How To Decrease Version Of Python From 3 To 2

Python Programming

Recently, I found myself in a situation where I needed to decrease the version of Python from 3 to 2. As a developer, I understand the importance of backward compatibility and the need to support older versions of a programming language. In this article, I will share the steps I took to successfully downgrade Python from version 3 to version 2.

Gathering the necessary information

Before diving into the process, it’s important to gather the necessary information to ensure a smooth transition. The first step is to identify the specific version of Python 2 that you want to downgrade to. Check the documentation or speak with your team to determine the exact version.

You should also take note of any third-party libraries or frameworks that you are currently using in your Python 3 code. It’s crucial to verify if these dependencies are compatible with Python 2 or if there are alternative versions available.

Creating a virtual environment

Once you have the necessary information, the next step is to create a virtual environment for Python 2. This will allow you to isolate your Python 2 environment from your existing Python 3 installation and ensure a clean downgrade process.

To create a virtual environment, open your terminal and navigate to your project directory. Then, run the following command:

python2 -m venv myenv

This command will create a new directory called “myenv” which will contain all the necessary files for your Python 2 environment.

Activating the virtual environment

After creating the virtual environment, you need to activate it to start using Python 2. In your terminal, navigate to the directory where the virtual environment was created and run the following command:

source myenv/bin/activate

Once activated, you will notice that your terminal prompt changes to indicate that you are now working within the virtual environment.

Installing Python 2

With the virtual environment activated, it’s time to install Python 2. Since you have already determined the specific version you want to downgrade to, you can download the corresponding Python 2 installer from the official Python website.

Once the installer is downloaded, run it and follow the installation instructions. Make sure to select the option to install Python 2 into your virtual environment directory.

Migrating your code

After successfully installing Python 2, it’s time to migrate your code from Python 3 to Python 2. Depending on the complexity of your codebase, this process can vary.

Start by running your existing Python 3 code within the virtual environment to identify any compatibility issues. Python 2 has some differences in syntax, standard libraries, and behavior, so you may encounter errors during this step. It’s important to carefully review and modify your code according to the Python 2 documentation.

Additionally, you will need to update any third-party libraries or frameworks that are not compatible with Python 2. Consult their documentation or seek alternative versions that support Python 2.


Downgrading Python from version 3 to 2 can be a complex process, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it is achievable. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully create a Python 2 virtual environment, install Python 2, and migrate your code to ensure compatibility.

Remember to thoroughly test your code after the migration process to ensure that everything is functioning as expected. It’s also important to keep in mind that Python 2 is no longer officially supported, so consider the long-term implications of using an outdated version.

Overall, downgrading Python versions requires patience and a deep understanding of both the versions and your codebase. However, with proper planning and execution, you can navigate the process smoothly and continue developing with Python 2.