Resolving Circular Imports in Python | by Marcin Kozak | Apr, 2024


Understand and resolve circular imports, a common error occurring when two modules import each other simultaneously.

Towards Data Science
Circular imports lead to a never-ending loop. Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Circular imports occur quite often during the development of Python applications and packages. The error arises when two modules attempt to import each other simultaneously — this creates a loop where neither module can fully load. As a result, this leads to an ImportError that states, more or less, that you can’t import an object from a partially initialized module.

Oftentimes, resolving this error is straightforward. Sometimes, however, the code needs to be redesigned and refactored — occasionally quite extensively. This article aims to support you in this by explaining the methods for resolving the error.

We’ll explore methods to resolve circular imports without refactoring the code to change its behavior. Sometimes, it’ll suffice to simply redefine the responsibilities of your classes so they don’t depend directly on each other. However, this approach often won’t be enough. Therefore, we’ll focus on strategies for addressing circular imports without changing the behavior of the objects defined in the modules causing them.

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