Understanding AttributeError: 'int' object has no attribute 'encode'

When working with Python, encountering errors is a part of the development process. One such common error that many developers come across is the AttributeError: 'int' object has no attribute 'encode'. This error message might seem perplexing at first, but with a closer look, it's quite straightforward to understand and resolve. In this post, we'll dive into what causes this error and how to fix it.

What Causes the AttributeError?

The AttributeError in Python signals that an attempt was made to access an attribute that the object does not possess. Specifically, the error message 'int' object has no attribute 'encode' tells us that there was an attempt to call the .encode() method on an integer (int) object.

The .encode() method is typically used with strings in Python to encode them into a specified encoding format, such as UTF-8. Since integers do not have this method, attempting to call .encode() on an int results in an AttributeError.

Example Scenario

Consider the following code snippet:

number = 123
encoded_number = number.encode('utf-8')

This code will raise the error: AttributeError: 'int' object has no attribute 'encode' because number is an integer and integers do not support the .encode() method.

How to Solve the Issue

To resolve this error, you need to ensure that the object you're calling .encode() on is a string, not an integer. There are a couple of ways to do this:

Convert the Integer to a String

Before encoding, convert the integer to a string using the str() function.

number = 123
# Convert the integer to a string
number_str = str(number)
# Now you can encode the string
encoded_number = number_str.encode('utf-8')

Check the Object Type

If your code might work with different types of objects, you can check the object's type before attempting to encode it.

number = 123

if isinstance(number, str):
    # It's safe to encode
    encoded_number = number.encode('utf-8')
elif isinstance(number, int):
    # Convert to string first
    encoded_number = str(number).encode('utf-8')

This approach ensures that your code is more robust and can handle integers and strings appropriately.


The AttributeError: 'int' object has no attribute 'encode' is a common error that arises from attempting to use the .encode() method on an integer. The solution is to ensure that you're working with a string when you want to encode something. Always remember to convert your integers to strings first or check the object's type to handle different scenarios gracefully. With these tips, you should be able to resolve this error efficiently and continue with your Python development journey.