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What you need to know

  • Apple has told developers that it will no longer bundle Python 2 in macOS from macOS 12.3 onwards.
  • Developers should use Python 3, but that doesn't come pre-installed.
  • Developers have been told to bundle Python into their apps if it is required.

Apple has confirmed that it is removing Python 2 from macOS 12.3 which means that there will be no version of the scripting language installed by default.

The news comes via the macOS Monterey 12.3 beta that was recently made available to developers. The current version that Apple ships with macOS is Python 2.7 and that will be removed completely. Python 2.7 has not been supported for more than a year now, and while there are newer versions available Apple will not be bundling those, either.

As MacRumors notes, developers will need to install the latest build of Python manually and were told as far back as 2019 that they should begin to bundle the Python runtime inside their apps if it was required.

Apple says that developers should use an alternative programming language instead, such as Python 3, but it's worth noting that Python 3 also does not come preinstalled on macOS. Developers can run the stub /usr/bin/python3 in Terminal, but it prompts users to install Xcode developer tools, which includes Python 3.

"If your software depends on scripting languages, it's recommended that you bundle the runtime within the app," Apple said when discussing the situation previously.

Apple made the first macOS 12.3 beta available to developers yesterday but there is no indication of when it will also be released to the public. We expect a few betas to arrive before we get to that point, however.