Frequently-asked questions

The following are miscellaneous common questions and answers related to installing/using django-registration, culled from bug reports, emails and other sources.


This doesn’t work with custom user models! It crashes as soon as I try to use one!

django-registration can work perfectly well with a custom user model, but this does require you to do a bit more work. Please thoroughly read the documentation for how to use custom user models before filing a bug.

Please also note that, as explained in that documentation, by default django-registration will crash if you try to use a custom user model without following the documentation. This is not a bug; it is done deliberately to ensure you read and follow the documentation.

How can I support social-media and other auth schemes, like Facebook or GitHub?

By using django-allauth. No single application can or should provide a universal API for every authentication system ever developed; django-registration sticks to making it easy to implement typical signup workflows using Django’s default model-based authentication system, while apps like django-allauth handle integration with third-party authentication services far more effectively.

What license is django-registration under?

django-registration is offered under a three-clause BSD-style license; this is an OSI-approved open-source license, and allows you a large degree of freedom in modifying and redistributing the code. For the full terms, see the file LICENSE which came with your copy of django-registration; if you did not receive a copy of this file, you can view it online at <>.

What versions of Django and Python are supported?

As of django-registration 3.1.1, Django 2.2, 3.0, and 3.1 are supported, on Python 3.5 (Django 2.2 only), 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8.

I found a bug or want to make an improvement!


Reporting security issues

If you believe you have found a security issue in django-registration, please do not use the public GitHub issue tracker to report it. Instead, you can contact the author privately to report the issue.

The canonical development repository for django-registration is online at <>. Issues and pull requests can both be filed there.

If you’d like to contribute to django-registration, that’s great! Just please remember that pull requests should include tests and documentation for any changes made, and that following PEP 8 is mandatory. Pull requests without documentation won’t be merged, and PEP 8 style violations or test coverage below 100% are both configured to break the build.

How secure is django-registration?

Over the decade-plus history of django-registration, there have been no security issues reported which required new releases to remedy. This doesn’t mean, though, that django-registration is perfectly secure: much will depend on ensuring best practices in deployment and server configuration, and there could always be security issues that just haven’t been recognized yet.

django-registration does, however, try to avoid common security issues:

  • django-registration 3.1.1 only supports versions of Django which were receiving upstream security support at the time of release.
  • django-registration does not attempt to generate or store passwords, and does not transmit credentials which could be used to log in (the only “credential” ever sent out by django-registration is an activation key used in the two-step activation workflow, and that key can only be used to make an account active; it cannot be used to log in).
  • django-registration works with Django’s own security features (including cryptographic features) where possible, rather than reinventing its own.

For more details, see the security guide.

How do I run the tests?

django-registration’s tests are run using tox, but typical installation of django-registration (via pip install django-registration) will not install the tests.

To run the tests, download the source (.tar.gz) distribution of django-registration 3.1.1 from its page on the Python Package Index, unpack it (tar zxvf django-registration-|release|.tar.gz on most Unix-like operating systems), and in the unpacked directory run tox.

Note that you will need to have tox installed already (pip install tox), and to run the full test matrix you will need to have each supported version of Python available. To run only the tests for a specific Python version and Django version, you can invoke tox with the -e flag. For example, to run tests for Python 3.6 and Django 2.0: tox -e py36-django20.

Installation and setup

How do I install django-registration?

Full instructions are available in the installation guide. For configuration, see the quick start guide.

Does django-registration come with any sample templates I can use right away?

No, for two reasons:

  1. Providing default templates with an application is ranges from hard to impossible, because different sites can have such wildly different design and template structure. Any attempt to provide templates which would work with all the possibilities would probably end up working with none of them.
  2. A number of things in django-registration depend on the specific registration workflow you use, including the variables which end up in template contexts. Since django-registration has no way of knowing in advance what workflow you’re going to be using, it also has no way of knowing what your templates will need to look like.

Fortunately, however, django-registration has good documentation which explains what context variables will be available to templates, and so it should be easy for anyone who knows Django’s template system to create templates which integrate with their own site.


Do I need to rewrite the views to change the way they behave?

Not always. Any behavior controlled by an attribute on a class-based view can be changed by passing a different value for that attribute in the URLconf. See Django’s class-based view documentation for examples of this.

For more complex or fine-grained control, you will likely want to subclass RegistrationView or ActivationView, or both, add your custom logic to your subclasses, and then create a URLconf which makes use of your subclasses.

I don’t want to write my own URLconf because I don’t want to write patterns for all the auth views!

You’re in luck, then; Django provides a URLconf for this, at django.contrib.auth.urls.

I don’t like the names you’ve given to the URL patterns!

In that case, you should feel free to set up your own URLconf which uses the names you want.

I’m using a custom user model; how do I make that work?

See the custom user documentation.

Tips and tricks

How do I close user signups?

If you haven’t modified the behavior of the registration_allowed() method in RegistrationView, you can use the setting REGISTRATION_OPEN to control this; when the setting is True, or isn’t supplied, user registration will be permitted. When the setting is False, user registration will not be permitted.

How do I log a user in immediately after registration or activation?

Take a look at the implementation of the one-step workflow, which logs a user in immediately after registration.

How do I manually activate a user?

In the two-step activation workflow, toggle the is_active field of the user in the admin.

How do I delete expired unactivated accounts?

Perform a query for those accounts, and call the delete() method of the resulting QuerySet. Since django-registration doesn’t know in advance what your definition of “expired” will be, it leaves this step to you.

How do I allow Unicode in usernames?

Use Python 3. Django’s username validation allows any word character plus some additional characters, but the definition of “word character” depends on the Python version in use. On Python 2, only ASCII will be permitted; on Python 3, usernames containing word characters matched by a regex with the re.UNICODE flag will be accepted.

How do I tell why an account’s activation failed?

If you’re using the two-step activation workflow, the template context will contain a variable activation_error containing the information passed when the ActivationError was raised. This will indicate what caused the failure.