Apple stops bundling Python with macOS

Apple has officially deprecated Python 2.7 in macOS Monterey 12.3. The company is advising its developers to use an alternative programming language instead, such as Python 3, which, however, does not come preinstalled on macOS.

  • Python 2.7 doesn’t come preinstalled on macOS Monterey 12.3
  • Python 2 hasn’t been officially supported since January 2020
  • Use an alternative language instead, like Python 3
  • Python 3 also does not come preinstalled on macOS
  • Programmers can install Python 3 via Xcode developer tools

Apple unbundles Python from macOS

Developer release notes for macOS Monterey 12.3 on Apple’s website reveal that “Python 2.7 was removed from macOS in this update.” The Cupertino company advises that developers use an alternative programming language instead, such as Python 3. For what it’s worth, Python 3 also isn’t bundled with macOS. The unbundling of Python from macOS certainly doesn’t mean that developers can no longer write Python scripts on their Macs, but doing so may require manual installation of Python 3 as of macOS 12.3.

How is this going to affect me?

Good riddance, we say. Who would even use Python 2 anymore?

Python 2 is not officially supported with bug fixes, performance and security updates and maintenance releases as of January 1, 2020, so why would Apple continue bundling an outdated programming language with macOS?

If you’re not a Python developer, this change won’t concern you much.

Apple warned developers it’d remove scripting languages like Python from macOS as far back as 2019. It’s mentioned right there in the macOS Catalina 10.15 release notes where it’s specifically stated that scripting language runtimes such as Python, Ruby and Perl are included in macOS for “compatibility with legacy software.” Furthermore, it’s stated with certainty that future versions of macOS won’t include scripting language runtimes by default, “and might require you to install additional packages.”

“If your software depends on scripting languages, it’s recommended that you bundle the runtime within the app,” according to the macOS Catalina 10.15 release notes on the Apple Developer website.