Django Sessions - Working with User Data


Django sessions are a powerful mechanism for storing user-specific data on the server between HTTP requests. In this guide, we'll explore how to work with user data using Django sessions, complete with sample code.


Before you begin, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • Django: You should have Django installed. If not, use
    pip install django
    to install it.
  • Django Project: You should have a Django project set up. If not, refer to the guide on creating your first Django project.

Step 1: Enabling Sessions

To use sessions in Django, you need to enable them in your project's settings by adding the

to the
setting and specifying a session engine (e.g., database-backed, file-based, or cache-based).

Sample Code

Add the following lines to your project's
to enable sessions and configure the session engine:

# ...
# ...
# Configure the session engine (e.g., database-backed)
SESSION_ENGINE = 'django.contrib.sessions.backends.db'

Step 2: Using Sessions

You can use sessions to store and retrieve user-specific data in your views. The session data is stored on the server and is accessible between HTTP requests.

Sample Code

Here's an example of setting and getting session data in your views:

# Setting session data
request.session['user_id'] = 123
request.session['username'] = 'john_doe'
# Getting session data
user_id = request.session.get('user_id')
username = request.session.get('username')

Step 3: Session Expiry

By default, Django sessions expire when the user's browser is closed. You can configure the session duration by setting the

in your project's settings.

Sample Code

Add the following line to your project's
to set a session duration in seconds (e.g., 1 hour):

SESSION_COOKIE_AGE = 3600  # 1 hour


Django sessions are a fundamental part of building user-specific web applications. By understanding and using sessions, you can store and retrieve user data, maintain user state, and create more dynamic and personalized web experiences.