How To Exit Interactive Mode Python

Python Programming

Have you ever found yourself stuck in interactive mode while coding in Python? I certainly have, and it can be quite frustrating. In this article, I’ll show you a few ways to exit interactive mode in Python, so you can get back to writing your amazing code!

What is Interactive Mode?

Before we dive into how to exit interactive mode, let’s first understand what it is. When you run the Python interpreter without any arguments, it starts in interactive mode. This means that you can enter Python expressions and statements directly into the interpreter, and they will be executed immediately. It’s a great way to experiment and test small snippets of code.

Exiting Interactive Mode with Control-D or Control-Z

The simplest and most common way to exit interactive mode is to use a keyboard shortcut. In most operating systems, you can use either Control-D (Unix/Linux) or Control-Z (Windows) to exit the Python interpreter. Just press the corresponding key combination, and you’ll be back at your command prompt or IDE.

For example, if you’re using a Unix-based system, you can simply press Control-D:

$ python
Python 3.9.1 (default, Jan 8 2021, 16:43:59)
[GCC 9.3.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> exit()

On Windows, you can use Control-Z:

>>> exit()

Once you press the key combination, you’ll see that the Python interpreter exits, and you’re back to your regular command prompt or IDE.

Exiting Interactive Mode with the exit() Function

If you prefer to use a Python function instead of a keyboard shortcut, you can use the exit() function. This function is built into Python and can be used to exit the interpreter.

Here’s how you can use it:

>>> exit()

Similar to using the keyboard shortcut, the exit() function will immediately exit the interpreter and return you to your command prompt or IDE.


Exiting interactive mode in Python is a simple task that can be accomplished either with a keyboard shortcut or by using the exit() function. Whether you prefer one method over the other, both options provide a quick and easy way to exit interactive mode and get back to writing your Python code.

Next time you find yourself stuck in interactive mode, remember these methods and you’ll be back on track in no time!