[New-bugs-announce] [issue27054] Python installation problem: No module named 'encodings'

Hugh C. Lauer report at bugs.python.org
Wed May 18 17:59:26 EDT 2016

New submission from Hugh C. Lauer:


I am a university professor who regularly teaches classes in Python programming, particular to students who are NOT computer science majors.

In preparing my course materials for next fall, I have been struggling with setting up a Python 3.5.1 environment on my Windows computer (similar to what most of my students will use).

I continually get the error "Fatal Python error: Py_Initialize: unable to load the file system codec
                                                ImportError: No module named 'encodings'"

This seems to happen with Python 3.5.1 as well as Python 3.5.0.

Nothing related to Python works:- not Python itself, not pip.

My platform is Windows 7 Enterprise, Service Pack 1.

*         I used the installation file "python-3.5.1-amd64.exe" downloaded from the official Python download site.

*         During installation, I selected "Add Python 3.5 to PATH" and "Customize installation".

*         Under "Advanced Options," I selected "Install for all users"

I have tried various other installation options, and nothing is better.

I also tried it on a Windows 10 platform. In that case, Python and IDLE are installed correctly, but I any attempt to use pip to add or install other packages fails with a different error.

For pedagogical reasons, I prefer the simply Python-IDLE environment to the packages such as Miniconda3, but installing Miniconda3 did not help either.

Am I missing something obvious?


Hugh C. Lauer\
Department of Computer Science
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

messages: 265838
nosy: lauer at wpi.edu
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Python installation problem: No module named 'encodings'

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