The Pythonista URL Scheme

Pythonista can be launched from other applications with the custom pythonista:// URL scheme.


In Pythonista 3.x, you can use pythonista3:// instead of pythonista://. In Pythonista 2 (starting with 2.1), you can use pythonista2://. Use these schemes if you want to target a specific version of the app. In case both apps are installed, it is undefined which one of them handles a pythonista:// URL.


  • Open the app:

    Use pythonista:// without any additional parameters to open the app without doing anything else.

  • Open a script for editing:

    Use pythonista://MyScript for opening one of your scripts in the editor. The name of the script can contain the .py file extension, but it doesn’t have to.

  • Run a script from your library:

    Use pythonista://MyScript?action=run for running a script that is in your library. This only works if no script is already running when the app is started.


You can only open or run scripts that are already in your library. It is not possible to run arbitrary code or create new scripts using the URL scheme.

Command-line Arguments

When using the action=run parameter (see above), you can pass command-line arguments to the script in two ways:

  • Method 1: One args parameter

    Example: pythonista://MyScript?action=run&args=foo%20bar

    When you pass a single string with the args URL parameter, the string is split by spaces (the space is encoded as %20 here) and sys.argv would be [<script_path>, 'foo', 'bar'] in this example.

    If you want to pass arguments that contain spaces, you have to enclose them in double quotes (as you would in a classic shell).

    This is basically the same as running a script by long-pressing the run button.

  • Method 2: Multiple argv parameters

    Example: pythonista://MyScript?action=run&argv=foo&argv=bar

    Using multiple arguments that are all named argv, you don’t have to worry about quoting arguments that contain spaces. Each of the parameters corresponds to one element in sys.argv.

    If the URL contains at least one argv parameter, args is ignored.

Python Version

Pythonista 3 supports two different Python interpreters: 2.7 and 3.5. If you want to use a specific interpreter for running a script, you can use the version=[2|3] or py=[2|3] parameter. This parameter is ignored in Pythonista 2 (which only supports Python 2.7).

If the version parameter is used, it overrides both the default interpreter setting and any shebang that might be defined in the script itself.

Launching Other Apps

If you want to go in the opposite direction, and open an app from Pythonista, you can do this with the webbrowser module.

For example, to open TweetBot, you could use the following code:

import webbrowser'tweetbot://')

For a list of third-party applications that have URL schemes, you can refer to