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Testing Dependencies with Overrides

Overriding dependencies during testing

There are some scenarios where you might want to override a dependency during testing.

You don't want the original dependency to run (nor any of the sub-dependencies it might have).

Instead, you want to provide a different dependency that will be used only during tests (possibly only some specific tests), and will provide a value that can be used where the value of the original dependency was used.

Use cases: external service

An example could be that you have an external authentication provider that you need to call.

You send it a token and it returns an authenticated user.

This provider might be charging you per request, and calling it might take some extra time than if you had a fixed mock user for tests.

You probably want to test the external provider once, but not necessarily call it for every test that runs.

In this case, you can override the dependency that calls that provider, and use a custom dependency that returns a mock user, only for your tests.

Use case: testing database

Other example could be that you are using a specific database only for testing.

Your normal dependency would return a database session.

But then, after each test, you could want to rollback all the operations or remove data.

Or you could want to alter the data before the tests run, etc.

In this case, you could use a dependency override to return your custom database session instead of the one that would be used normally.

Use the app.dependency_overrides attribute

For these cases, your FastAPI application has an attribute app.dependency_overrides, it is a simple dict.

To override a dependency for testing, you put as a key the original dependency (a function), and as the value, your dependency override (another function).

And then FastAPI will call that override instead of the original dependency.

from fastapi import Depends, FastAPI
from starlette.testclient import TestClient

app = FastAPI()

async def common_parameters(q: str = None, skip: int = 0, limit: int = 100):
    return {"q": q, "skip": skip, "limit": limit}

async def read_items(commons: dict = Depends(common_parameters)):
    return {"message": "Hello Items!", "params": commons}

async def read_users(commons: dict = Depends(common_parameters)):
    return {"message": "Hello Users!", "params": commons}

client = TestClient(app)

async def override_dependency(q: str = None):
    return {"q": q, "skip": 5, "limit": 10}

app.dependency_overrides[common_parameters] = override_dependency

def test_override_in_items():
    response = client.get("/items/")
    assert response.status_code == 200
    assert response.json() == {
        "message": "Hello Items!",
        "params": {"q": None, "skip": 5, "limit": 10},

def test_override_in_items_with_q():
    response = client.get("/items/?q=foo")
    assert response.status_code == 200
    assert response.json() == {
        "message": "Hello Items!",
        "params": {"q": "foo", "skip": 5, "limit": 10},

def test_override_in_items_with_params():
    response = client.get("/items/?q=foo&skip=100&limit=200")
    assert response.status_code == 200
    assert response.json() == {
        "message": "Hello Items!",
        "params": {"q": "foo", "skip": 5, "limit": 10},


You can set a dependency override for a dependency used anywhere in your FastAPI application.

The original dependency could be used in a path operation function, a path operation decorator (when you don't use the return value), a .include_router() call, etc.

FastAPI will still be able to override it.

Then you can reset your overrides (remove them) by setting app.dependency_overrides to be an empty dict:

app.dependency_overrides = {}


If you want to override a dependency only during some tests, you can set the override at the beginning of the test (inside the test function) and reset it at the end (at the end of the test function).