Installing Canopy on Windows for classroom/lab use

For administrative and technical background, please see "Canopy Common Install Options".


Uninstall any existing EPD and Canopy installations on this system, including manually deleting all System and User environment directories for each administrator and user. (If existing user preference settings are not precious, you can start cleaner by also deleting each user's configuration/preference directory.) For details about directory locations, see Uninstalling and resetting Canopy.


Canopy 1.7.4 (or later) full installer for Windows 64-bit from the Canopy download page (subscriber login required).

Canopy license file (<your_license_identification>.enlic), optionally provided to you by Enthought support, to enable the Canopy debugger. Be sure that this downloaded file has at least read permissions for all intended users; the managed common install will copy it into the Canopy Core; after this you may move or delete the downloaded license file if you wish. This license file is for use on disconnected systems.  On systems where users log in, their individual licenses will automatically be installed for their use. 


1) Open an elevated "Administrator" command prompt, as described in this Knowledge Base article: "Windows - on some systems, admin users cannot immediately install 'for all users'".

2) Create the Canopy target directory (by default, "C:\Program Files\Enthought") with appropriate permissions. Typically you would give non-admin users read/execute access only, which would be the system default.

3) Install Canopy and set up the managed common install, with the following long one-line command, adjusting file names and paths as appropriate and making other changes as described below:

msiexec /qr /lv*x canopy-msi.log /i canopy-1.7.4-full-win-64.msi ALLUSERS=1 SETUP_MANAGED_COMMON_INSTALL="C:\Program Files\Enthought" SETUP_LICENSE_PATH="C:\full\path\to\my-site-license-file.enlic"

3a) For an open common install, replace the word "MANAGED", above, with "OPEN". This provides greater flexibility, but also greater complexity and fragility, and is not recommended in most situations. See the background article cited above.

3b) The default, and recommended, directory for installing for all users is C:\Program Files\Enthought. To install Canopy for all users into a different directory, specify it with option APPLICATIONFOLDER="<wherever>", and modify option SETUP_MANAGED_COMMON_INSTALL to point to the same directory. (Note that if you do this, and then later uninstall Canopy, you will need to again explicitly specify to msiexec, the same APPLICATIONFOLDER; this requirement should be removed in a future release, with a smarter uninstaller.)

3c) If you do have a license file (see Download, above), substitute its filename and current location (typically a download dir) above. If you don't, then omit the option SETUP_LICENSE_PATH="..."

Warning: Because of Windows idiosyncrasies, it's essential that you not put a closing backslash character at the end of any of the paths which you pass to msiexec.


Directory structure

The  directory structure in this example, resulting from this installation, would be:

C:\Program Files\Enthought\Canopy\ 
|- App # Level 0 - Canopy Core
|- System # Level 1 - Canopy GUI application
|- User # Level 1 - Canopy User Python

For an open common install, in addition, when each user starts up Canopy for the first time (step 4), they will be prompted to specify the location of another level of environment. By default, this results in the following additional directory structure:

      |- System # Level 2 - Canopy GUI application
      |- User   # Level 2 - Canopy User Python


All users may start Canopy from the Desktop shortcut, or from the command line with: 

C:\Program Files\Enthought\Canopy\App\Canopy.exe

Alternatively, after their initial startup, users of an Open Common install may start Canopy from the command line with: 



Please email comments and questions as followup to relevant existing support tickets, or by email to

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  • Avatar
    Jonathan March
    Edited to reflect change in Canopy 1.6.2 in how to update common packages in an Open Common Install.
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