The following fails with an exception.

\Drupal::entityTypeManager()->getStorage('foo_module_division')->loadByProperties(['enabled'=>TRUE, 'parent_code'=> NULL]).

How else do I specify I want to load entities whose parent_code field is NULL?

2 Answers 2


The exception is the result of how EntityStorageBase::loadByProperties() builds the underlying WHERE clause; it's utilizing ::buildPropertyQuery() which casts NULL to an array then uses the IN operator to compare; this won't work since you need a IS NULL query to find NULL entries in the DB.

Instead, you can build your own entity storage query in a similar way as loadByProperties():

$es = \Drupal::entityTypeManager()->getStorage('foo_module_division')
$q = $es->getQuery();
$results = $q->condition('parent_code', NULL, 'IS')->condition('enabled', TRUE)->execute();
return $results ? $es->loadMultiple($results) : array();
  • Many thanks Shawn. Works great for me. Thanks for the detailed explanations - would probably have never known main cause for error
    – ilechcod
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 8:30
  • 1
    For anybody who stumbles across this on Drupal 9 or 10, the condition for IS NULL is now written like so; condition('parent_code', '', 'IS NULL')
    – Christian
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 7:54

The example of getting articles that has empty body:

  $entityStorage = \Drupal::entityTypeManager()->getStorage('node');
  $query = $entityStorage->getQuery();
  $query->condition('type', 'article');
  $nids = $query->execute();
  $nodes = $entityStorage->loadMultiple($nids);

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