CodeQL documentation

Unreachable ‘except’ block

ID: py/unreachable-except
Kind: problem
Security severity: 
Severity: error
Precision: very-high
   - reliability
   - maintainability
   - external/cwe/cwe-561
Query suites:
   - python-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

When handling an exception, Python searches the except blocks in source code order until it finds a matching except block for the exception. An except block, except E:, specifies a class E and will match any exception that is an instance of E.

If a more general except block precedes a more specific except block, then the more general block is always executed and the more specific block is never executed. An except block, except A:, is more general than another except block, except B:, if A is a super class of B.

For example: except Exception: is more general than except Error: as Exception is a super class of Error.


Reorganize the except blocks so that the more specific except is defined first. Alternatively, if the more specific except block is no longer required then it should be deleted.


In this example the except Exception: will handle AttributeError preventing the subsequent handler from ever executing.

def incorrect_except_order(val):
    except Exception:
        print ("Exception")
    except AttributeError:
        print ("AttributeError")


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