Changing the Model Name in Django Without Deleting the Model

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will master the art of renaming a model in Django without having to delete the existing model. You will learn how to seamlessly transition from an old model name to a new one while maintaining data integrity.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

In the realm of Django development, scenarios often arise where renaming a previously created model becomes necessary. However, a simple alteration of the model class name can result in database table conflicts. This guide delves into the solution for safely changing a model name without resorting to deletion.

To address this challenge effectively, a series of strategic steps need to be executed. These steps involve creating a new model with the desired name, transferring data from the old model to the new one through migrations, and then updating references to ensure a smooth transition without compromising database consistency.


# Create a new model with the updated name
class NewModelName(models.Model):
    # Fields and attributes for your new model

# Migrate data from old model to new one (Run these commands in your terminal)
python makemigrations
python migrate

# Update any foreign key relationships or references pointing to the old model 
# Replace OldModelName with NewModelName wherever necessary

# Delete or comment out old_model_name from file

# For more information visit

# Copyright PHD


  1. Creating a New Model: Define a new Django model with an updated name to avoid naming conflicts.

  2. Migrating Data: Utilize makemigrations and migrate commands for seamless data transfer between old and new models.

  3. Updating References: Ensure all references and foreign key relationships are adjusted towards the new model for data integrity.

  4. Deleting Old Model: Once transitions are complete, remove or comment out your previous model for cleaner code.

    How do I create a migration for my new model?

    To create a migration for your new model, run python makemigrations.

    What does makemigrations do?

    The makemigrations command generates migrations based on changes made in models.

    Why is it important to update foreign key relationships?

    Updating foreign key relationships is crucial for maintaining referential integrity within your database post renaming models.

    Can I skip updating references if I’m not actively using them?

    It’s advisable not to skip updating references as it may lead to errors in future updates or queries involving related objects.

    Do I need downtime during this process?

    No downtime is required as these changes are implemented through migrations without impacting live applications.

    Will my existing data be preserved after renaming models?

    Yes, by following proper migration procedures mentioned above, your data will remain intact during this transition.

    How do I handle custom permissions linked with my models during renaming?

    Ensure that you update custom permissions associated with your models along with their respective names while transitioning between models.

    Is it possible to revert these changes if needed later on?

    Yes, provided you have followed version control practices like git commits before implementing these modifications so they can be rolled back if required.


    In conclusion, mastering the process of changing generated model names in Django involves meticulous planning and execution using migrations. By diligently following these steps while considering dependencies within your project structure, you can navigate through transitions smoothly while upholding data integrity.

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