[Fixed]-Can't open file 'django-admin.py': [Errno 2] No such file or directory


I had this same problem with slightly newer versions of Python 2.7.x and Django – and it is not the PATH. This is all I had to do to fix it in Windows XP:

  1. Find a .py file (any, even a blank).
  2. Right click on it and choose: “Open with>” and then select “Choose program…”.
  3. This pops up a list of all programs – select python, and check the box “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” and then click OK.

Checking this box resets file associations and fixes this problem for the command line.

The cause of the problem: Telling Windows to open up .py files in a text editor as default.

👤Jay H.


If C:\Python27\Scripts is in your Path, just type in:

django-admin.py startproject proj

There should be a file association with .py and try to execute. If you prefix with python the next command is a file path.

I’ve never been able to do python django-admin.py — I get the same error you describe.

Make sure python is associated with .py. You can check via file properties (opens with…) or typing assoc .py in cmd.


Here is what I did to get this working:

  • Installed Python 2.7 to C:\Python27 using the install package for Windows at python.org
  • I chose to install the latest release version of Django (1.3) (not the development trunk)
  • Installed Django following the instructions here: http://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/topics/install/
  • I’m only doing local development, so I skipped install of Apache and mod_wsgi (as directed in Django instructions)
  • I don’t need a database for my app, so I skipped “Get your database running” section in Django instructions; and I skipped “Remove any old versions of Django” (didn’t have any installed)
  • I skipped down the instructions to “Installing an official release”
  • I installed bsdtar as directed in order to untar the release files on my windows machine – ran no problem.
  • Being on Windows, I started a cmd shell with admin privileges and ran the command “setup.py install” – ran no problem
  • I followed the instruction to verify Django install: running import django and django.print get_version() – returned 1.3, success
  • Then it came time to run django-admin.py startproject myproject – I received similar errors to the above, and when trying to run django-admin.py from within the python interpreter, I received syntax errors pointing at the arguments. Strange.
  • Found this thread, and ran this, which worked: c:\Python27\Scripts\django-admin.py startproject myproject and it worked.
  • Still curious, I wanted to see if I could make it work from cmd prompt, without the paths, since it seemed that should work – and it didn’t.

This is what I did beyond the install instructions that made it work for me on Windows:

  • Verified the file associations, using info from this post – all associations good.
  • Used Start|Computer|System Properties|Advanced System Properties|Environment Variables dialog to set the environment variables as follows:
  • Set New System Variable: PYTHONPATH = c:\Python27\Lib;c:\Python27\Scripts
  • Edit existing User variable: PATH added: C:\Python27;C:\Python27\Scripts to the end.

The result:

  • .py files now execute from cmd command line (no need to run python interpreter first)
  • e.g. the command django-admin.py startproject mynewproject ran just fine.

Please post any questions in the comments, maybe I can help.



Is it possible you associated your .py files with another program (like a text editor)? I had this problem, too, after associating .py files with gedit.

I’d have the problem if I did this:

python django-admin.py startproject myproject

Once I reassociated .py files to python this problem went away.


Gosh! It drove me crazy! Just do the following!

python C:\python27\scripts\django-admin.py startproject mysite


The problem seems to be with the file association. After adding the PATH variables, remove all “py” associations instead of linking them to your Python executable:

Remove the file type “.py ” from the registry or by using a small
free tool for Windows Vista/Windows 7 called ‘Unassoc’ (google for Windows 7 unassoc).

In my case simply unassociating the file type was not enough. I had to remove the file type entirely using the unassoc tool.

Now you should be good to go.


I’ve solved it! It’s the command line to open a file .py.

It has to be like so:

"C:\Python27\python.exe" "%1" %*

mine was:

"C:\Python27\python.exe" "%1" without the final %* 

I’ve used FileTypesMan to edit because Windows 7 can’t edit this property.


In my case it was solved by adding the path to django-admin.py.

The instruction in windows with a python 7 and django 1.11 is:

python c:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\django\bin\django-admin.py startproject mysite


First, set the path in PowerShell (in your $profile) like this:

$env:PATH = "C:\Python27\;C:\Python27\Scripts;c:\python27\lib\site-packages\django\bin\;"

Then, to get .py files to open in PowerShell rather than cmd, add this line:

$env:PATHEXT += ";.py"

Finally, to be able to just type “django-admin” and have it work, add this line:

function django-admin {python (gcm django-admin.py | resolve-path) $args}

That should do the trick.


After I installed an IDE, I had a similar (if not the same) problem. Sure enough, the .py “Open With” setting had been changed, and changing it back to the Python Launcher for Windows did the trick.



On Windows, I used

django-admin startproject test 

and it seemed to have worked.


Since the path is too long, I moved the folders to a shorter path inside C: /. This way I call it faster, there is a problem with the route. I use Windows 10 with Django 3.0.5, so it turns out like this: python C:\Python38\Scripts\django-admin.py startproject test


The problem for me was the installation of Visual Studio.

I tried to install django-admin, which is usely automatically set up:

pip3 install django-admin

and it gave to me :

error: Microsoft Visual C++ 14.0 or greater is required.

So, I install Microsoft Visual Studio, and then it works.


Make sure that you cd is where you saved your Notepad++ Python file. If you saved it under your \Python27\ directory, then while in the terminal or PowerShell window, type cd C:\Python27 and press enter.

This will open that directory so when you type python filename.py it will find it and run it. Just remember to save all .py files to the same directory, so you have no further problems.


No Windows, usei:

python -m django startproject mysite

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