Resolving the DoesNotExist Error in Python Django

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will delve into effectively managing the DoesNotExist error that often arises when an object is not found in a Django application’s database. Understand the root cause of this error and master strategies to handle it seamlessly.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Encountering situations where a queried object does not exist is a common scenario while working with databases in Django. This leads to the DoesNotExist exception raised by Django ORM. To tackle this gracefully, implementing robust error-handling mechanisms within your code is essential.

To address the DoesNotExist error efficiently, leverage Django’s built-in exception class called ObjectDoesNotExist from django.core.exceptions. By specifically catching this exception type, tailor your response based on whether a particular object was found or not.


The solution to handling the DoesNotExist error:

from django.core.exceptions import ObjectDoesNotExist

    # Querying for an object that may not exist
    my_object = MyModel.objects.get(pk=pk)
except ObjectDoesNotExist:
    # Handling the DoesNotExist scenario
    print("The requested object does not exist.")

# Copyright PHD


In-depth explanation of the solution and concepts:

  • Utilize a try-except block along with ObjectDoesNotExist exception handling mechanism.
  • When attempting to retrieve an object using MyModel.objects.get(pk=pk), if no matching object is found, Django raises ObjectDoesNotExist, which we catch inside the except block.
  • Define custom actions within this block such as logging an error message or providing a specific response to users.
    What causes a DoesNotExist error in Django?

    The DoesNotExist error occurs when querying for an object that doesn’t exist in a Django model’s database table.

    How do I handle DoesNotExist errors efficiently?

    By using try-except blocks and catching ObjectDoesNotExist exceptions tailored for targeted error management.

    Can I customize my response when handling a DoesNotExist situation?

    Yes, within your except block after catching ObjectDoesNotExist, you have full control over defining custom actions or messages.

    Is there any alternative approach apart from using try-except blocks?

    Another method involves using get_object_or_404() shortcut provided by Django which automatically handles ObjectDoesNotExist exceptions internally.

    Should I always catch ObjectDoesNotExists for all queries?

    It’s good practice to selectively catch these exceptions based on scenarios where missing objects are critical or require special treatment.

    Can multiple Object.DoesNotExist be caught within one try-except block?

    Yes, you can include multiple ORM queries within one try block and handle their respective DoesNotExists separately inside different except clauses.

    How should I test my exception handling logic related to DoesNotExists errors?

    Write unit tests targeting scenarios where expected objects are missing and verify if your exception handling behaves as intended under such conditions.


    Efficiently managing ‘DoeNotExists’ errors is vital for robust web applications developed using Python with Django framework. By mastering how these exceptions work and incorporating proper error-handling practices into your codebase, you can elevate user experience while ensuring seamless application functionality even during unexpected scenarios.

    Leave a Comment