Improve Your Django Query Skills with These Not-Equal Filters – Plus, Code Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Not-Equal Filters
  3. Code Examples of Not-Equal Filters
  4. Advanced Query Skills
  5. Django Query Best Practices
  6. Conclusion


When working with Django, the ability to filter query sets is essential. Filtering allows you to retrieve data from your database based on specific criteria, such as a particular value or a range of values. One common type of filtering is the "not equal" filter, which allows you to exclude results that match a certain value. In this article, we'll explore the various not-equal filters that Django provides and provide code examples so you can improve your Django query skills. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced Django developer, this guide will help you learn how to use not-equal filters effectively.

Not-Equal Filters

In Django, are used to exclude specific values from a query. It is a powerful feature that allows you to filter out certain data that you do not want to use. There are different types of , but the most common ones are exact, iexact, and contains.

Here's a breakdown of each not-equal filter and how it works:

  • exact: This filter is used to retrieve data that is not equal to a specific value. The syntax is:

  • iexact: This filter is similar to exact, but it is case-insensitive. The syntax is:

  • contains: This filter is used to retrieve data that does not contain a specific value. The syntax is:


Using is straightforward, and it can greatly improve your Django query skills. Here are some code examples to help you understand how they work in practice.

Code Examples

Let's say you have a Django model called "Employee" with the following fields:

  • first_name
  • last_name
  • salary
  • department

And you want to use to exclude certain data from your queries.

Example 1: Exclude employees with a salary less than 5000


This code will retrieve all employees with a salary greater than or equal to 5000.

Example 2: Exclude employees from the Sales department


This code will exclude all employees from the Sales department.

Example 3: Exclude employees with a last name containing "Smith"


This code will exclude all employees with a last name containing "Smith".

By using in your Django queries, you can increase the efficiency and accuracy of your application.

Code Examples of Not-Equal Filters

Using exclude()

One way to filter out objects with certain values is by using the exclude() method. This method can be used to filter out objects with a specific value in a field. Here is an example:

from myapp.models import MyModel

# filter out objects where the field is not equal to a value
excluded_objects = MyModel.objects.exclude(field="value")

Using Q()

Another way to filter out objects with certain values is by using Q() objects. This method allows for more complex queries and can be especially useful when filtering multiple fields.

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

# filter out objects where a field is not equal to a value or where another field is not equal to another value
excluded_objects = MyModel.objects.filter(~Q(field="value") | ~Q(another_field="another_value"))

Using Query Expressions

Query Expressions can also be used to filter out objects with certain values. The following example shows how to use the F() function to exclude objects where a field is not equal to another field.

from django.db.models import F
from myapp.models import MyModel

# filter out objects where a field is not equal to another field
excluded_objects = MyModel.objects.exclude(field=F('another_field'))

By using these not-equal filters, developers can quickly and easily filter out objects with specific values in their Django queries. Whether through exclude(), Q(), or Query Expressions, these methods offer developers the flexibility needed to create complex queries with ease.

Advanced Query Skills

To truly master Django query skills, you need to move beyond simple queries and start using more advanced filters. In this section, we'll cover some of the most useful not-equal filters in Django, along with code examples to help you get started.


The exclude() filter is used to exclude certain results from the query. This filter is used in conjunction with other filters to restrict the results returned. Here's an example:

posts = BlogPost.objects.exclude(author='John')

This query will return all blog posts except those written by John.

Q objects

The Q object is used to perform complex queries by combining multiple filters. You can use the ~ operator to negate a filter, like this:

from django.db.models import Q


This query returns all blog posts that were not written by John.


The __ne filter is another way to perform a not-equal query. Here's an example:


This query returns all blog posts that have a published_date value that is not None.


By using these advanced not-equal filters in Django, you can create more powerful queries that will help you find exactly what you need in your database. Whether you're working with a small blog or a large enterprise application, understanding these query techniques is essential to becoming a proficient Django developer.

Django Query Best Practices

When it comes to building applications with Django, writing efficient queries is crucial for ensuring good performance. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when working with Django queries:

  1. Use select_related() and prefetch_related(): These methods can help alleviate the "N+1 query problem" when working with related objects. select_related() follows foreign key relationships and prefetch_related() fetches related objects efficiently in a separate query.
  2. Be mindful of the number of queries: Every query made to the database comes with a cost. Try to minimize the number of queries by using methods such as values() or values_list().
  3. Use .only() and .defer(): If you only need a subset of fields in your query, consider using .only() to fetch only those fields. On the other hand, if there are fields you don't need, you can use .defer() to exclude them from the query.
  4. Use F() objects to update fields: If you need to update a large number of objects, consider using F() objects to update fields instead of pulling the whole object into memory and then saving it back to the database.
  5. Use Q() objects for complex queries: When you need to write complex queries with multiple conditions, using Q() objects can help simplify your code and potentially improve performance.

Following these best practices will not only improve the performance of your queries but also make your code more readable and maintainable.


In , mastering not-equal filters in Django queries can greatly enhance your ability to work with large sets of data and produce more accurate results. By learning how to use the != and exclude() functions, you can filter out unwanted data and focus on the data that matters most. Additionally, understanding the difference between the Q and F objects and when to use each one can help you write more complex queries with ease. Finally, don't forget about the usefulness of the ~ operator for more advanced filtering. With these tools at your disposal, you'll be well on your way to becoming a more skilled Django developer.

Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering have always been my driving passions, energizing me with enthusiasm and a desire to stay at the forefront of technological innovation. I take great pleasure in innovating and devising workarounds for complex problems. Drawing on over 8 years of professional experience in the IT industry, with a focus on Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering, I have a track record of success in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects from diverse perspectives, and devising strategies that have significantly increased revenue. I am currently seeking a challenging position where I can leverage my competencies in a professional manner that maximizes productivity and exceeds expectations.
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