The code snippets on this page need the following imports if you’re outside the pyqgis console:

1from qgis.core import (
2    QgsProject,
3    QgsPathResolver
6from qgis.gui import (
7    QgsLayerTreeMapCanvasBridge,

2. Loading Projects

Sometimes you need to load an existing project from a plugin or (more often) when developing a standalone QGIS Python application (see: Python Applications).

To load a project into the current QGIS application you need to create an instance of the QgsProject class. This is a singleton class, so you must use its instance() method to do it. You can call its read() method, passing the path of the project to be loaded:

 1# If you are not inside a QGIS console you first need to import
 2# qgis and PyQt classes you will use in this script as shown below:
 3from qgis.core import QgsProject
 4# Get the project instance
 5project = QgsProject.instance()
 6# Print the current project file name (might be empty in case no projects have been loaded)
 7# print(project.fileName())
 9# Load another project'testdata/01_project.qgs')

If you need to make modifications to the project (for example to add or remove some layers) and save your changes, call the write() method of your project instance. The write() method also accepts an optional path for saving the project to a new location:

# Save the project to the same
# ... or to a new file

Both read() and write() functions return a boolean value that you can use to check if the operation was successful.


If you are writing a QGIS standalone application, in order to synchronise the loaded project with the canvas you need to instantiate a QgsLayerTreeMapCanvasBridge as in the example below:

bridge = QgsLayerTreeMapCanvasBridge( \
         QgsProject.instance().layerTreeRoot(), canvas)
# Now you can safely load your project and see it in the canvas'testdata/my_new_qgis_project.qgs')

2.1. Resolving bad paths

It can happen that layers loaded in the project are moved to another location. When the project is loaded again all the layer paths are broken.

The QgsPathResolver class with the setPathPreprocessor() allows setting a custom path pre-processor function, which allows for manipulation of paths and data sources prior to resolving them to file references or layer sources.

The processor function must accept a single string argument (representing the original file path or data source) and return a processed version of this path.

The path pre-processor function is called before any bad layer handler.

Some use cases:

  1. replace an outdated path:

    def my_processor(path):
        return path.replace('c:/Users/ClintBarton/Documents/Projects', 'x:/Projects/')
  2. replace a database host address with a new one:

    def my_processor(path):
        return path.replace('host=', 'host=')
  3. replace stored database credentials with new ones:

    1def my_processor(path):
    2    path= path.replace("user='gis_team'", "user='team_awesome'")
    3    path = path.replace("password='cats'", "password='g7as!m*'")
    4    return path