As a Django developer, I’ve come across the following error while developing web applications with Python:

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

Upon further investigation, it turns out that the force_text function has been deprecated and removed in Django version 4.

The force_text function was an alias for force_str and was retained in Django 3 to support Python 2.

With the release of Django 4, force_text has been removed, necessitating the direct use of force_str. The problematic code causing this error is:

from django.utils.encoding import force_text

To resolve the error, replace force_text with force_str:

from django.utils.encoding import force_str

# ...
str_res = force_str(s)

To fix the error, update the package causing the issue and modify the import statements.


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

Several Django-related packages also use force_text in their code. Upgrading them to the latest versions should address the error. Some examples include:

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

To upgrade a package, use the --upgrade option with the pip install command:

pip install --upgrade graphene-django
pip install --upgrade django-elasticsearch-dsl
pip install --upgrade djangorestframework-simplejwt
pip install --upgrade django-smart-selects

If the solutions above don’t work, add the following code to the top of your file:

import django
from django.utils.encoding import force_str
django.utils.encoding.force_text = force_str

This code imports the force_str method and sets the force_text attribute to force_str. If any modules try to access force_text, they will access force_str instead.

Note: Downgrading your Django version is not recommended, but if you must, remove the three lines above from your file and downgrade Django to the last version containing force_text. Keep the old import statements.

pip install "Django<4.0" --force-reinstall

After upgrading Django to the latest version, use the following import:

from django.utils.encoding import force_str

If you have followed the steps provided, the “ImportError: cannot import name ‘force_text’ from ‘django.utils.encoding'” error should be resolved. Here’s a summary of the steps to take:

  1. Identify the outdated package causing the error and upgrade it using pip install package-name --upgrade.
  2. Replace any instances of from django.utils.encoding import force_text in your code with from django.utils.encoding import force_str.
  3. If the issue persists, add the following code to the top of your file:
import django
from django.utils.encoding import force_str
django.utils.encoding.force_text = force_str

It’s always a good idea to keep your packages up to date to avoid compatibility issues. To update all outdated packages in your environment, you can use the following commands:

For macOS or Linux:

pip install -U `pip list --outdated | awk 'NR>2 {print $1}'`

For Windows:

for /F "delims= " %i in ('pip list --outdated') do pip install -U %i

If you use a requirements.txt file, update it with the following command:

pip freeze > requirements.txt

Always remember to test your application thoroughly after upgrading packages to ensure everything works as expected. By keeping your packages up to date and using the correct import statements, you can avoid similar errors in the future.

ImportError: cannot import name ‘six’ from ‘django.utils’

The error “ImportError: cannot import name ‘six’ from ‘django.utils'” occurs because django.utils.six has been removed from Django version 3 onwards. To fix this error, you can either install and directly import six, or upgrade any outdated dependencies that use django.utils.six internally.

Outdated package version that uses django.utils.six

The most common cause of this error is having an outdated package version that uses django.utils.six internally. Your error message should provide information about which third-party package is causing the error.

The error is most commonly caused by outdated versions of:

  • django-cors-headers
  • django-taggit
  • django-parler
  • django-mysql

Upgrade the problematic package with the following command:

# Upgrade django-cors-headers
pip install django-cors-headers --upgrade

# Upgrade django-taggit
pip install django-taggit --upgrade

# Upgrade django-parler
pip install django-parler --upgrade

# Upgrade django-mysql
pip install django-mysql --upgrade

Inspect your error message, as it should contain information about which package is attempting to import the deprecated and removed django.utils.six.

Installing and directly importing six

If you use the six package in your code, ensure that it is installed and directly imported.

pip install six

After installing the six module, directly import it in your code.

import six


Ensure all imports of django.utils.six are replaced with direct imports of six.

Downgrading your Django version

If the error is not caused by your code and none of the suggestions help, try downgrading your Django version to the last version that includes the django.utils.six import.

ImportError: Cannot import name ‘ugettext_lazy’ from ‘django.utils.translation’

The error “ImportError: Cannot import name ‘ugettext_lazy’ from ‘django.utils.translation'” occurs because ugettext_lazy has been deprecated and removed in Django 3.0. Instead, use gettext_lazy.

Updating your code to use gettext_lazy

To fix the error, replace any instances of ugettext_lazy with gettext_lazy. First, find the import statement in your code that looks like this:

from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

Replace it with the following:

from django.utils.translation import gettext_lazy as _

After making this change, your code should work without the “cannot import name ‘ugettext_lazy’ from ‘django.utils.translation'” error.

If you still encounter errors or prefer not to modify your code, you can downgrade your Django version to the last version that includes the ugettext_lazy import.

Keep in mind that downgrading might not be the best solution, as you might lose access to important updates, security patches, and new features in the latest Django version.

To downgrade Django to version 2.2, run the following command:

pip install django==2.2

After downgrading your Django version, the error should be resolved. However, it’s highly recommended to update your code to use gettext_lazy instead of ugettext_lazy and use the latest Django version to benefit from the latest improvements and security patches.


These are common import errors that occur when using Django 3.0 or higher. To fix them, you need to either update your code or the problematic third-party packages to be compatible with Django 3.0 or higher. Alternatively, you can downgrade your Django version, but it is not recommended as you might miss out on important updates and security patches.