Solved — Can’t find model ‘en_core_web_sm’

Johan Louwers
2 min readDec 30, 2022
spaCy — Python NLP

Trying to take the first steps with spaCy in Python and already hitting the first issue in your code. It could very likely be that the first issue you encountered is the following;

Can’t find model ‘en_core_web_sm’. It doesn’t seem to be a Python package or a valid path to a data directory.

Solving the issue

The most likely root cause to this is that you did not download the model and install it. Where in most cases a “pip install” will take care of all the installations related to a Python module there is a small trick before you can use spaCy.

After you used pip to install spaCy you still have to “manually” instruct spaCy to install one or more language models. Downloading the mentioned model is done with the command shown below;

python -m spacy download en_core_web_lg

As soon as you have executed to the above shown command and you try to run your python code the error should have been gone (in most cases).

About the author(s)
Johan Louwers is currently Chief Enterprise Architect within Oracle. Johan has a strong and long background in the field of Enterprise Architecture and complex system engineering. Having worked with enterprises in a diverse set of industries as (enterprise) architect, CTO and technical and strategic business advisor Johan brings both deep technical knowledge to the table as well as strong business oriented expertise. In addition to this Johan is a tech addict who tends to enjoy supporting open source initiatives and actively coding as a hobby. Views expressed in this post are personnel and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

Johan Louwers

Johan Louwers is a technology enthousiasts with a long background in supporting enterprises and startups alike as CTO, Chief Enterprise Architect and developer.