differentiate null=True, blank=True in django

differentiate null=True, blank=True in django

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When we add a database field in django we generally write:
models.CharField(max_length=100, null=True, blank=True)

The same is done with ForeignKey, DecimalField etc. What is the basic difference in having 

null=True only
blank=True only
null=True, blank=True

in respect to different (CharField, ForeignKey, ManyToManyField, DateTimeField) fields. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using 1/2/3?


Answer 1:

null=True sets NULL (versus NOT NULL) on the column in your DB. Blank values for Django field types such as DateTimeField or ForeignKey will be stored as NULL in the DB.

blank=True determines whether the field will be required in forms. This includes the admin and your own custom forms. If blank=True then the field will not be required, whereas if it’s False the field cannot be blank.

The combo of the two is so frequent because typically if you’re going to allow a field to be blank in your form, you’re going to also need your database to allow NULL values for that field. The exception is CharFields and TextFields, which in Django are never saved as NULL. Blank values are stored in the DB as an empty string ('').

A few examples:

models.DateTimeField(blank=True) # raises IntegrityError if blank

models.DateTimeField(null=True) # NULL allowed, but must be filled out in a form

Obviously those two options don’t make logical sense to use (though, there might be a use case for null=True, blank=False if you want a field to always be required in forms, but optional when dealing with an object through something like the shell.)

models.CharField(blank=True) # No problem, blank is stored as ''

models.CharField(null=True) # NULL allowed, but will never be set as NULL

CHAR and TEXT types are never saved as NULL by Django, so null=True is unnecessary. However, you can manually set one of these fields to None to force set it as NULL. If you have a scenario where that might be necessary, you should still include null=True.

Answer 2:

This is how the ORM maps blank & null fields for Django 1.8

class Test(models.Model):
    charNull        = models.CharField(max_length=10, null=True)
    charBlank       = models.CharField(max_length=10, blank=True)
    charNullBlank   = models.CharField(max_length=10, null=True, blank=True)

    intNull         = models.IntegerField(null=True)
    intBlank        = models.IntegerField(blank=True)
    intNullBlank    = models.IntegerField(null=True, blank=True)

    dateNull        = models.DateTimeField(null=True)
    dateBlank       = models.DateTimeField(blank=True)
    dateNullBlank   = models.DateTimeField(null=True, blank=True)        

The database fields created for PostgreSQL 9.4 are :

  id              serial                    NOT NULL,

  "charNull"      character varying(10),
  "charBlank"     character varying(10)     NOT NULL,
  "charNullBlank" character varying(10),

  "intNull"       integer,
  "intBlank"      integer                   NOT NULL,
  "intNullBlank"  integer,

  "dateNull"      timestamp with time zone,
  "dateBlank"     timestamp with time zone  NOT NULL,
  "dateNullBlank" timestamp with time zone,

The database fields created for MySQL 5.6 are :

     `id`            INT(11)     NOT  NULL    AUTO_INCREMENT,

     `charNull`      VARCHAR(10) NULL DEFAULT NULL,
     `charBlank`     VARCHAR(10) NOT  NULL,
     `charNullBlank` VARCHAR(10) NULL DEFAULT NULL,

     `intNull`       INT(11)     NULL DEFAULT NULL,
     `intBlank`      INT(11)     NOT  NULL,
     `intNullBlank`  INT(11)     NULL DEFAULT NULL,

     `dateNull`      DATETIME    NULL DEFAULT NULL,
     `dateBlank`     DATETIME    NOT  NULL,
     `dateNullBlank` DATETIME    NULL DEFAULT NULL

Answer 3:

As said in Django Model Field reference: Link

Field options

The following arguments are available to all field types. All are optional.



If True, Django will store empty values as NULL in the database. Default is False.

Avoid using null on string-based fields such as CharField and
TextField because empty string values will always be stored as empty
strings, not as NULL. If a string-based field has null=True, that
means it has two possible values for “no data”: NULL, and the empty
string. In most cases, it’s redundant to have two possible values for
“no data”; the Django convention is to use the empty string, not

For both string-based and non-string-based fields, you will also need
to set blank=True if you wish to permit empty values in forms, as
the null parameter only affects database storage (see blank).


When using the Oracle database backend, the value NULL will be stored to denote the empty string regardless of this attribute



If True, the field is allowed to be blank. Default is False.

Note that this is different than null. null is purely
database-related, whereas blank is validation-related. If a field
has blank=True, form validation will allow entry of an empty value.
If a field has blank=False, the field will be required.

Answer 4:

It’s crucial to understand that the options in a Django model field definition serve (at least) two purposes: defining the database tables, and defining the default format and validation of model forms. (I say “default” because the values can always be overridden by providing a custom form.) Some options affect the database, some options affect forms, and some affect both.

When it comes to null and blank, other answers have already made clear that the former affects the database table definition and the latter affects model validation. I think the distinction can be made even clearer by looking at use cases for all four possible configurations:

  • null=False, blank=False: This is the default configuration and means that the value is required in all circumstances.

  • null=True, blank=True: This means that the field is optional in all circumstances. (As noted below, though, this is not the recommended way to make string-based fields optional.)

  • null=False, blank=True: This means that the form doesn’t require a value but the database does. There are a number of use cases for this:

    • The most common use is for optional string-based fields. As noted in the documentation, the Django idiom is to use the empty string to indicate a missing value. If NULL was also allowed you would end up with two different ways to indicate a missing value.

    • Another common situation is that you want to calculate one field automatically based on the value of another (in your save() method, say). You don’t want the user to provide the value in a form (hence blank=True), but you do want the database to enforce that a value is always provided (null=False).

    • Another use is when you want to indicate that a ManyToManyField is optional. Because this field is implemented as a separate table rather than a database column, null is meaningless. The value of blank will still affect forms, though, controlling whether or not validation will succeed when there are no relations.

  • null=True, blank=False: This means that the form requires a value but the database doesn’t. This may be the most infrequently used configuration, but there are some use cases for it:

    • It’s perfectly reasonable to require your users to always include a value even if it’s not actually required by your business logic. After all, forms are only one way of adding and editing data. You may have code that is generating data which doesn’t need the same stringent validation that you want to require of a human editor.

    • Another use case that I’ve seen is when you have a ForeignKey for which you don’t wish to allow cascade deletion. That is, in normal use the relation should always be there (blank=False), but if the thing it points to happens to be deleted, you don’t want this object to be deleted too. In that case you can use null=True and on_delete=models.SET_NULL to implement a simple kind of soft deletion.

Answer 5:

Simply null=True defines database should accept NULL values, on other hand blank=True defines on form validation this field should accept blank values or not(If blank=True it accept form without a value in that field and blank=False[default value] on form validation it will show This field is required error.

null=True/False related to database

blank=True/False related to form validation

Answer 6:

You may have your answer however till this day it’s difficult to judge whether to put null=True or blank=True or both to a field. I personally think it’s pretty useless and confusing to provide so many options to developers. Let the handle the nulls or blanks however they want.

I follow this table, from Two Scoops of Django: enter image description here

Table showing when to use null or blank for each field type

Answer 7:

Here is an example of the field with blank= True and null=True

description = models.TextField(blank=True, null= True)

In this case:
blank = True: tells our form that it is ok to leave the description field blank


null = True: tells our database that it is ok to record a null value in our db field and not give an error.

Answer 8:

Here, is the main difference of null=True and blank=True:

The default value of both null and blank is False. Both of these values work at field level i.e., whether we want to keep a field null or blank.

null=True will set the field’s value to NULL i.e., no data. It is basically for the databases column value.

date = models.DateTimeField(null=True)

blank=True determines whether the field will be required in forms. This includes the admin and your own custom forms.

title = models.CharField(blank=True) // title can be kept blank.
In the database ("") will be stored.
null=True blank=True This means that the field is optional in all circumstances.

epic = models.ForeignKey(null=True, blank=True)
// The exception is CharFields() and TextFields(), which in Django are never saved as NULL. Blank values a

Answer 9:

null = True

Means there is no constraint of database for the field to be filled, so you can have an object with null value for the filled that has this option.

blank = True

Means there is no constraint of validation in django forms. so when you fill a modelForm for this model you can leave field with this option unfilled.

Answer 10:

The default values of null and blank are False.

Null: It is database-related. Defines if a given database column will accept null values or not.

Blank: It is validation-related. It will be used during forms validation, when calling form.is_valid().

That being said, it is perfectly fine to have a field with null=True and blank=False. Meaning on the database level the field can be NULL, but in the application level it is a required field.

Now, where most developers get it wrong: Defining null=True for string-based fields such as CharField and TextField. Avoid doing that. Otherwise, you will end up having two possible values for “no data”, that is: None and an empty string. Having two possible values for “no data” is redundant. The Django convention is to use the empty string, not NULL.

Answer 11:

When we save anything in Django admin two steps validation happens, on Django level and on Database level. We can’t save text in a number field.

Database has data type NULL, it’s nothing. When Django creates columns in the database it specifies that they can’t be empty. And if you will try to save NULL you will get the database error.

Also on Django-Admin level, all fields are required by default, you can’t save blank field, Django will throw you an error.

So, if you want to save blank field you need to allow it on Django and Database level.
blank=True – will allow empty field in admin panel
null=True – will allow saving NULL to the database column.

Answer 12:

There’s one point where null=True would be necessary even on a CharField or TextField and that is when the database has the unique flag set for the column.

In other words, if you’ve a unique Char/TextField in Django, you’ll need to use this:

models.CharField(blank=True, null=True, unique=True)

For non-unique CharField or TextField, you’ll be better off skipping the null=True otherwise some fields will get set as NULL while others as “” , and you’ll have to check the field value for NULL everytime.

Answer 13:

null is for database and blank is for fields validation that you want to show on user interface like textfield to get the last name of person.
If lastname=models.charfield (blank=true) it didnot ask user to enter last name as this is the optional field now.
If lastname=models.charfield (null=true) then it means that if this field doesnot get any value from user then it will store in database as an empty string ” “.

Answer 14:

null – default is False
if True, Django will store empty as null in the database.

blank – default is False
if true that field is allowed to be blank

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