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DateField – Django Models

Last Updated : 24 Aug, 2021
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DateField is a field that stores date, represented in Python by a instance. As the name suggests, this field is used to store an object of date created in python. The default form widget for this field is a TextInput. The admin can add a JavaScript calendar and a shortcut for “Today” explicitly.


field_name = models.DateField(**options)

DateField has the following extra optional arguments –


  • Automatically set the field to now every time the object is saved. Useful for “last-modified” timestamps. Note that the current date is always used; it’s not just a default value that you can override. 
    The field is only automatically updated when calling The field isn’t updated when making updates to other fields in other ways such as QuerySet.update(), though you can specify a custom value for the field in an update like that.


  • Automatically set the field to now when the object is first created. Useful for creation of timestamps. Note that the current date is always used; it’s not just a default value that you can override. So even if you set a value for this field when creating the object, it will be ignored. If you want to be able to modify this field, set the following instead of auto_now_add=True: 
    • For DateField: – from
    • For DateTimeField: – from


Note: The options auto_now_add, auto_now, and default are mutually exclusive. Any combination of these options will result in an error.

Django Model DateField Explanation

Illustration of DateField using an Example. Consider a project named geeksforgeeks having an app named geeks. 

Refer to the following articles to check how to create a project and an app in Django. 

Enter the following code into the file of geeks app. 


from django.db import models
from django.db.models import Model
# Create your models here.
class GeeksModel(Model):
    geeks_field = models.DateField()

Add the geeks app to INSTALLED_APPS 


# Application definition

Now when we run makemigrations command from the terminal,

Python makemigrations

A new folder named migrations would be created in geeks directory with a file named 


# Generated by Django 2.2.5 on 2019-09-25 06:00
from django.db import migrations, models
class Migration(migrations.Migration):
    initial = True
    dependencies = [
    operations = [
            name ='GeeksModel',
            fields =[
                  auto_created = True,
                  primary_key = True,
                  serialize = False,
                  verbose_name ='ID'
                ('geeks_field', models.DateField()),

Now run, 

Python migrate

Thus, an geeks_field DateField is created when you run migrations on the project. It is a field to store python object.

How to use DateField ?

DateField is used for storing python instance in the database. One can store any type of date using the same in the database. Let’s try storing a date in model created above. 


# importing the model
# from geeks app
from geeks.models import GeeksModel
# importing datetime module
import datetime
# creating an instance of
d =, 10, 19)
# creating an instance of
# GeeksModel
geek_object = GeeksModel.objects.create(geeks_field = d)

Now let’s check it in admin server. We have created an instance of GeeksModel. 

DateField django models

Field Options

Field Options are the arguments given to each field for applying some constraint or imparting a particular characteristic to a particular Field. For example, adding an argument null = True to DateField will enable it to store empty values for that table in a relational database. 
Here are the field options and attributes that a DateField can use. 

Field Options Description
Null If True, Django will store empty values as NULL in the database. Default is False.
Blank If True, the field is allowed to be blank. Default is False.
db_column The name of the database column to use for this field. If this isn’t given, Django will use the field’s name. 
db_index If True, a database index will be created for this field
db_tablespace The name of the database tablespace to use for this field’s index, if this field is indexed. The default is the project’s DEFAULT_INDEX_TABLESPACE setting, if set, or the db_tablespace of the model, if any. If the backend doesn’t support tablespaces for indexes, this option is ignored.
Default The default value for the field. This can be a value or a callable object. If callable it will be called every time a new object is created. 
help_text Extra “help” text to be displayed with the form widget. It’s useful for documentation even if your field isn’t used on a form. 
primary_key If True, this field is the primary key for the model.
editable If False, the field will not be displayed in the admin or any other ModelForm. They are also skipped during model validation. Default is True
error_messages The error_messages argument lets you override the default messages that the field will raise. Pass in a dictionary with keys matching the error messages you want to override. 
help_text Extra “help” text to be displayed with the form widget. It’s useful for documentation even if your field isn’t used on a form. 
verbose_name A human-readable name for the field. If the verbose name isn’t given, Django will automatically create it using the field’s attribute name, converting underscores to spaces. 
validators A list of validators to run for this field. See the validators documentation for more information. 
Unique If True, this field must be unique throughout the table. 

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