By default, when running Flask application using the built-in server (, it monitors its Python files and automatically reloads the app if its code changes:

* Detected change in '/home/xion/hello-world/', reloading
* Restarting with reloader

Unfortunately, this seems to work for *.py files only, and I don’t seem to find any way to extend this functionality to other files. Most notably, it would be extremely useful to have Flask restart the app when a template changes. I’ve lost count on how many times I was fiddling with markup in templates and getting confused by not seeing any changes, only to find out that the app was still using the old version of Jinja template.

So, is there a way to have Flask monitor files in templates directory, or does it require diving into the framework’s source?

Edit: I’m using Ubuntu 10.10. Haven’t tried that on any other platforms really.

After further inquiry, I have discovered that changes in templates indeed are updated in real time, without reloading the app itself. However, this seems to apply only to those templates that are passed to flask.render_template.

But it so happens that in my app, I have quite a lot of reusable, parametrized components which I use in Jinja templates. They are implemented as {% macro %}s, reside in dedicated “modules” and are {% import %}ed into actual pages. All nice and DRY… except that those imported templates are apparently never checked for modifications, as they don’t pass through render_template at all.

(Curiously, this doesn’t happen for templates invoked through {% extends %}. As for {% include %}, I have no idea as I don’t really use them.)

So to wrap up, the roots of this phenomenon seems to lie somewhere between Jinja and Flask or Werkzeug. I guess it may warrant a trip to bug tracker for either of those projects 🙂 Meanwhile, I’ve accepted the jd.‘s answer because that’s the solution I actually used – and it works like a charm.

you can use



Whether to check for modifications of the template source and reload it automatically. By default the value is None which means that Flask checks original file only in debug mode.

In my experience, templates don’t even need the application to restart to be refreshed, as they should be loaded from disk everytime render_template() is called. Maybe your templates are used differently though.

To reload your application when the templates change (or any other file), you can pass the extra_files argument to Flask().run(), a collection of filenames to watch: any change on those files will trigger the reloader.


from os import path, walk

extra_dirs = ['directory/to/watch',]
extra_files = extra_dirs[:]
for extra_dir in extra_dirs:
    for dirname, dirs, files in walk(extra_dir):
        for filename in files:
            filename = path.join(dirname, filename)
            if path.isfile(filename):

See here:

When you are working with jinja templates, you need to set some parameters. In my case with python3, I solved it with the following code:

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.jinja_env.auto_reload = True
    app.config['TEMPLATES_AUTO_RELOAD'] = True, host="")

For me works just fine:

 from flask import Flask, render_template, request, url_for, redirect
 app = Flask(__name__)
 app.config["TEMPLATES_AUTO_RELOAD"] = True

See more on

Actually for me TEMPLATES_AUTO_RELOAD = True does not work (0.12 version). I use jinja2 and what i have done:

  1. Create function before_request

    def before_request():
        app.jinja_env.cache = {}
  2. Register it in application

  3. That’s it.

Updated as of March 2021:

The flask CLI is recommended over for running a dev server, so if we want to use the CLI then the accepted solution can’t be used.

In Flask 1.1 or later, the environment variable FLASK_RUN_EXTRA_FILES or the option --extra-files effectively do the same thing as the accepted answer. See also this github issue.

Example usage:

flask run --extra-files "app/templates/index.html"
# or
export FLASK_RUN_EXTRA_FILES="app/templates/index.html"
flask run

in Linux. To specify multiple extra files, separate file paths with colons., e.g.

export FLASK_RUN_EXTRA_FILES="app/templates/index.html:app/templates/other.html"

Whole directories are also supported:

flask run --extra-files app/templates/

What worked for me is just adding this:

def before_request():
    # When you import jinja2 macros, they get cached which is annoying for local
    # development, so wipe the cache every request.
    if 'localhost' in request.host_url or '' in request.host_url:
        app.jinja_env.cache = {}

(taken from @dikkini’s answer)

Using the latest version of Flask on Windows, using the run command and debug set to true; Flask doesn’t need to be reset for changes to templates to be brought in to effect. Try Shift+F5 (or Shift plus the reload button) to make sure nothing it being cached.

To reload the application on the server AND in the browser I used the livereload package. Installed through the CLI with

$ pip install livereload

and running the code

from flask import Flask, render_template

app = Flask(__name__)

def hello():
    return render_template("index.html")

if __name__ == '__main__':
    from livereload import Server
    server = Server(app.wsgi_app)

all answers here using the extra_files argument or TEMPLATES_AUTO_RELOAD config work to reload it on the server but for a smooth development experience without damaging your keyboard’s F5 key I’d go with livereload

and use FLASK_ENV=development

I had the same trouble. The solution is really simple though. Instead of this:

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.jinja_env.auto_reload = True
    app.config["TEMPLATES_AUTO_RELOAD"] = True


app.jinja_env.auto_reload = True
app.config["TEMPLATES_AUTO_RELOAD"] = True

above the main function. So final output for example:

from flask import Flask, app,render_template

app= Flask(__name__)
app.jinja_env.auto_reload = True
app.config["TEMPLATES_AUTO_RELOAD"] = True

def index():
    return render_template('index.html')

if __name__ == '__main__':

Templates are reloaded automatically, why not doing ctrl+f5 to refresh the webpage,
cause web-browsers usually save cache.