Django Password Reset Tutorial

title: Django Password Reset Tutorial description: Implement user authentication with a password reset for Django 4.2.

This tutorial demonstrates adding a password reset sequence to a Django application. It builds upon previous work in the Login & Logout and Signup page tutorials.

Complete source code is available on Github if you get stuck along the way.

Django auth app

We want a password_reset page where users can enter their email address and receive a cryptographically secure email with a one-time link to a reset page. Fortunately, Django has us covered.

If you recall the views and URLs provided by the Django auth app, there are already several for resetting a password.

accounts/login/ [name='login']
accounts/logout/ [name='logout']
accounts/password_change/ [name='password_change']
accounts/password_change/done/ [name='password_change_done']
accounts/password_reset/ [name='password_reset']
accounts/password_reset/done/ [name='password_reset_done']
accounts/reset/<uidb64>/<token>/ [name='password_reset_confirm']
accounts/reset/done/ [name='password_reset_complete']

The default templates, however, are pretty ugly, and we need to customize them. For example, here are the default password reset and password reset done pages:

Django password reset

Django password reset done

But first, we must devise a way to deliver our email messages.

SMTP Server

In the real world, you would integrate with an email service like MailGun or SendGrid. Django lets us store emails either in the console or as a file for development purposes. We'll choose the latter and store all sent emails in a folder called sent_emails in our project directory.

To configure this, update our django_project/ file by adding the following two lines at the bottom under our redirect URLs.

# django_project/
EMAIL_BACKEND = "django.core.mail.backends.filebased.EmailBackend"
EMAIL_FILE_PATH = BASE_DIR / "sent_emails"

Now, let's change the appearance of the password reset pages.

Password Reset Form

The default template for password reset is available at templates/registration/password_reset_form.html. We can customize it by creating our own templates/registration/password_reset_form.html file:

Then add the following code:

<!-- templates/registration/password_reset_form.html -->
{% extends 'base.html' %}

{% block title %}Forgot Your Password?{% endblock %}

{% block content %}
  <h1>Forgot your password?</h1>
  <p>Enter your email address below, and we'll email instructions for setting a new one.</p>

  <form method="POST">
    {% csrf_token %}
    {{ form.as_p }}
    <input type="submit" value="Send me instructions!">
{% endblock %}

If you refresh the page at, you can see our new update:

Django password reset page new

Now, go ahead and enter the email address that matches an actual user you've created. Then click on the button to submit it.

We're redirected to the Password reset done page upon successful submission, which is also ugly. Let's change it. The default template is located at templates/registration/password_reset_done.html .So, as before, in your text editor, create a new template file, templates/registration/password_reset_done.html and add the following code:

<!-- templates/registration/password_reset_done.html -->
{% extends "base.html" %}

{% block title %}Email Sent{% endblock %}

{% block content %}
  <h1>Check your inbox.</h1>
  <p> We've emailed you instructions for setting your password. You should receive the email shortly!</p>
{% endblock %}

We can see our new page if you refresh the password reset done page at

Password reset done page new

Password Reset Confirm

Remember how we configured our Django project to store emails in a local folder called sent_emails? If you look at your project now, that folder exists! The format for the txt file will look something like this:

Content-Type: text/plain; charset= "utf-8"
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Subject: Password reset on
From: webmaster@localhost
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2023 19:20:44 -0000

You're receiving this email because you requested a password reset for your user account at

Please go to the following page and choose a new password:

Your username, in case you've forgotten: wsv

Thanks for using our site!

The team

This file contains Django's default language, which we can customize. But the critical section for now is the URL included. In the email above, mine is Copy and paste yours into your browser, and you'll be automatically routed to the Password reset confirmation page.

Django password confirm page

Ugly, no? Let's create a new template with our familiar steps. In your text editor, create the new template called templates/registration/password_reset_confirm.html and enter this new code:

<!-- templates/registration/password_reset_confirm.html -->
{% extends "base.html" %}

{% block title %}Enter new password{% endblock %}

{% block content %}

{% if validlink %}

<h1>Set a new password!</h1>
<form method="POST">
  {% csrf_token %}
  {{ form.as_p }}
  <input type="submit" value="Change my password">

{% else %}

<p>The password reset link was invalid, possibly because it has already been used. Please request a new password reset.</p>

{% endif %}
{% endblock %}

Refresh the page at, and you'll see our new template.

Password confirm page

Password Reset Done

Go ahead and create a new password in our form. Upon submission, you'll be redirected to our final default page, which is for Password reset complete:

Django password reset done page

To customize this page, we'll create a new file called password_reset_complete.html and enter the following code:

<!-- templates/registration/password_reset_complete.html -->
{% extends 'base.html' %}

{% block title %}Password reset complete{% endblock %}

{% block content %}
<h1>Password reset complete</h1>
<p>Your new password has been set. You can log in now on the <a href=" {% url 'login' %}">log in page</a>.</p>
{% endblock %}

Now reset the page at and view our work.

Password reset done page

Add to home page

Let's now add the password reset link to the homepage so logged-in users can see it. We can use the built-in tag {% url 'password_reset' %}. Here's the code.

<!-- templates/home.html -->
{% extends 'base.html' %}

{% block title %}Home{% endblock %}

{% block content %}
{% if user.is_authenticated %}
  Hi {{ user.username }}!
  <p><a href="{% url 'logout' %}">Log Out</a></p>
  <p><a href="{% url 'password_reset' %}">Reset Password</a></p>
{% else %}
  <p>You are not logged in</p>
  <a href="{% url 'login' %}">Log In</a>
{% endif %}
{% endblock %}

Navigate to using the "Log In" link. The updated homepage has the "Log Out" and "Reset Password" links.

Homepage with Reset Password link


We've implemented a robust user authentication flow for our web app with login, logout, signup, and password reset. Congrats!

What else might we want? A custom user model is a good idea instead of the built-in User model. The Django docs note one is highly recommended. You could also add a "Password Change" feature, wire up emails to send, or even install the 3rd party django-allauth package to enable login via email only and other goodies.

I cover all of this--and more--in my book, Django for Beginners.

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