How to Run Python Programs in Visual Studio Code

Are you an aspiring Python developer looking to streamline your coding process? Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a popular code editor that offers a range of powerful features and extensions to enhance your Python programming experience.

In this article, we will guide you step-by-step on how to run Python programs in Visual Studio Code effectively. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced coder, this guide will help you harness the full potential of VS Code for Python development.

Setting up Visual Studio Code for Python

Before we dive into running Python programs in VS Code, let’s ensure that you have the necessary tools and configurations in place:

  • Install Python: Download and install the latest version of Python from the official website ( Make sure to select the option to add Python to your system’s PATH during the installation process.
  • Install Visual Studio Code: Visit the official Visual Studio Code website ( and download the appropriate version for your operating system. Once downloaded, follow the installation instructions to set up VS Code on your machine.
  • Install the Python Extension: Launch Visual Studio Code and open the Extensions view by clicking on the square icon on the left sidebar or pressing Ctrl+Shift+X (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+Shift+X (macOS). Search for “Python” in the extensions marketplace and click the “Install” button next to the official Python extension.

Creating a Python Project

To get started with Python development in VS Code, you need to create a Python project. Here’s how you can set up a project:

  1. Open VS Code and click on the “Explorer” icon on the left sidebar or press Ctrl+Shift+E (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+Shift+E (macOS) to open the Explorer view.
  2. Create a new folder for your project by right-clicking in the Explorer view and selecting “New Folder.” Give your folder a suitable name.
  3. Open the newly created folder by double-clicking on it in the Explorer view.
  4. Create a new Python file by right-clicking in the Explorer view, selecting “New File,” and giving it a .py extension (e.g.,
  5. You are now ready to start writing Python code in Visual Studio Code!

Writing Python Code in Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code provides a rich set of features to enhance your Python coding experience. Here are some key functionalities you can leverage:

  • Syntax Highlighting: VS Code highlights Python syntax to make your code more readable and easier to understand.
  • Code Snippets: You can use pre-defined code snippets or create custom ones to insert commonly used code patterns with just a few keystrokes.
  • IntelliSense: VS Code offers intelligent code completion suggestions, helping you write code faster and with fewer errors.
  • Code Formatting: You can automatically format your Python code according to a specific style guide or your custom formatting preferences.

Running Python Programs

Once you have written your Python code, it’s time to execute it within Visual Studio Code. Here are the steps to run a Python program:

  1. Open the Python file you want to run in the editor.
  2. Click on the “Run” menu at the top of the window and select the “Run Without Debugging” option, or press Ctrl+F5 (Windows/Linux) or Cmd+F5 (macOS).
  3. VS Code will execute the Python program, and the output will be displayed in the integrated terminal at the bottom of the window.

Debugging Python Code

Debugging is an essential aspect of the development process. VS Code offers powerful debugging capabilities for Python programs. Follow these steps to debug your Python code:

  1. Place breakpoints in your Python code by clicking on the gutter area next to the line numbers or by pressing F9 on the desired line.
  2. Click on the “Run” menu at the top of the window and select the “Start Debugging” option or press F5.
  3. VS Code will start the debugging session, and execution will pause at the breakpoints you set. You can inspect variables, step through the code, and analyze the program’s behavior.


In this article, we covered the essential steps for running Python programs in Visual Studio Code. We discussed setting up VS Code for Python development, creating Python projects, writing and running Python code, debugging, version control with Git, installing extensions, and customizing the editor.

By leveraging the powerful features and intuitive interface of Visual Studio Code, you can boost your productivity and create high-quality Python applications.

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