Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 13 months ago

#12382 new Bug

Deleting an inline can delete the whole inlined model instance recursively

Reported by: Dirk Eschler Owned by: nobody
Component: contrib.admin Version: 1.1
Severity: Normal Keywords: admin inlines
Cc: eschler@…, bugs@… Triage Stage: Accepted
Has patch: no Needs documentation: no
Needs tests: no Patch needs improvement: no
Easy pickings: no UI/UX: yes


A deleted inline can delete the whole inlined model (and all its related ForeignKeys) if the inlined model has a ForeignKey back to model it inlines. As this is best illustrated by an example, here's some code:

class Telephone(models.Model):
    TELEPHONE_TYPES = ( ('WORK', 'Work'),
                        ('HOME', 'Home'),
    telephone_type = models.CharField(max_length=16, choices=TELEPHONE_TYPES)
    number = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    contact = models.ForeignKey('Contact')
    # ...

class Contact(models.Model):
    family_name = models.CharField(max_length=255, null=True, blank=True)
    given_name = models.CharField(max_length=255, null=True, blank=True)
    # ...
    preferred_telephone = models.ForeignKey(Telephone, related_name='preferred_telephone', null=True, blank=True)


class TelephoneInline(admin.TabularInline):
    model = Telephone

class TelephoneAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    # ...
class ContactAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    # ...
    inlines = [


  • Create a contact with a telephone number through the admin and save it
  • Choose the new telephone number as preferred_telephone and save the contact
  • Check the delete checkbox for the telephone number
  • Save


The telephone number is deleted.


The contact is deleted recursively! In addition a 404 is raised that the contact doesn't exist, which is true.

If the Contact model had more relations, like a ForeignKey relation to an Address model for instance, all the addresses of the contact would have been deleted, too.

Change History (10)

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by Russell Keith-Magee

Needs documentation: unset
Needs tests: unset
Patch needs improvement: unset
Triage Stage: UnreviewedAccepted

The deletion itself is a case of working as designed. #7539 exists to address the control of delete cascading behavior.

This leaves the UI problem - if deleting an inline leads to deleting the base object, you shouldn't get a 404. We track the objects that are going to be deleted; that could be used as a basis for redirection (i.e., if self on list, redirect to the "model" page in the admin)

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by anonymous

Cc: eschler@… added

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by Carl Meyer

#7539 is now fixed; the deletion here, if undesired, can be resolved by setting the on_delete argument to the ForeignKey appropriately.

The 404 / UI issue here remains.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by Matt McClanahan

Severity: Normal
Type: Bug

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by Julien Phalip

UI/UX: set

comment:6 Changed 5 years ago by Aymeric Augustin

UI/UX: unset

Change UI/UX from NULL to False.

comment:7 Changed 5 years ago by Aymeric Augustin

Easy pickings: unset

Change Easy pickings from NULL to False.

comment:8 Changed 5 years ago by Aymeric Augustin

UI/UX: set

Revert accidental batch modification.

comment:9 Changed 13 months ago by Tim Graham

#14411 is a duplicate with long discussion.

comment:10 Changed 13 months ago by ris

Cc: bugs@… added
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