[Solved] How do I update Anaconda?

I have Anaconda installed on my computer and I’d like to update it. In Navigator I can see that there are several individual packages that can be updated, but also an anaconda package that sometimes has a version number and sometimes says custom. How do I proceed?

enter image description here

Enquirer: IanSR


Solution #1:

root is the old (pre-conda 4.4) name for the main environment; after conda 4.4, it was renamed to be base. source

What 95% of people actually want

In most cases what you want to do when you say that you want to update Anaconda is to execute the command:

conda update --all

(But this should be preceeded by conda update -n base conda so you have the latest conda version installed)

This will update all packages in the current environment to the latest version — with the small print being that it may use an older version of some packages in order to satisfy dependency constraints (often this won’t be necessary and when it is necessary the package plan solver will do its best to minimize the impact).

This needs to be executed from the command line, and the best way to get there is from Anaconda Navigator, then the “Environments” tab, then click on the triangle beside the base environment, selecting “Open Terminal”:

Open terminal from Navigator

This operation will only update the one selected environment (in this case, the base environment). If you have other environments you’d like to update you can repeat the process above, but first click on the environment. When it is selected there is a triangular marker on the right (see image above, step 3). Or from the command line you can provide the environment name (-n envname) or path (-p /path/to/env), for example to update your dspyr environment from the screenshot above:

conda update -n dspyr --all

Update individual packages

If you are only interested in updating an individual package then simply click on the blue arrow or blue version number in Navigator, e.g. for astroid or astropy in the screenshot above, and this will tag those packages for an upgrade. When you are done you need to click the “Apply” button:

Apply to update individual packages

Or from the command line:

conda update astroid astropy

Updating just the packages in the standard Anaconda Distribution

If you don’t care about package versions and just want “the latest set of all packages in the standard Anaconda Distribution, so long as they work together”, then you should take a look at this gist.

Why updating the Anaconda package is almost always a bad idea

In most cases updating the Anaconda package in the package list will have a surprising result: you may actually downgrade many packages (in fact, this is likely if it indicates the version as custom). The gist above provides details.

Leverage conda environments

Your base environment is probably not a good place to try and manage an exact set of packages: it is going to be a dynamic working space with new packages installed and packages randomly updated. If you need an exact set of packages then create a conda environment to hold them. Thanks to the conda package cache and the way file linking is used doing this is typically i) fast and ii) consumes very little additional disk space. E.g.

conda create -n myspecialenv -c bioconda -c conda-forge python=3.5 pandas beautifulsoup seaborn nltk

The conda documentation has more details and examples.

pip, PyPI, and setuptools?

None of this is going to help with updating packages that have been installed from PyPI via pip or any packages installed using python setup.py install. conda list will give you some hints about the pip-based Python packages you have in an environment, but it won’t do anything special to update them.

Commercial use of Anaconda or Anaconda Enterprise

It is pretty much exactly the same story, with the exception that you may not be able to update the base environment if it was installed by someone else (say to /opt/anaconda/latest). If you’re not able to update the environments you are using you should be able to clone and then update:

conda create -n myenv --clone base
conda update -n myenv --all
Respondent: IanSR

Solution #2:

If you are trying to update your Anaconda version to a new one, you’ll notice that running the new installer wouldn’t work, as it complains the installation directory is non-empty.

So you should use conda to upgrade as detailed by the official docs:

conda update conda
conda update anaconda

In Windows, if you made a “for all users” installation, it might be necessary to run from an Anaconda prompt with Administrator privileges.

Simply right click on Anaconda Prompt in the start menu

This prevents the error:

ERROR conda.core.link:_execute(502): An error occurred while uninstalling package ‘defaults::conda-4.5.4-py36_0’.
PermissionError(13, ‘Access is denied’)

Respondent: Cardin

Solution #3:

Open “command or conda prompt” and run:

conda update conda
conda update anaconda

It’s a good idea to run both command twice (one after the other) to be sure that all the basic files are updated.

This should put you back on the latest ‘releases’, which contains packages that are selected by the people at Continuum to work well together.

If you want the last version of each package run (this can lead to an unstable environment):

conda update --all 

Hope this helps.


Respondent: H.Latte

Solution #4:

This is what the official Anaconda documentation recommends:

conda update conda
conda update anaconda=2020.07

If the second line throws an error (typo in the documentation?) this worked here:

conda install anaconda=2020.07

(You can find all version specifier here.)

The command will update to a specific release of the Anaconda meta-package.

This is, IMHO, what 95% of Anaconda users want. Simply upgrading to the latest version of the Anaconda meta-package (put together and tested by the Anaconda Distributors) and not caring about the update status of individual packages (which would be issued by conda update --all).

Respondent: MattSchmatt

Solution #5:

Here’s the best practice (in my humble experience). Selecting these four packages will also update all other dependencies to the appropriate versions that will help you keep your environment consistent. The latter is a common problem others have expressed in earlier responses. This solution doesn’t need the terminal.

Updating and upgrading Anaconda 3 or Anaconda 2 best practice

Respondent: Full Array

Solution #6:

If you have trouble to get e.g. from 3.3.x to 4.x (conda update conda “does not work” to get to the next version) than try it more specific like so:

conda install conda=4.0 (or conda install anaconda=4.0)


You should know what you do, because conda could break due to the forced installation.
If you would like to get more flexibility/security you could use pkg-manager like nix(-pkgs) [with nix-shell] / NixOS.

Respondent: InLaw

Solution #7:

Open Anaconda cmd in base mode:

Then use conda update conda to update Anaconda.

You can then use conda update –all to update all the requirements for Anaconda:

conda update conda
conda update --all
Respondent: Farshad Javid

Solution #8:

On Mac, open a terminal and run the following two commands.

conda update conda
conda update anaconda

Make sure to run each command multiple times to update to the current version.

Respondent: Ajay Sant

Solution #9:

I’m using Windows 10. The following updates everything and also installs some new packages, including a Python update (for me it was 3.7.3).

At the shell, try the following (be sure to change where your Anaconda 3 Data is installed). It takes some time to update everything.

conda update --prefix X:XXXXDataAnaconda3 anaconda
Respondent: D Jacobson

Solution #10:

To update your installed version to the latest version, say 2019.07, run:

conda install anaconda=2019.07

In most cases, this method can meet your needs and avoid dependency problems.

Respondent: QaraQoyunlu

Solution #11:


conda create -n py37 -c anaconda anaconda=5.3.1
conda env export -n py37 --file env.yaml

Locate the env.yaml file in C:WindowsSystem32 and run the cmd as administrator:

conda env update -n root -f env.yaml

Then it works!

Respondent: leeningzzu

Solution #12:

This can update the Python instance only:

conda update python
Respondent: eric xu

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.