How to import files from different folders in Python?

Sample query:

I have the following folder structure.

application
├── app
│   └── folder
│       └── file.py
└── app2
    └── some_folder
        └── some_file.py

I want to import some functions from file.py in some_file.py.

I’ve tried

from application.app.folder.file import func_name

and some other various attempts but so far I couldn’t manage to import properly. How can I do this?

Answer:

Nothing wrong with:

from application.app.folder.file import func_name

Just make sure folder also contains an __init__.py, this allows it to be included as a package. Not sure why the other answers talk about PYTHONPATH.

How to import files from different folders in Python?

Note: This answer was intended for a very specific question. For most programmers coming here from a search engine, this is not the answer you are looking for. Typically you would structure your files into packages (see other answers) instead of modifying the search path.


By default, you can’t. When importing a file, Python only searches the directory that the entry-point script is running from and sys.path which includes locations such as the package installation directory (it’s actually a little more complex than this, but this covers most cases).

However, you can add to the Python path at runtime:

# some_file.py
import sys
# insert at 1, 0 is the script path (or '' in REPL)
sys.path.insert(1, '/path/to/application/app/folder')

import file

Answer #3:

When modules are in parallel locations, as in the question:

application/app2/some_folder/some_file.py
application/app2/another_folder/another_file.py

This shorthand makes one module visible to the other:

import sys
sys.path.append('../')

Answer #4:

First import sys in name-file.py

 import sys

Second append the folder path in name-file.py

sys.path.insert(0, '/the/folder/path/name-package/')

Third Make a blank file called __ init __.py in your subdirectory (this tells Python it is a package)

  • name-file.py
  • name-package
    • __ init __.py
    • name-module.py

Fourth import the module inside the folder in name-file.py

from name-package import name-module

Answer #5:

Your problem is that Python is looking in the Python directory for this file and not finding it. You must specify that you are talking about the directory that you are in and not the Python one.

To do this you change this:

from application.app.folder.file import func_name

to this:

from .application.app.folder.file import func_name

By adding the dot you are saying look in this folder for the application folder instead of looking in the Python directory.

Answer #6:

The answers here are lacking in clarity, this is tested on Python 3.6

With this folder structure:

main.py
|
---- myfolder/myfile.py

Where myfile.py has the content:

def myfunc():
    print('hello')

The import statement in main.py is:

from myfolder.myfile import myfunc
myfunc()

and this will print hello.

How to import files from different folders in Python?- Answer #7:

In Python 3.4 and later, you can import from a source file directly (link to documentation). This is not the simplest solution, but I’m including this answer for completeness.

Here is an example. First, the file to be imported, named foo.py:

def announce():
    print("Imported!")

The code that imports the file above, inspired heavily by the example in the documentation:

import importlib.util

def module_from_file(module_name, file_path):
    spec = importlib.util.spec_from_file_location(module_name, file_path)
    module = importlib.util.module_from_spec(spec)
    spec.loader.exec_module(module)
    return module

foo = module_from_file("foo", "/path/to/foo.py")

if __name__ == "__main__":
    print(foo)
    print(dir(foo))
    foo.announce()

The output:

<module 'foo' from '/path/to/foo.py'>
['__builtins__', '__cached__', '__doc__', '__file__', '__loader__', '__name__', '__package__', '__spec__', 'announce']
Imported!

Note that the variable name, the module name, and the filename need not match. This code still works:

import importlib.util

def module_from_file(module_name, file_path):
    spec = importlib.util.spec_from_file_location(module_name, file_path)
    module = importlib.util.module_from_spec(spec)
    spec.loader.exec_module(module)
    return module

baz = module_from_file("bar", "/path/to/foo.py")

if __name__ == "__main__":
    print(baz)
    print(dir(baz))
    baz.announce()

The output:

<module 'bar' from '/path/to/foo.py'>
['__builtins__', '__cached__', '__doc__', '__file__', '__loader__', '__name__', '__package__', '__spec__', 'announce']
Imported!

Programmatically importing modules was introduced in Python 3.1 and gives you more control over how modules are imported. Refer to the documentation for more information.

Hope you learned something from this post.

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