Getting Started with Navigator (Beta)#

Welcome to the Beta release of Anaconda’s new Navigator application! This document will go over the basic features of the app and what you need to know to get started.


This is a Beta release of Navigator, which means it is still in development. Anaconda recommends following the environment backup steps on the Managing environments page before installing this application.

If you have feedback for this new version of Navigator, please fill out the feedback form or click Feedback in the app. We take your feedback very seriously and it will help us improve Navigator as we continue to develop it.


Anaconda Navigator enables users to create development environments, manage package installation and updates, and launch development applications. More features will be added to this new version of Navigator over time.

Start page#

The main page of Navigator. From this page, you can open your most recent environments and install or launch Anaconda tools or various development environment applications. If you have not created any environments, the only environment you will see on this page is the base environment.


Anaconda does not recommend working or installing packages in your base environment. See About the base environment.

Click Start Tour to begin a short tutorial on creating a conda environment, adding packages to it, and syncing it to Anaconda Cloud. If you’ve already completed the tutorial, you can review the content at any time by clicking View Quick Start.


A list of all your current environments. From this page, you can create new environments or install, update, or delete packages from any current environments.


A list of development applications that launch from your conda environments and Anaconda tools that open in your browser. Some apps come pre-installed in your base environment, while others must be installed either from Navigator or from the application’s website. If you want to launch an application from an environment other than base, you need to install it in the desired environment.


Create a Jupyter Notebook instance on this page by clicking Create instance.

Any running Jupyter Notebook instances, whether started by Navigator or not, will appear on this page (though it does not currently refresh automatically).

You can open a running Notebook instance in your browser from this page or click the trash can icon trash-can-icon to stop it.

Official Jupyter Notebook documentation

Installing conda#

Anaconda Navigator is built on the conda package manager and requires conda to work. Currently, Navigator can’t install conda for you. If Navigator warns you that “Conda has not been detected on your device,” you will need to download and install conda manually.

Anaconda provides an Anaconda Distribution download on If you have a macOS computer, select the dropdown arrow to choose your chip architecture. If you don’t know what chip your computer has, see About This Mac from your Apple menu.

A smaller distribution that also contains conda is the Miniconda distribution, found here. If you don’t know which distribution is right for you, see Should I use Anaconda Distribution or Miniconda?

  1. Close Navigator, if necessary.

  2. Install your chosen conda distribution.

  3. Open Navigator.

  4. If you see the base environment on your Start page, conda is successfully installed and connected to Navigator.

About the base environment#

The base environment is the default environment of the conda package manager, the program on which Navigator is built. The base environment contains all the packages that were initially installed with conda, including packages that conda requires to run.

Anaconda does not recommend installing new packages into the base environment. If you want to install anything new, create a new environment. This prevents you from needing to uninstall and reinstall conda if you somehow corrupt your base environment. If you accidentally corrupt a created environment, you can delete it and recreate it without needing to reinstall and losing any other environments and installations.

Preset environments#

Navigator comes with preset environment templates by default. These environment templates contain groups of packages that work well together for specific uses, like data visualization, app building, and security work.

From the Start page, click Create to create a new environment containing the packages in this template. The environment will be given the same name as the template, but you can rename it.

Creating a new environment#

It is best practice to create a new environment for each new development project. Environments can be filled with different sets of package installations, which makes it straightforward for you to switch between projects without needing to do a lot of uninstalling and reinstalling of packages and code libraries.

To create a new environment:

  1. From the Start page, click New.

  2. Name your new environment.

  3. Choose the package type and version for your environment. Currently in the Beta release, only Python installations are available.

  4. Click Create Environment.

Environments appear as tabs on the Environments page. Click your new environment’s tab to activate it.

Cloning an environment#

Cloning an existing environment enables you to copy that environment’s list of packages without having to install them all individually again.

To clone an environment:

  1. Click Environments.

  2. Select the environment you want to clone from the Environment panel.

  3. Click the copy icon copy-icon.

  4. Name your new environment.

  5. Click Clone Environment.

Renaming an environment#

To rename an environment:

  1. Click Environments.

  2. Select the environment you want to rename from the Environment panel.

  3. Click the gear icon settings-icon.

  4. Enter a new name for the environment.

  5. Click Rename.

Deleting an environment#

Deleting an environment removes that environment and all its packages from your computer.

To delete an environment:

  1. Click Environments.

  2. Select the environment you want to delete from the Environment panel.

  3. Click the gear icon settings-icon.

  4. Click Delete Environment.

Adding packages#

Once you have created an environment, you can add packages to it.

To add packages to an environment:

  1. Click Environments.

  2. Select from the Environment panel the environment you want to add packages to.

  3. Click Install Packages.

  4. Use the search bar to find packages you want to install.

  5. Check the box beside the correct package.

  6. Click Install.

Navigator will install your chosen package and any of its missing dependencies into your currently active environment.

Updating a package#

To update a package:

  1. Click Environments.

  2. Select from the Environment panel the environment whose packages you want to update.

  3. Click the Actions button beside the correct package.

  4. Select Update Package.

  5. Choose the version you want to update to.

Deleting a package#

To delete a package:

  1. Click Environments.

  2. Select the environment that contains the package you want to delete.

  3. Click the Actions button beside the correct package.

  4. Select Remove Package.

Launching Anaconda tools#

You have access to many of Anaconda’s browser-based tools through Navigator. These include PyScript, Anaconda’s cloud notebooks and data catalogs, and Anaconda Learning. Anaconda Notebooks, Data Catalogs, and Anaconda Learning require an Anaconda Cloud account, while PyScript requires its own separate account.

These tools can be accessed from either the Start or Apps pages. Click a tile to learn more about the tool and click Launch to open it in your default browser.

Installing and launching development applications#

There are many applications, such as Jupyter Notebook or Spyder, that are installed with Navigator by default. These are only available in your base environment at first, but you can install many apps in any created environment directly from Navigator.

To install an app in an environment:

  1. Select the app tile from the Start or Apps pages. This will open the app’s detail page.

  2. Choose the environment where you want to install the app.

  3. Click Install.


Some apps will not be installed within a specific environment. Clicking Install will open the application’s official download page in your browser instead.

To launch an app from an environment:

  1. Select the app tile from the Start or Apps pages. This will open the app’s detail page.

  2. Select the environment from which you want to launch the app (not be available for all apps).

  3. If necessary, click Install to install the app to your environment.

  4. Click Launch.


Navigator isn’t listing any packages in my environment

Navigator uses the conda search command behind the scenes to display package lists in your environment. It is possible that you closed Navigator before a conda process was able to fully complete and that has caused conda search to error. To fix this:

  1. Close Navigator.

  2. Open the terminal.

  3. Run conda clean --index-cache --yes.

  4. Re-open Navigator.

This will clear conda’s package cache and should resolve the issue with package display.

Another, more aggressive, option is conda clean --all --yes, but be aware that this can break environments in certain rare situations.