Resolving Pylance False Negative Import Errors in VSCode

Dealing with Pylance Reporting Incorrect Import Errors in Visual Studio Code

In this comprehensive guide, we will address a common issue faced by Python developers while working in Visual Studio Code: false negative import errors reported by Pylance. It can be frustrating to encounter import error warnings that do not reflect the actual state of your code. Let’s delve into understanding why this occurs and equip you with effective solutions to tackle these misleading import errors.

What will you learn?

By the end of this guide, you will gain insights into: – Understanding the root cause of false negative import errors in Pylance. – Implementing actionable steps to resolve these issues confidently.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

Pylance is a robust language support extension for Python within VSCode, offering features like auto-completion and type checking. However, it may sometimes inaccurately flag imports as unresolved or missing. This discrepancy could arise from factors such as misconfigured environments or unrecognized virtual environments by Pylance.

To address this issue effectively, we will: 1. Verify workspace settings. 2. Ensure correct recognition of the virtual environment by VSCode. 3. Explore additional troubleshooting methods if needed.

Let’s embark on this journey to eliminate false negative import errors together!


import requests

def fetch_data(url):
    response = requests.get(url)
    return response.json()

# Copyright PHD

Activation of Virtual Environment:

  1. Open the command palette (Ctrl+Shift+P on Windows/Linux, Cmd+Shift+P on macOS).
  2. Type Python: Select Interpreter.
  3. Select the interpreter corresponding to your project’s virtual environment.

Verification of Workspace Settings:

  • Locate .vscode/settings.json within your project directory.
  • Confirm that the python path points to your virtual environment:
        "python.pythonPath": "path/to/your/virtualenv/bin/python"
    # Copyright PHD


The solution revolves around configuring VSCode to recognize the Python interpreter linked to your project’s virtual environment accurately, where all dependencies are installed. Activating the correct interpreter guides Pylance to locate installed packages correctly, resolving any false negatives related to missing imports.

Checking workspace settings ensures alignment with project-specific configurations, minimizing discrepancies across different environments or projects.

If challenges persist, consider clearing cache directories associated with Python and VSCode extensions to eliminate outdated information causing misleading error indications.

  1. How do I install Pylance?

  2. To install Pylance, navigate to Extensions view (Ctrl+Shift+X) in VSCode and search for “Pylance”. Click on its page to install it.

  3. Can I use another linter alongside Pylance?

  4. Yes! You can complement Pylance with other linters like flake8 by adjusting settings within .vscode/settings.json.

  5. What should I do if my imports continue to be flagged incorrectly after following these steps?

  6. Explicitly reinstall missing packages within the active virtual environment using pip (pip install requests) even if previously installed may resolve path-related recognition issues causing import problems.

  7. Is there a way to force refresh Intellisense database in VSCode?

  8. While there isn’t a direct command for refreshing Intellisense alone, restarting VSCode clears out stale data affecting analysis results including import resolution accuracy from extensions like Pylance.

  9. Can an incorrect Python version lead to import errors despite package installation?

  10. Certainly! Ensure that the selected interpreter aligns with development requirements, especially major version differences (e.g., Python 2 vs Python 3), impacting package compatibility and successful import resolution during Pylance analysis.


Resolving false negative import errors flagged by Pylance demands a systematic approach focusing on selecting the appropriate interpreter and configuring workspace settings tailored for individual projects’ needs. By addressing these issues efficiently, you can overcome obstacles encountered while developing applications using Python in Visual Studio Code´┐Ża powerful toolset that streamlines software development processes amidst technological advancements.

Leave a Comment