What is the easiest way to remove all packages installed by pip? – Dev

The best answers to the question “What is the easiest way to remove all packages installed by pip?” in the category Dev.


I’m trying to fix up one of my virtualenvs – I’d like to reset all of the installed libraries back to the ones that match production.

Is there a quick and easy way to do this with pip?


This will work for all Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.
To get the list of all pip packages in the requirements.txt file (Note: This will overwrite requirements.txt if exist else will create the new one, also if you don’t want to replace old requirements.txt then give different file name in the all following command in place requirements.txt).

pip freeze > requirements.txt

Now to remove one by one

pip uninstall -r requirements.txt

If we want to remove all at once then

pip uninstall -r requirements.txt -y

If you’re working on an existing project that has a requirements.txt file and your environment has diverged, simply replace requirements.txt from the above examples with toberemoved.txt. Then, once you have gone through the steps above, you can use the requirements.txt to update your now clean environment.

And For single command without creating any file (As @joeb suggested).

pip uninstall -y -r <(pip freeze)


I’ve found this snippet as an alternative solution. It’s a more graceful removal of libraries than remaking the virtualenv:

pip freeze | xargs pip uninstall -y

In case you have packages installed via VCS, you need to exclude those lines and remove the packages manually (elevated from the comments below):

pip freeze | grep -v "^-e" | xargs pip uninstall -y


I wanted to elevate this answer out of a comment section because it’s one of the most elegant solutions in the thread. Full credit for this answer goes to @joeb.

pip uninstall -y -r <(pip freeze)

This worked great for me for the use case of clearing my user packages folder outside the context of a virtualenv which many of the above answers don’t handle.

Edit: Anyone know how to make this command work in a Makefile?

Bonus: A bash alias

I add this to my bash profile for convenience:

alias pipuninstallall="pip uninstall -y -r <(pip freeze)"

Then run:


Alternative for pipenv

If you happen to be using pipenv you can just run:

pipenv uninstall --all


This works with the latest. I think it’s the shortest and most declarative way to do it.

virtualenv --clear MYENV

But why not just delete and recreate the virtualenv?

Immutability rules. Besides it’s hard to remember all those pipes and greps the other solutions use.