Error message: "'chromedriver' executable needs to be available in the path"

I am using selenium with python and have downloaded the chromedriver for my windows computer from this site:

After downloading the zip file, I unpacked the zip file to my downloads folder. Then I put the path to the executable binary (C:\Users\michael\Downloads\chromedriver_win32) into the Environment Variable "Path".

However, when I run the following code:

      from selenium import webdriver

      driver = webdriver.Chrome()

... I keep getting the following error message:

    WebDriverException: Message: 'chromedriver' executable needs to be available in the path. Please look at and read up at

But - as explained above - the executable is(!) in the path ... what is going on here?

You can test if it actually is in the PATH, if you open a cmd and type in chromedriver (assuming your chromedriver executable is still named like this) and hit Enter. If Starting ChromeDriver 2.15.322448 is appearing, the PATH is set appropriately and there is something else going wrong.

Alternatively you can use a direct path to the chromedriver like this:

     driver = webdriver.Chrome('/path/to/chromedriver')

So in your specific case:

     driver = webdriver.Chrome("C:/Users/michael/Downloads/chromedriver_win32/chromedriver.exe")