here, but I had to add a few catches:

import pip
for dist in pip.get_installed_distributions():
    if 'site-packages' in dist.location:
            pip.call_subprocess(['pip', 'install', '-U', dist.key])
        except Exception, exc:
            print exc

The site-packages check excludes my development packages, because they are not located in the system site-packages directory. The try-except simply skips packages that have been removed from PyPI.

To endolith: I was hoping for an easy pip.install(dist.key, upgrade=True), too, but it doesn't look like pip was meant to be used by anything but the command line (the docs don't mention the internal API, and the pip developers didn't use docstrings).

  • On Ubuntu (and other Debian derivatives), pip apparently puts packages in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages or similar. You could use '/usr/local/lib/' instead of 'site-packages' in the if statement in this case.
    – drevicko
    Jan 13 '13 at 4:31


pip install -r <(pip freeze) --upgrade

One line in PowerShell 5.1 with administrator rights, Python 3.6.5, and pip version 10.0.1:

pip list -o --format json | ConvertFrom-Json | foreach {pip install $ -U --no-warn-script-location}

It works smoothly if there are no broken packages or special wheels in the list...


The shortest and easiest on Windows.

pip freeze > requirements.txt && pip install --upgrade -r requirements.txt && rm requirements.txt
  • @Enkouyami on windows 7 this command does not work without the -r. -r must preclude the path to the requirements file. Jul 16 '18 at 21:45
  • 1
    In what context? CMD? PowerShell? Cygwin? Anaconda? Something else? Oct 6 '20 at 22:28

Sent through a pull-request to the pip folks; in the meantime use this pip library solution I wrote:

from pip import get_installed_distributions
from pip.commands import install

install_cmd = install.InstallCommand()

options, args = install_cmd.parse_args([package.project_name
                                        for package in

options.upgrade = True, args)  # Chuck this in a try/except and print as wanted

This seemed to work for me...

pip install -U $(pip list --outdated | awk '{printf $1" "}')

I used printf with a space afterwards to properly separate the package names.


This is a PowerShell solution for Python 3:

pip3 list --outdated --format=legacy | ForEach { pip3 install -U $_.split(" ")[0] }

And for Python 2:

pip2 list --outdated --format=legacy | ForEach { pip2 install -U $_.split(" ")[0] }

This upgrades the packages one by one. So a

pip3 check
pip2 check

afterwards should make sure no dependencies are broken.