Soft delete for Django ORM, with support for undelete.
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What is different in this fork

Normally each record would have a 'deleted' checkbox next to it that would allow any staff member to (un)delete an object quickly and easily by (un)checking the box.

A side effect of this is that all objects, soft-deleted or otherwise are shown in the admin by default.

For my uses I would rather not show (soft) deleted objects, so in this fork they are not shown. The way to undelete soft-deleted records is therefore handled via the changesets.

This pattern allows me (the admin) to quickly undo any erroneous deletes made by staff.


Soft delete for Django ORM, with support for undelete.


  • No facility (at present) to provide undelete for 3rd-party models such as django.contrib.auth.models.User. If this is required then django-reversion might be a better fit.


  • If you override a model's default manager, ensure that you inherit from softdelete.models.SoftDeleteManager.

Can be tested directly with the following command: test softdelete --settings="softdelete.settings"

Inspired by

This project mostly exists to be able to provide undelete of soft-deleted objects, along with proper undeletion of related objects.


  • Django 1.3
  • django.contrib.contenttypes


To install this particular fork you can run:

pip install "git+git://"
  1. Add 'softdelete' to your INSTALLED_APPS.
  2. Have your models extend from softdelete.models.SoftDeleteObject. If you have existing models, use Django South to create a schema migration to add the deleted_at Datetime field to each of your models.
  3. Extend from or use directly the softdelete.admin.SoftDeleteObjectAdmin model admin class in your files.

There are simple templates files in templates/. You will need to add Django's egg loader to use the templates as is:


Add the project 'softdelete' to your INSTALLED_APPS for through-the-web undelete support.


Central to the ability to undelete a soft-deleted model is the concept of changesets. When you soft-delete an object, any objects referencing it via a ForeignKey, ManyToManyField, or OneToOneField will also be soft-deleted. This mimics the traditional CASCADE behavior of an SQL DELETE.

When the soft-delete is performed, the system makes a ChangeSet object which tracks all affected objects of this delete request. Later, when an undelete is requested, this ChangeSet is referenced to do a cascading undelete.

If you are undeleting an object that was part of a ChangeSet, that entire ChangeSet is undeleted.

Once undeleted, the ChangeSet object is removed from the underlying database with a regular ("hard") delete.