Python Language Garbage Collection Effects of the del command


Removing a variable name from the scope using del v, or removing an object from a collection using del v[item] or del[i:j], or removing an attribute using del, or any other way of removing references to an object, does not trigger any destructor calls or any memory being freed in and of itself. Objects are only destructed when their reference count reaches zero.

>>> import gc
>>> gc.disable()  # disable garbage collector
>>> class Track:
        def __init__(self):
        def __del__(self):
>>> def bar():
    return Track()
>>> t = bar()
>>> another_t = t  # assign another reference
>>> print("...")
>>> del t          # not destructed yet - another_t still refers to it
>>> del another_t  # final reference gone, object is destructed