Safely Retrieving Django Objects: Exist Check and Handle None

In Django, working with database objects often involves checking if a object exists and then retrieving it if it does. However, when the object doesn’t exist, its crucial to handle the situation gracefully by returning None instead of raising exceptions. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to safely retrieve objects in Django, getting the object if it exists or None if it does not.

Using get() Method with a Try-Except Block

Django’s get() method is commonly used to retrieve single object that matches a query. However, if no matching object is found, it raises a MyModel.DoesNotExist exception. To avoid this exception, you can use a try-except block:

from myapp.models import MyModel

    my_object = MyModel.objects.get(id=1)
except MyModel.DoesNotExist:
    my_object = None

This code attempts to retrieve an object with id=1. If the object doesn’t exist, it assigns None to my_object within the except block.

Using filter().first()

Another approach is to use the filter() method to retrieve objects and then call first() to get first object in the result set. If no object exists this method will return None:

from myapp.models import MyModel

my_object = MyModel.objects.filter(id=1).first()

This code retrieves the first object with id=1 or returns None if no matching object is found.


When choosing an approach, consider the following:

  • Use the get() method if you expect exactly one object to match query, and you want to handle case where none or more than one object exists.
  • Use filter().first() if you’re retrieving objects where multiple matches are possible, but you only need one. This method simplifies error handling.
  • Regardless of the approach you choose, make sure to handle the case where None is returned. Safely check for None before attempting to access object attributes to avoid potential AttributeError exceptions.


Safely retrieving objects in Django whether they exist or not is essential for robust error handling and application reliability. By understanding options available and considerations for each approach you can confidently work with database objects while gracefully handling cases where objects do not exist.