PyCharm 2021.2 Help

Refactor code

Refactoring is a process of improving your source code without creating a new functionality. Refactoring helps you keep your code solid and easy to maintain.

To perform refactoring, follow these general steps

  1. Select (or hover over) a symbol or code fragment to refactor. The set of available refactorings depends on your selection. You can select symbols in the following PyCharm components:

    • Project view

    • Structure tool window

    • Editor

    • UML Class diagram

  2. Do one of the following:

    • On the main Refactor menu or from the context menu of the selection, choose the desired refactoring or press the corresponding keyboard shortcut (if any).

    • From the main menu, choose Refactor | Refactor This, or press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T, and then select the desired refactoring from the popup.

  3. In the dialog that opens, specify the refactoring options.

  4. To apply the changes immediately, depending on the refactoring type, click Refactor or OK.

  5. For certain refactorings, there is an option of previewing the changes prior to actually performing the refactoring. In such cases the Preview button is available in the corresponding dialog.

    To preview the potential changes and make the necessary adjustments, click Preview. PyCharm displays the changes that are going to be made on a dedicated tab of the Find tool window.

    One of the possible actions at this step is to exclude certain entries from the refactoring. To do so, select the desired entry in the list and press Delete.

    If conflicts are expected after the refactoring, PyCharm displays a dialog with a brief description of the encountered problems. If this is the case, do one of the following:

    • Ignore the conflicts by clicking the Continue button. As a result, the refactoring will be performed, however, this may lead to erroneous results.

    • Preview the conflicts by clicking the Show in View button. PyCharm shows all conflicting entries on the Conflicts tab in the Find tool window, enabling you to navigate to the problematic lines of code and to make the necessary fixes.

    • Cancel the refactoring and return to the editor.

  6. When you are satisfied with the proposed results, click Do Refactor to apply the changes.

Invoke refactoring

  1. Select an item to refactor. You can select a file/folder in the Project tool window or expression/symbol in the editor.

  2. Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T to open a list of refactorings that can be selected.

    refactor this popup

    Alternatively, you can use a keyboard shortcut for a specific refactoring.

If you need to undo your refactoring, press Ctrl+Z.

Preview refactoring changes

For some refactorings, PyCharm lets you preview changes before applying them.

  1. To see potential changes (the list of usages where the refactoring will be performed), click Preview in the Refactoring Preview dialog.

    Refactoring dialog
  2. Check the changes that are going to be made in the Find tool window. You can exclude Delete or remove Ctrl+X changes that you consider unnecessary.

    Refactoring preview

  3. Click Do Refactor to proceed with the changes.

Configure refactoring settings

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, select Editor | Code Editing.

  2. On the Code Editing page, in the Refactorings section, adjust the refactoring options and click OK.

Safe Delete


Makes sure that you do not delete files that are referenced in your source code.

Safe delete



Copies/Moves an element.

Move Refactorings

Extract Method


These refactoring actions help you reduce the code duplication.

Extract method

Extract Constant


Extract constant

Extract Field


Extract field

Extract Parameter


Extract parameter

Introduce Variable


Extract/Introduce variable



Renames an element.

Rename refactorings



Inlines an element. Acts as opposite of extracting.


Change signature


Changes the call signature of a methodor class.

Change signature

Last modified: 14 September 2021