Filtering Django Querysets with Not Equal: Guide with Examples

Django’s Querysets provide a powerful way to filter and retrieve data from your database. One common filtering requirement is to retrieve records that are not equal to a specific value. In this blog, we’ll explore how to perform “not equal” filtering in Django Querysets using practical examples to illustrate different approaches.

Filtering with exclude()

The exclude() method in Django Querysets allows you to exclude records that match a specific condition.. To retrieve records that are not equal to a certain value, you can use the exclude() method with the field_name__exact lookup, where field_name is the name of the field you want to filter

Example 1: Filtering by a Field’s Value

Suppose you have a Django model called Product, and you want to retrieve all products whose price is not equal to $10

from myapp.models import Product

not_equal_products = Product.objects.exclude(price__exact=10)

Example 2: Filtering by a Field’s Value Using ~

You can also achieve the same result using the ~ operator:

from myapp.models import Product

not_equal_products = Product.objects.filter(~Q(price=10))

Filtering with Q Objects

The Q object in Django allows you to build complex queries using logical operators such as & (AND) and | (OR). To perform “not equal” filtering, you can use the ~Q() notation within a filter() method.

Example 3: Using Q Objects for “Not Equal” Filtering

Let’s say you have a Django model called Employee, and you want to retrieve all employees whose age is not equal to 30:

from myapp.models import Employee
from django.db.models import Q

not_equal_employees = Employee.objects.filter(~Q(age=30))

Filtering with exclude() vs. filter(~Q())

Both exclude() and filter(~Q()) can be used to achieve “not equal” filtering. However, there are subtle differences:

  • exclude(): This method is designed specifically for excluding records based on a condition. It reads more intuitively when you want to retrieve records that do not meet a certain criteria.
  • filter(~Q()): While this method can achieve “not equal” filtering, it is more versatile. You can use it for complex queries that involve multiple conditions and logical operators, making it suitable for more intricate filtering requirements.


Filtering for “not equal” conditions in Django Querysets is a common task when retrieving data from your database. You can achieve this using the exclude() method or the filter(~Q()) approach with Q objects. Whether you need to retrieve products with prices different from a specific value or employees with ages not equal to a given number, thise techniques provide the flexibility to filter your data effectively. Understanding these methods is essential for building robust and precise database queries in Django