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Cannot import name 'force_text' from django.utils.encoding

Feb 28, 2023Abhishek EH2 Min Read
Cannot import name 'force_text' from django.utils.encoding

Have you recently upgraded to Django v4 and received the following error?

1ImportError: cannot import name 'force_text' from 'django.utils.encoding'

In this article, we will see how to fix the issue.

Understanding the issue

You are receiving this error because in the latest version (v4) of Django force_text function has been removed.

The fix

Using force_str function

There is an alias function for force_text, which is called force_str. You can use it to fix this error:

1from django.utils.encoding import force_str
2str_1 = force_str(s)

Upgrading the libraries

There are many Django packages which use the force_text function:

  • graphene-django
  • djangorestframework-simplejwt
  • django-smart-selects
  • django-elasticsearch-dsl
  • django-debug-toolbar

So if you are using any of these packages and getting the error, you need to upgrade them:

1pip install --upgrade graphene-django
2pip install --upgrade djangorestframework-simplejwt
3pip install --upgrade django-smart-selects
4pip install --upgrade django-elasticsearch-dsl
5pip install --upgrade django-debug-toolbar

Downgrading Django

This should be your last resort. Say for some reason you are not able to upgrade the libraries or use force_str function, you can choose this method.

1pip install 'django<4' --force-reinstall

You can confirm if it is downgraded using the following command:

1pip show django

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