How to add existing R to Jupyter Notebook

Step by step guide for R users

Photo by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash


I assume you have installed the Jupyter Notebook through the Anaconda.

You have also installed R and RStudio.

Follow the following steps to make your Jupyter Notebook to use your existing R keneral on Windows 10.

Step 1: install IRkernel package

You may install the package:IRkernel using RStudio or through the R Console directly through the command install.packages("IRkernel").

Step 2: open Anaconda Powershell Prompt as an administrator

Navigate to Anaconda Powershell Prompt and right click to launch it as administrator, as shown in the picture below. Anaconda as Administrator

Step 3: Launch R.exe in the command line

In the Anaconda Powershell Prompt, change the directory to the folder which contains R.exe. Under Windows, it should be something similar to “C:\Program Files\R\R-4.1.1\bin”.

cd "C:\Program Files\R\R-4.1.1\bin"

Then run the code R.exe and the R system should be launched as shown below.


Run IRkernel::installspec() in the R command line which should link your R with the Notebook directly.

One tricky part is the default R library path for Notebook may be different from the RStudio library path. If you manage your R library through RStudio, you have to make Notebook to use the same libary path as RStudio, otherwise you have to reinstall R packages under Notebook.

You may use .libPaths() to check the default library path under jupyter notebook and RStudio. If they are different, You may try the following two options:

  • You may add .libPaths("your R library path such as C:/Users/myusername/Documents/R/win-library/4.1") at the beginning of your notebook.
  • Add/Change your windows system environment variable “R_LIBS_USER” to the library folder.

image credit: unsplash

Last updated on 17 April, 2022

Wang Jiwei
Wang Jiwei
Associate Professor

My current research/teaching interests include digital transformation and data analytics in accounting.