NameError: name 'urlopen' is not defined in Python

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Apr 20, 2022

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NameError: name 'urlopen' is not defined in Python #

The Python "NameError: name 'urlopen' is not defined" occurs when we use the urlopen() function without importing it first. To solve the error, import the urlopen function before using it - from urllib.request import urlopen.

nameerror name urlopen is not defined

Here is an example of how the error occurs.

main.py
# ⛔️ NameError: name 'urlopen' is not defined with urlopen('http://www.python.org/') as f: print(f.read())

To solve the error, we have to import the urlopen function from the urllib.request module.

main.py
# ✅ import urlopen() function first from urllib.request import urlopen with urlopen('http://www.python.org/') as f: print(f.read())

The example above imports the urlopen() function from the urllib.request module.

You might also see examples that import the entire urllib.request module.

main.py
import urllib.request with urllib.request.urlopen('http://www.python.org/') as f: print(f.read())

Make sure you haven't imported the urllib.request module or the urlopen() function in a nested scope, e.g. a function. Import the module at the top level to be able to use it throughout your code.

In general it's better to only import the functions we intend to use because it makes our code more readable.

For example, when we use an import such as import urllib.request, it is much harder to see which functions from the urllib.request module are being used in the file.

Conversely, when we import specific functions, it is much easier to see which functions from the urllib.request module are being used.

The urllib.request module defines functions and classes which help in opening URLs.

You can read more about the available functions in the urllib.request module by visiting the official docs.

Conclusion #

The Python "NameError: name 'urlopen' is not defined" occurs when we use the urlopen() function without importing it first. To solve the error, import the urlopen function before using it - from urllib.request import urlopen.

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