Have you ever encountered the frustrating “brew command not found” error on your Mac? It’s a common issue affecting many Mac users with Homebrew installed.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to fix the “brew command not found” error and get your Homebrew installation back up and running.

What is Homebrew?

If you’re new to using a Mac, or this is your first time encountering the “brew command not found” error, you might wonder what Homebrew is.

Homebrew is a free and open-source package manager that makes it easy to install, update and manage software packages on your Mac.

Essentially, it’s a way to install software on your Mac that isn’t available through the traditional App Store, such as command-line utilities, programming languages, and other tools and libraries. It’s a powerful tool that can save time and effort in managing software on your Mac.

One of the main advantages of Homebrew is its simplicity and ease of use. With just a few commands in the Terminal, you can install and update software packages effortlessly.

Homebrew also utilizes a formula system, which means installing standardized and uniform software, making it easier to troubleshoot errors.

Homebrew is essential for macOS power users and developers who must manage their software efficiently. After following the steps we’ve outlined here, you’ll be able to get Homebrew back up and running and continue enjoying its benefits.

How to Fix “brew command not found”

When you run Homebrew, you get this error message:

$ brew
-bash: brew: command not found

This error means Homebrew is misconfigured for some reason. Follow the solutions below to fix this issue.

Method 1: Check for Homebrew Installation

Before fixing the “brew command not found” error, let’s ensure that Homebrew is installed correctly on your Mac. We’ll use the Terminal application, a powerful tool that allows us to interact with our computer’s underlying system.

First, open the Terminal application by searching for it in Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal. Once you have the Terminal open, type the following command:

brew --version

This command will check if Homebrew is installed on your system and should return the version number if it’s installed. If you don’t see a version number or receive an error message saying “command not found,” it’s likely that Homebrew isn’t installed on your system.

If Homebrew is installed but not working correctly, continue reading to learn how to fix the “brew command not found” error.

Method 2: Reinstall Homebrew

If the steps above don’t work, reinstalling Homebrew is another option. You can install Homebrew using the following command:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

This should fix the “brew command not found” error and get Homebrew up and running again.

Method 3: Check the Environment Variable

Assuming that Homebrew is installed on your Mac, the “brew command not found” error likely occurred due to an issue with your system’s configuration. Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to fix it.

First, we’ll try to add the Homebrew path to our computer’s environment variable. To do this, open the Terminal and type the following command:

echo 'export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.zshrc

This command adds the Homebrew path to your computer’s “.zshrc,” a configuration file that runs whenever you open a Terminal window. After running this command, close and reopen the Terminal and try running the “brew –version” command again.

If Homebrew is working correctly, you should now see the version number.

You might need to reload your Terminal configuration file if you still receive the “brew command not found” error. To do this, type the following command:

source ~/.zshrc

This command reloads the “.zshrc” configuration file, which should make the Homebrew path available in your Terminal again.

Method 4: Check for Conflicting Installations

If you’re still experiencing the “brew command not found” error after trying the previous steps, you can take a few additional troubleshooting steps.

First, ensure there aren’t any other conflicting installations of package managers on your system. For example, if you have both Homebrew and MacPorts installed, they might conflict with one another and cause issues. Try uninstalling any other package managers you have installed and see if that resolves the issue.

Alternatively, you might want to consider trying an alternative package manager. Several other popular package managers are available for macOS, including MacPorts and Fink. While we recommend using Homebrew, it’s always good to have options.


The “brew command not found” error can frustrate Mac users who rely on Homebrew to manage their software packages. However, several solutions are available to fix this issue, including checking for Homebrew installation, reinstalling Homebrew, checking the environment variable, and checking for conflicting installations.

By following these steps, you can get Homebrew up and running again and continue enjoying its benefits as a powerful package manager for macOS.

Tim Miller

Tim has always been obsessed with computers his whole life. After working for 25 years in the computer and electronics field, he now enjoys writing about computers to help others. Most of his time is spent in front of his computer or other technology to continue to learn more. He likes to try new things and keep up with the latest industry trends so he can share them with others.

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