Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time
September 21, 2023 11:05
September 19, 2017 15:52
March 16, 2022 16:39


CI PyPI - Version PyPI - Python Version PyPI - Downloads License - PSF-2.0

This is the readme for the Python for Win32 (pywin32) extensions, which provides access to many of the Windows APIs from Python.

See CHANGES.txt for recent notable changes.


The docs are a long and sad story, but there's now an online version of the helpfile that ships with the installers (thanks @ofek!). Lots of that is very old, but some is auto-generated and current. Would love help untangling the docs!


Feel free to open issues for all bugs (or suspected bugs) in pywin32. pull-requests for all bugs or features are also welcome.

However, please do not open github issues for general support requests, or for problems or questions using the modules in this package - they will be closed. For such issues, please email the python-win32 mailing list - note that you must be subscribed to the list before posting.


Binary releases are deprecated. While they are still provided, find them here

Installing via PIP

You should install pywin32 via pip - eg,

python -m pip install --upgrade pywin32

There is a post-install script (see below) which should not be run inside virtual environments; it should only be run in "global" installs.

For unreleased changes, you can download builds made by github actions - choose any "workflow" from the main branch and download its "artifacts")

Installing globally

Outside of a virtual environment you might want to install COM objects, services, etc. You can do this by executing:

python Scripts/ -install

From the root of your Python installation.

If you do this with normal permissions it will be global for your user (a few files will be copied to the root of your Python install and some changes made to HKCU). If you execute this from an elevated process, it will be global for the machine (files will be copied to System32, HKLM will be changed, etc)

Running as a Windows Service

To run as a service, you probably want to install pywin32 globally from an elevated command prompt - see above.

You also need to ensure Python is installed in a location where the user running the service has access to the installation and is able to load pywintypesXX.dll and pythonXX.dll. In particular, the LocalSystem account typically will not have access to your local %USER% directory structure.


If you encounter any problems when upgrading like the following:

The specified procedure could not be found
Entry-point not found

It usually means one of 2 things:

  • You've upgraded an install where the post-install script has previously run. So you should run it again:

    python Scripts/ -install

    This will make some small attempts to cleanup older conflicting installs.

  • There are other pywin32 DLLs installed in your system, but in a different location than the new ones. This sometimes happens in environments that come with pywin32 pre-shipped (eg, anaconda?).

    The possible solutions here are:

    • Run the "post_install" script documented above.

    • Otherwise, find and remove all other copies of pywintypesXX.dll and pythoncomXX.dll (where XX is the Python version - eg, "39")

Building from source

Install Visual Studio 2019 (later probably works, but options might be different), select "Desktop Development with C++", then the following options:

  • Windows 10 SDK (latest offered I guess? At time of writing, 10.0.18362)
  • "C++ for MFC for ..."
  • ARM build tools if necessary.

(the free compilers probably work too, but haven't been tested - let me know your experiences!) is a standard distutils build script, so you probably want:

python install


python --help

Some modules need obscure SDKs to build - should succeed, gracefully telling you why it failed to build them - if the build actually fails with your configuration, please open an issue.

Release process

The following steps are performed when making a new release - this is mainly to form a checklist so mhammond doesn't forget what to do :)

  • Ensure CHANGES.txt has everything worth noting. Update the header to reflect the about-to-be released build and date, commit it.

  • Update with the new build number.

  • Execute make.bat, wait forever, test the artifacts.

  • Upload .whl artifacts to pypi - we do this before pushing the tag because they might be rejected for an invalid Done via py -3.? -m twine upload dist/*XXX*.whl.

  • Commit (so the new build number is in the repo), create a new git tag

  • Upload the .exe installers to github.

  • Update with the new build number + ".1" (eg, 123.1), to ensure future test builds aren't mistaken for the real release.

  • Make sure everything is pushed to github, including the tag (ie, git push --tags)

  • Send mail to python-win32