How to Fix Unresolved Reference Issue in PyCharm

If you're a Python developer, chances are you've encountered the frustrating "Unresolved reference" issue in PyCharm. This problem occurs when PyCharm fails to recognize an imported module, package, or any of its methods or attributes, despite them being installed and available in your project environment. This can halt your progress, leaving you scratching your head, wondering what went wrong. Fortunately, there are several ways to resolve this issue, ensuring your coding journey continues smoothly.

Understanding the Issue

The "Unresolved reference" issue typically arises due to one of the following reasons:

  • The interpreter configured in PyCharm does not have the required package installed.
  • PyCharm has not indexed your project files correctly.
  • There's a mismatch between the Python version you're using and the one PyCharm is configured to use.

Let's dive into how you can diagnose and fix each of these potential causes.

Solutions to the Unresolved Reference Issue

1. Ensure Correct Interpreter and Package Installation

First, verify that the Python interpreter you're using in PyCharm has the necessary package installed. You can check this by navigating to File > Settings > Project: YourProjectName > Project Interpreter. Here, you'll see a list of installed packages for the selected interpreter. If the package you're trying to import isn't listed, you'll need to install it.

To install a missing package, click on the + icon, search for the package, and click Install. For example, if you're trying to import requests but getting an unresolved reference error, you would:

# Attempting to import requests
import requests

And if it's not installed, you would add it through the Project Interpreter settings.

2. Invalidate Caches and Restart

Sometimes, PyCharm needs a little nudge to re-index your project files. This can be easily done by invalidating the caches. Go to File > Invalidate Caches / Restart..., then click on the Invalidate and Restart button. This action forces PyCharm to re-index your project, which can often resolve the unresolved reference issue.

3. Check Python Version Compatibility

Ensure that the Python version you are using is compatible with the package you're trying to import. Additionally, verify that PyCharm is configured to use the correct Python version. You can check and change the Python interpreter version by navigating to File > Settings > Project: YourProjectName > Project Interpreter and selecting the appropriate interpreter from the list.


The "Unresolved reference" issue in PyCharm can be a stumbling block, but it's usually one that can be overcome with a few simple checks and adjustments. By ensuring that you have the correct interpreter and packages installed, invalidating caches, and verifying Python version compatibility, you can resolve these references and get back to coding. Remember, a smooth coding experience is not just about writing code, but also about understanding and configuring your development environment effectively.