Python support in Visual Studio 2017


[Updated 7 March 2015] We have now released the preview version of Visual Studio 2017 referred to in this post. Please see our release blog post for more information.


Over the last few months, Visual Studio 2017 has been in preview and many of you have been trying it out and providing feedback. We are very appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to do this.

As many noticed, during an update in January we removed Python support from the VS 2017 Release Candidate. This was done suddenly and without warning, and for that we apologize. We will be making a preview available at launch, and Python support will return to the main VS 2017 installer in an update.

Visual Studio 2017 RC installer showing Python development workload

I want to be clear that Python support will be returning in one of the first VS 2017 updates. We removed it only because we were not going to meet product-completeness targets that are needed to be a core part of the initial Visual Studio release, and are already well on our way to completing these. Specifically, we needed to translate our user interfaces and messages into the set of languages supported by Visual Studio in time for the main release. As anyone who has attempted to provide software with multiple languages will know, this is a unique challenge that requires changes throughout the entire project. We were not confident that we could do that and also resolve any new issues in time for March 7.

In the past, we released standalone installers to add Python support into Visual Studio. The extensibility changes in VS 2017 made simply going back to a standalone installer expensive, and this work would be thrown away when Python support is integrated directly into Visual Studio.

So here’s what we’re doing: around the time of the Visual Studio 2017 release, we will release a separate preview version of VS 2017 that includes Python support. We are currently planning for simultaneous release (March 7), but the stable release is the highest priority and plans for the preview may change.

During the Visual Studio 2017 online release event, there will be more details announced. However, here is what we can tell you so far:

  • Python support will be included in the separate preview release
  • The preview release will not be fully supported (it is not “go live”)
  • All the features of the stable release will be available in the preview release
  • You can install and use both the preview release and the stable release at the same time

Currently we are expecting Python support to be in the preview release for a few months, depending on our confidence in stability and user feedback. Once we move from preview to release, there will be an update and you’ll be able to select the Python workload in the stable release of Visual Studio. If you want to keep receiving previews of Python and other VS work, you can keep the preview installed, or you can delete it.

We want to thank everyone for your patience and sticking with us as we get ready for release. In many ways, Visual Studio 2017 is going to be our best release yet, and we are looking forward to being able to let all of you use it.


Comments (16)
  1. Lucian says:

    Visual Studio Code comes with a great Python extension. Why not use that instead?

    1. You absolutely can! But it’s not the same as what we have in Visual Studio (lacks some debugging, profiling, environment management, native development, and Azure features, for example). There’s a place for both of them.

  2. Richard says:

    Great to hear Python support coming back!

  3. TG says:

    What about PHP support?

    1. Our friends over at https://www.devsense.com/ create PHP Tools for Visual Studio, and their recent releases support VS 2017. (It’s a paid product, but there’s a 30 day trial.)

  4. Paolo Pignatelli says:

    If it’s just translations that is keeping this up, there are plenty of fully bi-lingual programmers in Python who can help. (I am one of them – Italian.)

    1. Once we make our first release with translations, we’d love to have people using it in their own language. Within our team we can check French and Russian (and maybe Spanish), but for all the rest we need to rely on our localization team and our users to pick up mistakes. I’ll make a special post about this when we are ready.

  5. Joey Welt says:

    This is good news and i’m happy to hear its coming back; I was pretty miffed that I had to go back to Spyder3 when python disappeared the other day. Beyond translation, was there anything else holding back the PTVS release?

    1. Strange. Looks like our post from yesterday un-published somehow. It’s back up again. Thanks!

  6. Eugene says:

    Good luck! I’ll be waiting for python support and than give vs2017 second chance 🙂

    1. Don’t miss that we released it already – see the updated link at the top of the post.

  7. Simon says:

    Will the Intel parallel python binary I have work with it?

    1. If you mean the Intel Python Distribution, then yes it should work fine. You might have to add it into your Python Environments list manually, but otherwise I don’t think there’s anything about it that would cause any trouble.

  8. Joseph says:

    you said all the features of the stable release will be available in the preview,
    however, do we have to install these features again for the preview version if we have it installed on the stable version? or does the preview share these?

    1. Most of them you’ll need to select again (or you can have two different installs of VS with different features available – up to you).

      Some components are shared and won’t be installed a second time (Windows SDK, CPython/Anaconda, Android SDKs, etc.), but if you don’t select them then their integration into VS may not be available in Preview.

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