importerror: cannot import name force_text from django.utils.encoding

When working with Python and Django. One such error that developers may encounter is the ImportError: cannot import name ‘force_text’ from ‘Django.utils.encoding’. This error signifies an issue with importing the force_text method from the django.utils.The encoding module converts input data into a consistent text string format.

Result: Failure Exception: 

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

The issue arises when using Django versions before 4.0. In Django 4.0 and beyond, the force_text function has been replaced with force_str.

You’ll need to replace force_text with force_str. Here’s the code adjustment:

from django.utils.encoding import force_str

str_res = force_str(s)

What is the ‘force_text’ Error?

The django.utils.encoding module’s force_text function was used to decode byte strings into text strings. In Django 4.0, this function was deprecated and substituted with force_str.

Common Causes of the Error

Outdated Package

The primary reason for encountering this error is an outdated package. The error message often contains information about the specific package causing the issue.

pip install <packagename> --upgrade

Replace <packagename> with the actual name of the package.

Using an Older Version of Django

The force_text method has been deprecated in favor of force_str for prior versions of Django. Consider updating Django to a more recent version to rectify this issue.

How to Resolve the Error

Replace all instances of force_text with force_str

Import the force_str function:

In your Python code, import the force_str function from the django.utils.encoding

from django.utils.encoding import force_str

This enables you to use force_str for decoding byte strings.

Implement the force_str function:

Below is the code that demonstrates how to use the force_str function:

from django.utils.encoding import force_str

def process_data(input):

  input_str = force_str(input)

  processed_input = input_str.upper()


input = b'Gangsta Paradise'


 the process_data() function takes a byte string (input) and passes it to force_str() for conversion to a text string. The resulting text string is then converted to uppercase.

Upgrade Django to Version 4.0 or Higher:

You may use an older Django version if you’re still encountering the error. Consider upgrading to Django 4.0 or a later version.

Use the following command to install or upgrade Django:

Confirm the Import Statement

Verify that the import statement in your code is correct.

Additional Packages

It’s worth noting that many Django-related packages also utilize force_text in their code. To ensure a seamless experience, upgrade them to their latest versions. Some of these packages include:

  • Graphene-Django
  • Django Elasticsearch DSL
  • Django Smart Selects
  • djangorestframework-simplejwt

You can upgrade them using the following pip commands:

pip install --upgrade graphene-django

pip install --upgrade django-elasticsearch-dsl

pip install --upgrade djangorestframework-simplejwt

pip install --upgrade django-smart-selects

If you prefer a one-liner to upgrade all dependencies

pip freeze | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip install --upgrade

For pip3, use:

pip3 freeze | grep -v '^\-e' | cut -d = -f 1 | xargs -n1 pip3 install --upgrade

Modifying Requirements.txt

maintain a requirements.txt file, remember to replace all ==, <=, and < symbols with >=. For instance







Update it to:







Downgrading Django (Temporary Solution)

If upgrading isn’t an immediate option, you can temporarily downgrade your Django version. Remember that this is a short-term fix until you can migrate to the latest Django version. Run this command:

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

This command installs the latest Django version below 4, Django v3.2.17. In this version, the force_text function is still available so you won’t encounter the error.


 The importerror: cannot import name force_text from django.utils.encoding error occurs because Django removed the force_text function in version 4. You can resolve this issue by replacing the import statement for force_text with force_str. Additionally, upgrading relevant packages and modifying your requirements.txt file will ensure a smooth development process. If necessary, you can also temporarily downgrade Django as a stopgap measure.

If the given solutions do not fulfill your requirements, let us know in the comment section, that we will help resolve the problem. Also, check out our blog, which covers all related queries and terminologies.   

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