Creating Custom React Hooks with React Query Library for Reusable Data Fetching Logic

Anton Ioffe - March 2nd 2024 - 9 minutes read

In today's rapidly evolving web development landscape, mastering efficient data fetching and state management is paramount for crafting reactive, user-friendly applications. This article invites you to dive deep into the synergy of React Query and custom React hooks, a powerful duo that turbocharges your data fetching strategies with incredible ease and efficiency. From crafting your very first custom hook for streamlined data retrieval to navigating the complexities of advanced data manipulation and fetching scenarios, we'll journey through concrete examples, common pitfalls, and best practices. Gear up to transform your approach to data handling in React applications, making your code more reusable, maintainable, and performant. Whether you're fetching a simple list of items or wrestling with intricate data structures across components, the insights shared here promise to elevate your development prowess to new heights.

Understanding React Query and Custom Hooks for Data Fetching

React Query stands as a potent library tailored for managing server state within React applications, easing the process of data fetching, updating, and caching. The magic of React Query lies in its ability to automate these tasks, thereby diminishing the boilerplate code traditionally associated with asynchronous data operations. By smartly handling server data synchronization, React Query not only boosts the application's performance but also its responsiveness — a crucial aspect in modern web development.

One of the core strengths of React Query is its caching mechanism. When data is fetched from the server, it is automatically cached by the library. This means subsequent requests for the same data don't hit the server but are served from the cache, significantly reducing load times and server requests. React Query also intelligently invalidates stale or outdated cache, ensuring users always interact with the most current data. This caching strategy, coupled with background updating, provides a seamless user experience without the hassle of manually managing state or caching logic.

Custom hooks are a concept in React that allow developers to encapsulate logic into reusable functions. Leveraging custom hooks in conjunction with React Query can magnify its benefits by abstracting data fetching logic into easily reusable pieces of code. These hooks can be utilized across components or entire applications, promoting code modularity and maintainability. With custom hooks, developers can standardize how data is fetched, updated, and cached, further optimizing development workflows and ensuring consistency throughout the application.

The combination of React Query and custom hooks minimizes the complexities involved in data management. Instead of sprinkling data fetching logic across components, leading to duplication and potential bugs, developers can centralize this logic within custom hooks. This separation of concerns not only cleans up the codebase but also enhances testability. By isolating data fetching and caching logic, developers can more easily mock dependencies and test components in isolation, leading to more robust and reliable applications.

In essence, integrating React Query with custom hooks offers a streamlined approach to managing server state in React applications. This methodology not only improves application performance and user experience through efficient data fetching and caching but also bolsters code reusability and maintainability. As applications grow in complexity, adopting such practices becomes invaluable, empowering developers to focus more on feature development and less on the intricacies of state management.

Crafting Your First Custom Hook with React Query for Data Fetching

To begin crafting your first custom hook with React Query for fetching data, the initial step involves setting up React Query within your project. This is typically done by wrapping your application's root component with the QueryClientProvider component and passing it a queryClient instance. This setup ensures React Query's functionality is available throughout your application, enabling efficient data fetching and caching strategies.

import { QueryClient, QueryClientProvider } from '@tanstack/react-query';
const queryClient = new QueryClient();

function App() {
  return (
    <QueryClientProvider client={queryClient}>
      {/* Your application components go here */}

With React Query initialized, you can proceed to define your custom hook. This custom hook will utilize the useQuery hook to fetch data from an API. When creating the custom hook, define a function that returns the useQuery invocation. This useQuery hook accepts an identifier for the query and an asynchronous function responsible for fetching your data. Here, your data fetching logic can be encapsulated, such as calling an API with fetch or axios.

import { useQuery } from '@tanstack/react-query';

function useFetchItems() {
  return useQuery(['items'], async () => {
    const response = await fetch('');
    if (!response.ok) {
      throw new Error('Network response was not ok');
    return response.json();

Incorporating error handling within the hook ensures that any issues during the data fetching phase are gracefully managed. By utilizing the isLoading, error, and data properties returned by useQuery, your component can conditionally render based on the current state of the request. This approach significantly enhances user experience by providing feedback during the loading phase, displaying errors if any, and rendering the fetched data upon success.

function ItemsComponent() {
  const { isLoading, error, data } = useFetchItems();

  if (isLoading) return <div>Loading...</div>;
  if (error) return <div>An error occurred: {error.message}</div>;

  return (
      { => (
        <li key={}>{}</li>

This pattern of fetching data using custom hooks with React Query streamlines the process of working with asynchronous data in React applications. It not only encapsulates the fetching logic in a reusable manner but also handles the complexities of caching, updating, and error management seamlessly. Through this example, it's evident that creating custom hooks for data fetching can vastly improve code modularity and readability, thereby facilitating easier maintenance and scalability of your codebase.

Enhancing Data Manipulation with Mutations in Custom Hooks

Building on the foundation of data fetching, extending the capabilities of custom hooks to handle mutations is a critical aspect of modern web development with React. Mutations refer to the operations we perform to create, update, or delete data on the server. The useMutation hook from React Query provides a robust solution for managing these asynchronous update operations. It encapsulates the process of sending data to the server and helps in keeping the local state synchronized with the server state, thereby enhancing the user experience by ensuring the UI always reflects the most current data.

A detailed example of incorporating useMutation within a custom hook could involve posting data to an API. Consider a scenario where we have a form to submit new items to a todo list. The custom hook usePostTodo encapsulates the mutation logic. It not only handles the API request using useMutation but also handles side effects like cache invalidation with React Query's query cache methods. This ensures that after adding a new todo item, the list of todos is refetched to include the newly added item, keeping the UI up to date.

Handling side effects is crucial when dealing with mutations. One common side effect is cache invalidation. When a mutation occurs, the data previously fetched and cached may no longer be accurate. React Query provides simple yet powerful tools to invalidate or refetch data, ensuring that the UI is always consistent with the server state. For instance, after a successful mutation, you might want to invalidate all queries related to the mutated data. React Query's invalidateQueries method can be used within the onSuccess option of useMutation to automatically refetch data based on the specified query keys.

Another powerful feature of useMutation is the ability to perform optimistic updates. Optimistic updates allow the UI to be updated immediately, assuming the mutation will succeed, without waiting for the operation to complete. This can significantly enhance the perceived responsiveness of an application. In case the mutation fails, React Query handles the rollback of these optimistic changes, reverting the UI to its previous state, and providing feedback to the user.

In conclusion, leveraging useMutation within custom hooks significantly simplifies the implementation of asynchronous data manipulation operations in React applications. It not only makes the code more concise and easier to understand but also ensures a smooth and seamless user experience. With features like cache invalidation and optimistic updates, React Query's useMutation hook plays a vital role in creating fast, reliable, and responsive web applications.

Creating Complex Custom Hooks for Advanced Data Fetching Scenarios

Advanced data fetching scenarios often necessitate a more sophisticated approach than straightforward API calls. Leveraging React Query's features, developers can address complex requirements such as handling dependent queries, implementing pagination or infinite scrolling, and synchronizing data fetching across components. These scenarios require a blend of React Query's capabilities with custom logic bundled into reusable hooks, which streamline state management and UI synchronization.

Dependent queries represent a common advanced scenario where a query relies on data from another query to execute. This pattern is particularly useful in situations where the subsequent API call needs an identifier that comes from the initial request. React Query handles this elegantly by allowing queries to be dependent on each other, ensuring that the second query does not execute until the necessary data from the first is available.

Pagination is another scenario that adds complexity to data fetching logic. Managing a paginated query involves tracking the current page, executing the query to fetch the correct slice of data, and handling user actions such as "load more". React Query provides hooks like useInfiniteQuery that abstract away much of the pagination logic but integrating this with a UI that allows users to control the data flow adds an additional challenge.

Synchronizing queries across components ensures that data remains consistent throughout the application, regardless of where or how often it is fetched. This can be crucial in applications where data is rapidly changing and must be reliably up-to-date across all user interfaces. React Query's built-in cache invalidation and refetching functionalities can be leveraged within custom hooks to keep data synchronized without manual intervention.

Here is a code sample that demonstrates creating a custom hook for fetching data in a paginated format, managing its state, and handling "load more" functionality:

function usePaginatedData(apiEndpoint) {
    const [page, setPage] = useState(1);
    const { data, isFetching, isSuccess, } = useQuery(
        ['paginatedData', page],
        () => fetchData(apiEndpoint, page),
        { keepPreviousData: true }

    function fetchData(url, page) {
        return axios.get(`${url}?page=${page}`).then(res =>;

    function loadMore() {
        setPage(prevPage => prevPage + 1);

    return { data, isFetching, isSuccess, loadMore, };

This hook utilizes React Query's useQuery to fetch data, managing pagination through internal state. The loadMore function allows components to fetch the next page of data, enabling an "infinite scroll" experience. Handling the fetching logic within this hook abstracts the complexity away from the UI components, allowing them to focus on presentation and user interaction. This pattern of creating complex custom hooks greatly enhances code readability, modularity, and reusability, even in advanced data fetching scenarios.

Common Mistakes and Best Practices in Using React Query with Custom Hooks

A common mistake when using React Query with custom hooks is the misuse of query keys. Developers sometimes use static strings as query keys for different data fetches, leading to cache collisions and unexpected data being returned to components. The corrected approach is to use dynamic, unique query keys that include identifiers related to the fetch, such as user IDs or query parameters. For example:

// Mistake: Static query key
const useFetchUserData = () => {
  return useQuery('userData', fetchUserData);

// Correction: Dynamic query key
const useFetchUserData = (userId) => {
  return useQuery(['userData', userId], () => fetchUserData(userId));

Overlooking query caching capabilities is another error often encountered. By not leveraging React Query's caching mechanics effectively, applications can make unnecessary network requests, thus impacting performance. A best practice is to revisit React Query's caching strategies, such as staleTime and cacheTime, customizing them according to the application's data fetching needs to maximize efficiency.

Inefficient data structures in query responses can also lead to challenges in managing state within an application. Ensuring data is structured in a way that is easily consumable by components upon retrieval can save significant time in data manipulation on the frontend. This involves structuring API responses or transforming data within the fetch function before setting the state in React Query.

Another oversight is neglecting the handling of error states. It's crucial to handle errors gracefully in custom hooks to improve the user experience. Displaying user-friendly error messages and providing retry mechanisms in case of data fetching failures can significantly enhance the robustness of an application. For instance:

const { data, error, isError, isLoading } = useFetchUserData(userId);

if (isLoading) return 'Loading...';
if (isError) return `An error occurred: ${error.message}`;

return <UserProfile data={data} />;

Finally, asking thought-provoking questions about one's use of React Query and custom hooks can encourage better practices. For example, "Are my query keys uniquely identifying each piece of data I'm fetching?" or "Have I properly configured caching based on my application's data changing frequency?" Encouraging developers to ponder such questions ensures thoughtful utilization of React Query’s powerful features, leading to more efficient, readable, and maintainable codebases.


In this article, we explore the synergy between React Query and custom React hooks to turbocharge data fetching strategies in web development. We learn how React Query's caching mechanism and custom hooks can simplify data retrieval, manipulation, and caching. The article provides examples and best practices for creating custom hooks with React Query and showcases how to handle mutations and advanced data fetching scenarios. The key takeaway is that integrating React Query with custom hooks improves application performance, user experience, and code maintainability. To further enhance their skills, readers are encouraged to think critically about their use of query keys, caching strategies, data structures, error handling, and ask thought-provoking questions to ensure efficient and robust state management in React applications.

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