Fixing the "bytes-like object is required, not 'dict'" Error in Python Requests

Feb 3, 2024 ยท 2 min read

When working with the Python Requests library to make HTTP requests, you may encounter the error "a bytes-like object is required, not 'dict'". This occurs when Requests is expecting a bytes-like object for the request body, but you have passed in a Python dictionary instead.

For example:

import requests

data = {'key1': 'value1', 'key2': 'value2'}
response = requests.post('https://example.com/api', data=data)

This would result in the bytes-like object error because Requests is expecting a bytes-like object like a string, byte array, etc. for the data parameter.

Here are a few ways to fix this:

  • Convert the dict to a string with json.dumps():
  • import json
    
    data = json.dumps(data) 
    response = requests.post('https://example.com/api', data=data)
  • Use the json parameter instead of data:
  • response = requests.post('https://example.com/api', json=data)
  • Convert the dict to bytes with bytes():
  • data = bytes(data)
    response = requests.post('https://example.com/api', data=data)

    The key thing to understand is that Requests needs to send the data in a raw byte format over HTTP. Using the json parameter is recommended as it will handle encoding to bytes for you automatically.

    Hope this helps explain what that "bytes-like object is required, not 'dict'" error means and how to fix it when working with Python Requests!

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