Python just doesn't work at all


For some reason, Python 3.5 just crashes the second I open it up, displaying this:

Fatal Python error: Py_initialize: unable to load the file system codec
ImportError: No module named 'encodings'

Current thread 0x00002168 (most recent call first):

When I try to open IDLE, nothing happens.

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling, repairing, but nothing happens. I'm using Windows 10 and Python 3.5. Is there something I'm missing?

asked on Stack Overflow Feb 16, 2016 by linky00

2 Answers


Have you tried the solution mentioned in this answer/comments?

Python3 installed successfully, but cannot be opened in terminal

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 16, 2016 by Igor • edited May 23, 2017 by Community

I have been struggling with this for 3 hours too (I am using Windows 10 as well). Here is the solution:

  1. Go to Control Panel\System and Security\System, click Advanced system settings on the left.
  2. A window will pop up, hit the tab "advanced". Then hit Environment variables
  3. Scroll down the "system variables", double click PYTHONHOME and set it to the directory where you have Python installed (for me it was C:\Program Files (x86)\Python35-32).

Hope this helps

answered on Stack Overflow Feb 24, 2016 by Mohamed • edited Feb 24, 2016 by cchapman

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