So You’ve Encountered A Typeerror: A Bytes-Like Object is Required, Not ‘str’: We’ve Got You Covered!

typeerror: a bytes-like object is required, not 'str'

Python is one of the easiest programming languages; however, it demands focus, patience, and logical reasoning. Many developers lose hope of learning programming in the initial stages as they don’t make any attempts on their own. 

As a developer, one needs to be updated with new upgrades, package deployments, releases, the latest technology news, and more. While learning Python, there are such things as well that one needs to cope with to be experienced. 

Python Developers Need to be Fluid to Resolve Errors 

Life as a Python developer is complex, and it demands energy in the initial stages. Once you are well versed with the language, you can take on every challenge and code efficiently. 

Despite being a good coder, it is essential to migrate to a new environment as a developer’s life is inconsistent. For instance, migrating from Python 2.7 to 3 can be challenging, and you might encounter type errors in the initial stages. 

Migrating from Python 2.7 to Python 3

There are many new features in python 3, such as the range functions and more. While this is the case, you can encounter situations where the code that worked in the Python 2.7 environment will start giving errors in the Python 3 environment. Yes, that’s true and annoying at the same time.

Well, it seems that you have begun migrating from 2.7 to 3 and have encountered this type error: a bytes-like object is required, not ‘str.’ The Good News is that we have the fix for it. However, this reminds you to be patient and calm while you fix the problem and prepare for a successful migration from 2.7 to 3. 

How Does The Error Occur in The First Place?

So you might wonder when and how this type of error occurs. While checking for examples of stack overflow, the error usually occurs when a file is opened as a binary rather than a text file. Yes, that’s right! 

When you open a file on Python and specify it as a binary file, you will encounter this error and create a contradicting statement between the two, giving rise to warning messages and mistakes by the compiler. Hence, this scenario is recreated, and you will get a type error as it does not follow the protocols of the compiler, making you feel perplexed while coding. 

How to Recreate The Error? A Sample Example!

Here is an example that will help you better understand the issue;

Suppose you run the following code on Python

The Code

with open(“music.txt”, “rb”) as file:

songs= file.readlines()

for r in recipes:

if “Pop” in r:


This means a text file named music.txt is opened and reads its content into a variable defined as songs. You will find iterable lines in the songs variable, which can be called by searching in the text file. At the same time, the for loop will check for Pop in each line in the songs variable and print it out. 

The Output

Once the code is run, the following error is received:

Traceback (most recent call last):

  File “”, line 7, in <module>

if “Pop” in r:

TypeError: a bytes-like object is required, not ‘str.’

Now, the error has been successfully created. So how to resolve it? Before resolving the error, it is vital to decipher what the error message is trying to say. 

What is The Error Message Trying to Say to The Programmer?

The TypeError: a bytes-like object is required, not ‘str’ clearly describing the code’s issue. The file has been opened as a binary type which does not include strings but bytes. When the for loop is run in the binary file type, there is no match for “Pop” since the file now contains bytes due to the format in which it is retrieved. 

Obviously, when a file is opened as a binary type, you will see a series of bytes, and the content of the text file will not be available. Hence, the error states that for the “For Loop” to run requires bytes-like objects, not strings. 

What are String and Bytes-like Objects in Python?

So you might wonder what a string or bytes-like object in Python is. Bytes-like object in Python refers to a series of bits and bytes representing data. It was the language of computers when programming languages didn’t exist. 

On the other hand, the string is a human-readable language that is mainly in the Latin script. Hence, “Pop” is a string that couldn’t be found in the binary type file which lists bytes. Therefore, this puts things in perspective, allowing a deeper understanding of the error message that you have received. 

The Solution for Type Error: A Bytes-like Object is Required, not ‘str’ in Python

The error can be resolved by simply opening the file as a text file instead of a binary file. 

Solution Code: Rectified for Error

Therefore, the code will look like this:

with open(“music.txt”, “r”) as file:

songs= file.readlines()

for r in recipes:

if “Pop” in r:


The only difference from the previous example is that the “b” from “rb” is removed, preventing the file from opening into binary type. This will resolve the issue, and you can successfully progress to the next phase of your code. 

The Bottom Line

The error is generally raised when the object is treated like a string instead of bytes. This is because the file is open as a binary file. Hence, it creates a contradiction as the specified object type is not mentioned in the file preventing your code from executing. To avoid this error, you must go back to your basics and understand the various file types. 

Therefore, even though Python is initially challenging to learn, you should not miss out on such Eureka moments when you resolve the code. This will motivate you to take the next step and fast-track your growth as a developer. Hence, you become a successful developer. 

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