We recommend installing an Anaconda distribution of Python – Choose Python 3.7 and your operating system. Note you might need to use an anaconda prompt if you did not add anaconda to the path. From your base environment (or you can make a new environment) in an anaconda prompt/command prompt, run

pip install cellpose[gui]

If you want to install without the GUI dependencies, run pip install cellpose.


The first time you run cellpose it downloads the latest available trained model weights from the cellpose website. These models are saved in your home directory in a .cellpose folder, not in the code package.

With an environment file

Alternatively you can use the included environment file (if you’d like a cellpose-specific environment). This environment file includes all the dependencies for using the GUI. Using the environment file is recommended if you have problems with the pip. Please follow these instructions:

  1. Download the environment.yml file from the repository. You can do this by cloning the repository, or copy-pasting the text from the file into a text document on your local computer.

  2. Open an anaconda prompt / command prompt with conda for python 3 in the path

  3. Change directories to where the environment.yml is and run conda env create -f environment.yml

  4. To activate this new environment, run conda activate cellpose

  5. You should see (cellpose) on the left side of the terminal line. Now run python -m cellpose and you’re all set.

To upgrade cellpose (package here), run the following in the environment:

pip install cellpose --upgrade

If you have an older cellpose environment you can remove it with conda env remove -n cellpose before creating a new one.


Now you will always have to run conda activate cellpose before you run cellpose. If you want to run jupyter notebooks in this environment, then also conda install jupyter.

Common issues

If you receive the error: Illegal instruction (core dumped), then likely mxnet does not recognize your MKL version. Please uninstall and reinstall mxnet without mkl:

pip uninstall mxnet-mkl
pip uninstall mxnet
pip install mxnet==1.4.0

If you receive the error: No module named PyQt5.sip, then try uninstalling and reinstalling pyqt5

pip uninstall pyqt5 pyqt5-tools
pip install pyqt5 pyqt5-tools pyqt5.sip

If you receive an error associated with matplotlib, try upgrading it:

pip install matplotlib --upgrade

If you receive the error: ImportError: _arpack DLL load failed, then try uninstalling and reinstalling scipy

pip uninstall scipy
pip install scipy

If you are having issues with the graphical interface, make sure you have python 3.7 and not python 3.8 installed.

If you are on Yosemite Mac OS or earlier, PyQt doesn’t work and you won’t be able to use the graphical interface for cellpose. More recent versions of Mac OS are fine. The software has been heavily tested on Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04, and less well tested on Mac OS. Please post an issue if you have installation problems.

CUDA version

If you plan on running many images, you may want to install a GPU version of mxnet. I recommend using CUDA 10.0 or greater. Follow the instructions here.

Before installing the GPU version, remove the CPU version:

pip uninstall mxnet-mkl
pip uninstall mxnet

When upgrading cellpose, you will want to ignore dependencies (so that mxnet-mkl does not install):

pip install --no-deps cellpose --upgrade

Installation of github version

Follow steps from above to install the dependencies. In the github repository, run pip install -e . and the github version will be installed. If you want to go back to the pip version of cellpose, then say pip install cellpose.


cellpose relies on the following excellent packages (which are automatically installed with conda/pip if missing):