Django safedelete

What is it ?

For various reasons, you may want to avoid deleting objects from your database.

This Django application provides an abstract model, that allows you to transparently retrieve or delete your objects, without having them deleted from your database.

You can choose what happens when you delete an object :
  • it can be masked from your database (soft delete, the default behavior)
  • it can be normally deleted (hard delete)
  • it can be hard-deleted, but if its deletion would delete other objects, it will only be masked
  • it can be never deleted or masked from your database (no delete, use with caution)


# imports
from safedelete.models import SafeDeleteModel
from safedelete.models import HARD_DELETE_NOCASCADE

# Models

# We create a new model, with the given policy : Objects will be hard-deleted, or soft deleted if other objects would have been deleted too.
class Article(SafeDeleteModel):
    _safedelete_policy = HARD_DELETE_NOCASCADE

    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)

class Order(SafeDeleteModel):
    _safedelete_policy = HARD_DELETE_NOCASCADE

    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    articles = models.ManyToManyField(Article)

# Example of use

>>> article1 = Article(name='article1')

>>> article2 = Article(name='article2')

>>> order = Order(name='order')
>>> order.articles.add(article1)

# This article will be masked, but not deleted from the database as it is still referenced in an order.
>>> article1.delete()

# This article will be deleted from the database.
>>> article2.delete()


  • Branch 0.2.x is compatible with django >= 1.2
  • Branch 0.3.x is compatible with django >= 1.4
  • Branch 0.4.x is compatible with django >= 1.8

Current branch (0.4.x) has been tested with :

  • Django 1.8 using python 2.7 and python 3.3 to 3.4.
  • Django 1.9 using python 2.7 and python 3.4 to 3.5.
  • Django 1.10 using python 2.7 and python 3.4 to 3.5.


Installing from pypi (using pip).

pip install django-safedelete

Installing from github.

pip install -e git://

Add safedelete in your INSTALLED_APPS:


The application doesn’t have any special requirement.