Error "could not find or load the Qt platform plugin windows" while using matplotlib in pycharm

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I am getting the error "could not find or load the Qt platform plugin windows" while using matplotlib in PyCharm.

How can I solve this?

I had the same problem with Anaconda3 4.2.0 and 4.3.0.1 (64-bit). When I tried to run a simple program that uses matplotlib, I got this error message:

This application failed to start because it could not find or load the Qt platform plugin "windows"

Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.

Reinstalling didn't fix it.

What helped was this (found here): Look for the Anaconda directory and set the Library\plugins subdir (here c:\ProgramData\Anaconda3\Library\plugins) as environment variable QT_PLUGIN_PATH under Control Panel / System / Advanced System Settings / Environment Variables.

After setting the variable you might need to restart PyCharm, if the change does not have an immediate effect.

Et voilà!

Update: Even though after that the command line Python worked, TexWorks (which uses Qt as well) displayed an error message very much like it. Setting the QT_PLUGIN_PATH to the directory containing TexWorks' Qt DLLs (here C:\Users\chris\AppData\Local\Programs\MiKTeX 2.9\miktex\bin\x64) fixed the problem for both programs.

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I found that this was being caused by having the MiKTeX binaries in my PATH variable; and the wrong Qt dll's were being found. I just needed to re-arrange the PATH entries.

(Dependency Walker is such a useful tool.)

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I had a similar problem with PyCharm where things worked great in main run but not in debugger, getting the same error message. This happened for me because I had moved my Anaconda installation to a different directory. The debugger goes and checks a qt.conf file that is located at the same place as python. This location can be found by running import sys; print sys.executable. I found this solution through a pile of web searches and it was buried deep here. The qt.conf file needs to have correct paths for debugger to work.

My qt.conf files looks like this in notepad:

[Paths]
Prefix = E:/python/Anaconda3_py35/Library
Binaries = E:/python/Anaconda3_py35/Library/bin
Libraries = E:/python/Anaconda3_py35/Library/lib
Headers = E:/python/Anaconda3_py35/Library/include/qt

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If installed PyQt5 and PySide2, I solved problem

Copy the following files

\Anaconda3\Lib\site-packages\PySide2\plugins\platforms\qminimal.dll
\Anaconda3\Lib\site-packages\PySide2\plugins\platforms\qoffscreen.dll
\Anaconda3\Lib\site-packages\PySide2\plugins\platforms\qwindows.dll

to

\Anaconda3\Library\plugins\platforms\

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I tried the following in Anaconda prompt, and it solved this problem:

conda remove qt

conda remove pyqt

conda install qt

conda install pyqt

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Comments
  • Provide more information.
  • I have uploaded the screenshot .
  • I've changed the title and added the pycharm tag.
  • Have a look at: stackoverflow.com/questions/20495620/…. Otherwise try the advise in the message: "Reinstalling the application may fix this problem."
  • great fix! But this fix created the same error for another software I had also needing Qt; so I have to recreate-it each time. Don't know if there is a way to avoid this.
  • Yes! I installed both PyQt5 and PySide2, and this actually solved my problem!
  • This side-steps the problem, but this is a useful solution for some that should not be overlooked given the flexibility of matplotlib!
  • Please post some code snippets here instead of just giving a link.
  • Added code snippet as per standards. Please let me know if anything more I should add to answer(the first answer so, any help will be appreciated). Thank You. @mate00
  • This has already been referred to in another answer of this question