checking if program is installing using python

alex23 wuwei23 at
Thu Mar 31 02:47:47 CEST 2005

GujuBoy wrote:
> i want to check to see if a certain program is installed on my
> windows box using python. how can i do that...(ie, i want to
> see if "word" is installed)

This won't help you if you're after an off-the-cuff search for
installed apps, but if you need to determine the existence of a known
application in order to do something specific, this might be of some

First, use the registry to determine the install location of the app.
(You might like to check out the following recipe, which deals with
accessing the registry via Python:

For example, to find the location where MS Office 2003 is installed,
you need to check the registry key
which has two values, the 2nd of which, "Path" is set to "C:\Program
Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\" on my work PC.

Once you have the location, you can just use
os.path.exists(path-from-reg + "\Word.exe") to check that it's actually

In some cases, such as with MSOffice, the key you need to refer to will
depend on the version installed. As mentioned, the regkey above is for
MS Office 2003, which is recorded in the registry as version 11.0. If
you're only concerned that they have an application installed without
caring what version they're using, you'll need to check for several
keys to find the information you're looking for. (Office XP is 10.0,
Office 2K is 9.0, etc) Office is pretty consistent about this between
versions but other applications (such as the godawful virus checker we
use here) can't be counted on being quite as helpful.

Also worth noting if you're actually interested in testing for the
existence of Office apps is that each member of the Office suite can
have its own install location. So if you're only checking for Word, the
would be more relevant than the common install area given above.

Hopefully something in this somewhere will help :)


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