[Django]-Cannot start any django app


Perhaps you need to

cd panel
python manage.py startapp yourappname

I’m not sure running the command from a directory above your project will work properly.



This is a fun one – your project and your app need to have different names. You probably created a project, then tried to startapp with the same name.



I was confused as well, until I realized that a Django project is a container for applications; this sequence makes it a bit clearer:

# first create a Project (container).
django-admin.py startproject Project

# create multiple apps
cd Project
python manage.py startapp polls
python manage.py startapp hello


I had the same issue as a Django newbie because I was trying to "restart" my app after carrying out changes, but startapp is meant to be used once to create a new app.

To view changes, syncronize app with DB with python manage.py migrate and restart the server with python manage.py runserver instead.

From the django-admin docs

(manage.py does essentially the same thing as django-admin)

startapp <app_label> [destination]

django-admin startapp

Creates a Django app directory structure for
the given app name in the current directory or the given destination.

By default the directory created contains a models.py file and other
app template files. (See the source for more details.) If only the app
name is given, the app directory will be created in the current
working directory.

If the optional destination is provided, Django will use that existing
directory rather than creating a new one. You can use ‘.’ to denote
the current working directory.

For example:

django-admin startapp myapp /Users/jezdez/Code/myapp


I reproduced the issue and there’s actually something not working as I expected.
I wonder if we stumbled upon a Django’s bug, or a limitation that I don’t understand.

Having a project called “project” and an empty folder app/newapp
…I tried:

python manage.py startapp newapp apps/newapp

It returns:

CommandError: 'newapp' conflicts with the name of an existing Python module and cannot be used as an app name. Please try another name.

But if I target ANY other route in which the last folder is not called the same name as the app I’m starting, it works.

So I ended up doing:

python manage.py startapp newapp apps/main

Using Django 2.1.3.


This message is displayed if you run “startapp” twice with the same app name. As pointed out above by the OP it doesn’t reload the app, it creates one.


You should choose different names for your project and app in Codes:

django-admin startproject **my_project** 

python manage.py startapp **my_app**


You need to create the directory before using the commands. Suppose you want a polls app inside apps folder.

mkdir apps apps/polls
python manage.py startapp polls apps/polls


I guess maybe you have already created the app’s dir in panel dir manually. The command ‘startapp’ is to create an app automatically. If you already have one there, it fails.



if you want to make an empty directory that will contain your new app

    └── blog
        ├── __init__.py
        ├── ...
        ├── blog-ext #this empty dir that will contain the new app
        └── views.py

so instead of typing :

python manage.py newapp blog/blog-ext

it should be :

django-admin startapp newapp blog/blog-ext


Try classic “mysite” or “myproject”. You can delete it anytime you want, so if it will accepted, then all your privious ideas conflict with Python modules.

Edit: I tried all your ideas, there was no error for me. So, if you installed support libraries or modules for django, then some of them can contains such names.


this error is because of the name conflicts between the app name and project name.you had given same name for your app and project .your project and app need to be different name .if you had given the same name the above mentioned error will occur .

understand the difference between app and project

Projects vs. apps

What’s the difference between a project and an app? An app is a Web application that does something – e.g., a Weblog system, a database of public records or a simple poll app. A project is a collection of configuration and apps for a particular Web site. A project can contain multiple apps. An app can be in multiple projects.

first create the project.
then create the app.

NOTE: name for app and project should be different

first create a project with projectname

 django-admin.py startproject Projectname .

Then create app with appname. (to create your app make sure you are in the same directory manage.py and type this command)

python manage.py  startapp Appname 


It’s the process how I got my doubt clear.

First, I created a directory inside my project directory and put __init__.py, models.py, admin.py, apps.py & views.py.

Then I ran python manage.py runserver & It work well.

Then as suggested on that page I used startapp command. I got this error :

CommandError: 'ucportal' conflicts with the name of an existing Python 
module and cannot be used as an app name. Please try another name.

After that I deleted that directory and ran startapp command with same name and it worked fine.

So ‘startapp’ command is to create an app automatically. If you already have one there, it fails.

Answer given by @DAG worked for me.


I ran into this issue while trying to set up a Wagtail project.

Before creating the app, I had created and activated a virtualenv (using virtualenvwrapper) with the same name: $APPNAME. When I then ran wagtail start $APPNAME, Django looks for naming conflics in the $PYTHONPATH which in this instance points to /Users/User/.virtualenvs.

Naturally, this results in a conflict as /Users/User/.virtualenvs/$APPNAME already exists.


None of these answers helped me. In the end I ended up creating an app with a different name and then just renaming the directory to the app name I wanted all along. Note that you also will need to change the class name in apps.py to match your app name.


Just Simply Use This command

for Django Project Creation

python -m django startproject name_of_django_Project

for Django App Creation

python -m django  startapp App_name


I had the same issue when working with wagtail cms. I got this error even there is no such a created app. This occurs when there is an app already that has the same name you need to create inside the site-packages directory.

Once you get this error, you need to check the following directory,


If there is a package with the name same you want to create then you need to remove that package. Also make sure to check that package is important or not before deleting.


The application directory should be created first.

Example: apps/practice

The command appears to be duplicated, but it is correct.

Example: python manage.py startapp practice ./apps1/practice

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