Extending the User model with custom fields in Django


What's the best way to extend the User model (bundled with Django's authentication app) with custom fields? I would also possibly like to use the email as the username (for authentication purposes).

I've already seen a few ways to do it, but can't decide on which one is the best.

This question is tagged with django django-models django-authentication django-users

~ Asked on 2008-09-04 16:19:49

14 Answers


The least painful and indeed Django-recommended way of doing this is through a OneToOneField(User) property.

Extending the existing User model

If you wish to store information related to User, you can use a one-to-one relationship to a model containing the fields for additional information. This one-to-one model is often called a profile model, as it might store non-auth related information about a site user.

That said, extending django.contrib.auth.models.User and supplanting it also works...

Substituting a custom User model

Some kinds of projects may have authentication requirements for which Django’s built-in User model is not always appropriate. For instance, on some sites it makes more sense to use an email address as your identification token instead of a username.

[Ed: Two warnings and a notification follow, mentioning that this is pretty drastic.]

I would definitely stay away from changing the actual User class in your Django source tree and/or copying and altering the auth module.

~ Answered on 2008-09-04 17:02:18


Note: this answer is deprecated. see other answers if you are using Django 1.7 or later.

This is how I do it.

#in models.py
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.db.models.signals import post_save

class UserProfile(models.Model):  
    user = models.OneToOneField(User)  
    #other fields here

    def __str__(self):  
          return "%s's profile" % self.user  

def create_user_profile(sender, instance, created, **kwargs):  
    if created:  
       profile, created = UserProfile.objects.get_or_create(user=instance)  

post_save.connect(create_user_profile, sender=User) 

#in settings.py

This will create a userprofile each time a user is saved if it is created. You can then use


Here is some more info from the docs


Update: Please note that AUTH_PROFILE_MODULE is deprecated since v1.5: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.5/ref/settings/#auth-profile-module

~ Answered on 2009-06-08 16:53:14


Well, some time passed since 2008 and it's time for some fresh answer. Since Django 1.5 you will be able to create custom User class. Actually, at the time I'm writing this, it's already merged into master, so you can try it out.

There's some information about it in docs or if you want to dig deeper into it, in this commit.

All you have to do is add AUTH_USER_MODEL to settings with path to custom user class, which extends either AbstractBaseUser (more customizable version) or AbstractUser (more or less old User class you can extend).

For people that are lazy to click, here's code example (taken from docs):

from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import (
    BaseUserManager, AbstractBaseUser

class MyUserManager(BaseUserManager):
    def create_user(self, email, date_of_birth, password=None):
        Creates and saves a User with the given email, date of
        birth and password.
        if not email:
            raise ValueError('Users must have an email address')

        user = self.model(

        return user

    def create_superuser(self, username, date_of_birth, password):
        Creates and saves a superuser with the given email, date of
        birth and password.
        u = self.create_user(username,
        u.is_admin = True
        return u

class MyUser(AbstractBaseUser):
    email = models.EmailField(
                        verbose_name='email address',
    date_of_birth = models.DateField()
    is_active = models.BooleanField(default=True)
    is_admin = models.BooleanField(default=False)

    objects = MyUserManager()

    USERNAME_FIELD = 'email'
    REQUIRED_FIELDS = ['date_of_birth']

    def get_full_name(self):
        # The user is identified by their email address
        return self.email

    def get_short_name(self):
        # The user is identified by their email address
        return self.email

    def __unicode__(self):
        return self.email

    def has_perm(self, perm, obj=None):
        "Does the user have a specific permission?"
        # Simplest possible answer: Yes, always
        return True

    def has_module_perms(self, app_label):
        "Does the user have permissions to view the app `app_label`?"
        # Simplest possible answer: Yes, always
        return True

    def is_staff(self):
        "Is the user a member of staff?"
        # Simplest possible answer: All admins are staff
        return self.is_admin

~ Answered on 2012-09-28 22:22:42


Since Django 1.5 you may easily extend the user model and keep a single table on the database.

from django.contrib.auth.models import AbstractUser
from django.db import models
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

class UserProfile(AbstractUser):
    age = models.PositiveIntegerField(_("age"))

You must also configure it as current user class in your settings file

# supposing you put it in apps/profiles/models.py
AUTH_USER_MODEL = "profiles.UserProfile"

If you want to add a lot of users' preferences the OneToOneField option may be a better choice thought.

A note for people developing third party libraries: if you need to access the user class remember that people can change it. Use the official helper to get the right class

from django.contrib.auth import get_user_model

User = get_user_model()

~ Answered on 2013-04-20 21:56:43


There is an official recommendation on storing additional information about users. The Django Book also discusses this problem in section Profiles.

~ Answered on 2008-09-04 16:35:39


The below one is another approach to extend an User. I feel it is more clear,easy,readable then above two approaches.


Using above approach:

  1. you don't need to use user.get_profile().newattribute to access the additional information related to the user
  2. you can just directly access additional new attributes via user.newattribute

~ Answered on 2009-04-01 13:01:09


You can Simply extend user profile by creating a new entry each time when a user is created by using Django post save signals


from django.db.models.signals import *
from __future__ import unicode_literals

class UserProfile(models.Model):

    user_name = models.OneToOneField(User, related_name='profile')
    city = models.CharField(max_length=100, null=True)

    def __unicode__(self):  # __str__
        return unicode(self.user_name)

def create_user_profile(sender, instance, created, **kwargs):
    if created:

post_save.connect(create_user_profile, sender=User)

This will automatically create an employee instance when a new user is created.

If you wish to extend user model and want to add further information while creating a user you can use django-betterforms (http://django-betterforms.readthedocs.io/en/latest/multiform.html). This will create a user add form with all fields defined in the UserProfile model.


from django.db.models.signals import *
from __future__ import unicode_literals

class UserProfile(models.Model):

    user_name = models.OneToOneField(User)
    city = models.CharField(max_length=100)

    def __unicode__(self):  # __str__
        return unicode(self.user_name)


from django import forms
from django.forms import ModelForm
from betterforms.multiform import MultiModelForm
from django.contrib.auth.forms import UserCreationForm
from .models import *

class ProfileForm(ModelForm):

    class Meta:
        model = Employee
        exclude = ('user_name',)

class addUserMultiForm(MultiModelForm):
    form_classes = {


from django.shortcuts import redirect
from .models import *
from .forms import *
from django.views.generic import CreateView

class AddUser(CreateView):
    form_class = AddUserMultiForm
    template_name = "add-user.html"
    success_url = '/your-url-after-user-created'

    def form_valid(self, form):
        user = form['user'].save()
        profile = form['profile'].save(commit=False)
        profile.user_name = User.objects.get(username= user.username)
        return redirect(self.success_url)


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
        <meta charset="UTF-8">
        <form action="." method="post">
            {% csrf_token %}
            {{ form }}     
            <button type="submit">Add</button>


from django.conf.urls import url, include
from appName.views import *
urlpatterns = [
    url(r'^add-user/$', AddUser.as_view(), name='add-user'),

~ Answered on 2016-06-25 03:09:37


Extending Django User Model (UserProfile) like a Pro

I've found this very useful: link

An extract:

from django.contrib.auth.models import User

class Employee(models.Model):
    user = models.OneToOneField(User)
    department = models.CharField(max_length=100)

>>> u = User.objects.get(username='fsmith')
>>> freds_department = u.employee.department

~ Answered on 2016-04-13 08:09:51


New in Django 1.5, now you can create your own Custom User Model (which seems to be good thing to do in above case). Refer to 'Customizing authentication in Django'

Probably the coolest new feature on 1.5 release.

~ Answered on 2013-03-12 10:01:19


This is what i do and it's in my opinion simplest way to do this. define an object manager for your new customized model then define your model.

from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import PermissionsMixin, AbstractBaseUser, BaseUserManager

class User_manager(BaseUserManager):
    def create_user(self, username, email, gender, nickname, password):
        email = self.normalize_email(email)
        user = self.model(username=username, email=email, gender=gender, nickname=nickname)
        return user

    def create_superuser(self, username, email, gender, password, nickname=None):
        user = self.create_user(username=username, email=email, gender=gender, nickname=nickname, password=password)
        user.is_superuser = True
        user.is_staff = True
        return user

  class User(PermissionsMixin, AbstractBaseUser):
    username = models.CharField(max_length=32, unique=True, )
    email = models.EmailField(max_length=32)
    gender_choices = [("M", "Male"), ("F", "Female"), ("O", "Others")]
    gender = models.CharField(choices=gender_choices, default="M", max_length=1)
    nickname = models.CharField(max_length=32, blank=True, null=True)

    is_active = models.BooleanField(default=True)
    is_staff = models.BooleanField(default=False)
    REQUIRED_FIELDS = ["email", "gender"]
    USERNAME_FIELD = "username"
    objects = User_manager()

    def __str__(self):
        return self.username

Dont forget to add this line of code in your settings.py:

AUTH_USER_MODEL = 'YourApp.User'

This is what i do and it always works.

~ Answered on 2018-07-25 05:00:38


It's too late, but my answer is for those who search for a solution with a recent version of Django.


from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.db.models.signals import post_save
from django.dispatch import receiver

class Profile(models.Model):
    user = models.OneToOneField(User, on_delete=models.CASCADE)
    extra_Field_1 = models.CharField(max_length=25, blank=True)
    extra_Field_2 = models.CharField(max_length=25, blank=True)

@receiver(post_save, sender=User)
def create_user_profile(sender, instance, created, **kwargs):
    if created:

@receiver(post_save, sender=User)
def save_user_profile(sender, instance, **kwargs):

you can use it in templates like this:

<h2>{{ user.get_full_name }}</h2>
  <li>Username: {{ user.username }}</li>
  <li>Location: {{ user.profile.extra_Field_1 }}</li>
  <li>Birth Date: {{ user.profile.extra_Field_2 }}</li>

and in views.py like this:

def update_profile(request, user_id):
    user = User.objects.get(pk=user_id)
    user.profile.extra_Field_1 = 'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit...'

~ Answered on 2020-10-12 06:08:14


Simple and effective approach is models.py

from django.contrib.auth.models import User
class CustomUser(User):
     profile_pic = models.ImageField(upload_to='...')
     other_field = models.CharField()

~ Answered on 2020-02-22 18:36:13


Try this:

Create a model called Profile and reference the user with a OneToOneField and provide an option of related_name.


from django.db import models
from django.contrib.auth.models import *
from django.dispatch import receiver
from django.db.models.signals import post_save

class Profile(models.Model):
    user = models.OneToOneField(User, on_delete=models.CASCADE, related_name='user_profile')

    def __str__(self):
        return self.user.username

@receiver(post_save, sender=User)
def create_profile(sender, instance, created, **kwargs):
        if created:
    except Exception as err:
        print('Error creating user profile!')

Now to directly access the profile using a User object you can use the related_name.


from django.http import HttpResponse

def home(request):
    profile = f'profile of {request.user.user_profile}'
    return HttpResponse(profile)

~ Answered on 2021-01-31 06:56:58


Currently as of Django 2.2, the recommended way when starting a new project is to create a custom user model that inherits from AbstractUser, then point AUTH_USER_MODEL to the model.

Source: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/2.2/topics/auth/customizing/#using-a-custom-user-model-when-starting-a-project

~ Answered on 2019-11-18 19:18:46

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