React Query useIsFetching and useIsMutating Hooks

Anton Ioffe - March 3rd 2024 - 10 minutes read

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern web development, the quest for streamlined data synchronization processes has led developers to embrace innovative strategies that ensure seamless user experiences. Among the plethora of tools at their disposal, React Query emerges as a game-changer, particularly through its useIsFetching and useIsMutating hooks. This article is designed to delve deep into these hooks, unraveling their potential to transform not only the way data fetching and mutation operations are handled but also how they can significantly uplift the responsiveness and efficiency of web applications. From mastering the intricacies of these hooks, implementing optimistic updates, to identifying common pitfalls and integrating advanced techniques for large-scale applications, we invite you on a comprehensive journey that promises not only to enlighten but also to provoke thought on harnessing the true power of React Query in modern web development.

Section 1: Introduction to React Query with Emphasis on useIsFetching and useIsMutating

React Query emerges as a beacon of convenience and efficiency in the realm of server-state management within the sphere of modern web applications. By offering a streamlined approach to synchronizing and updating server-side data, React Query has significantly simplified the mechanisms of data fetching, caching, and state synchronization. Among its arsenal of features, the useIsFetching and useIsMutating hooks stand out, offering developers nuanced control and insight into the lifecycle of their data fetch and mutation operations. These hooks not only enhance the developer experience but also contribute to building more responsive and dynamically updated user interfaces.

The useIsFetching hook acts as a sentinel, monitoring the status of data-fetching operations within a component or application. It returns a truthy value whenever a fetch request is in-flight, whether it's an initial data loading or subsequent background refetches. This subtle yet powerful feature enables developers to implement reactive UI indicators such as loading spinners or progress bars, significantly improving the user experience by clearly communicating the application's state. By contrast, the useIsMutating hook provides a similar level of visibility for mutation operations — those operations that create, update, or delete server-side data. Through useIsMutating, applications can respond to the operational status of mutations, allowing developers to manage UI states effectively, such as disabling form submissions while a mutation is pending or giving feedback upon completion.

Understanding the distinction between fetching and mutating operations is paramount for optimal React Query usage. Fetching refers to the process of requesting data from a server, an operation that is typically read-only and can be retried without side effects. Mutating, on the other hand, implies a change in the state of the server-side data — operations that are not idempotent and must be handled with care to avoid unintended side-effects. React Query, through its intelligent caching and background updating mechanisms, ensures that data fetching is efficient and minimizes unnecessary network requests, while its mutation handling capabilities provide a robust infrastructure for managing updates to server-side data.

By leveraging the useIsFetching and useIsMutating hooks, developers gain fine-grained control over the UI's responsiveness to the asynchronous nature of data synchronization tasks. This capability, in turn, enriches the application's interactivity, making modern web applications feel seamless and dynamically consistent with the server-state. Thus, React Query not only streamlines state management complexities but also empowers developers to build applications that are both performant and delightful to interact with.

In summary, React Query, with its comprehensive approach to managing server-side data, presents a significant advancement in how data synchronization tasks are handled in React applications. The useIsFetching and useIsMutating hooks exemplify the library's commitment to providing developers with tools that are not just functional but also enhance the quality of the end-user experience. As we delve deeper into these hooks in the following sections, their practical applications and benefits in real-world scenarios will become even more evident, highlighting their pivotal role in modern web development.

Section 2: Mastering the useIsFetching Hook

The useIsFetching hook is a powerful tool in React Query that allows developers to track ongoing data fetching operations across their application. This hook can be strategically utilized to improve the user experience by implementing global loading states or conditional rendering based on the fetching status. For instance, consider a scenario where you want to display a loading indicator when any data fetching operation is in progress. By leveraging useIsFetching, you can easily achieve this with a minimal and efficient approach. The following code example demonstrates how to use useIsFetching to conditionally render a loading component:

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

export default function Loader() {
  const isFetching = useIsFetching();
  if (!isFetching) return null;

  return <div>Fetching data...</div>;

In this example, the Loader component will only render when there are one or more ongoing fetching operations, thanks to the useIsFetching hook which returns a count of all ongoing requests. This approach is simple, but it significantly enhances the user experience by providing visual feedback during data fetching.

However, it's important to consider performance implications when using this hook, especially in large applications with numerous data fetching operations. React Query's useIsFetching is designed to minimize re-renders by only updating when the fetching count changes. Despite this, developers should be mindful of where and how they use this hook to avoid unnecessary re-renders. For optimized performance, it's recommended to place your loading indicators at strategic points in your application where they can be effectively used without causing excessive component updates.

React Query also allows for more granular control over the fetching operations you want to track with useIsFetching. By passing a query object or function to this hook, you can filter fetching operations based on various criteria such as query key, status, or query function. This flexibility can be particularly useful for more complex loading logic, such as displaying different loaders for specific areas of your application or excluding background refetches from triggering loading states.

const isFetchingUserData = useIsFetching({ queryKey: ['user'] });

In this code snippet, useIsFetching is used to track fetching operations specifically for queries related to user data. This level of granularity aids in creating a more tailored user experience, allowing developers to implement conditional rendering or loaders based on the fetching status of specific data.

In conclusion, mastering useIsFetching is essential for developers aiming to enhance user experience in their React applications. Its ability to provide real-time feedback on data fetching operations opens up possibilities for implementing sophisticated loading states and conditional rendering patterns. By following best practices for minimizing re-renders and leveraging the hook's filtering capabilities, developers can ensure efficient data fetching strategies that contribute to a responsive and interactive UI.

Section 3: Implementing Optimistic Updates with useIsMutating

Leveraging the useIsMutating hook from React Query can significantly enhance the responsiveness of your application's user interface. This hook shines in scenarios where mutations, or state-changing operations, are involved. A common challenge in web development is ensuring that the UI reflects changes instantly, even when those changes depend on asynchronous server-side updates. Through optimistic UI updates, we can momentarily bypass this latency, updating the client state as if the mutation succeeded without waiting for the actual server response.

const updateTodo = async (todoId, newTodo) => {
    // Simulating a PATCH request to update a todo item
    return fetch(`/api/todos/${todoId}`, {
        method: 'PATCH',
        headers: { 'Content-Type': 'application/json' },
        body: JSON.stringify(newTodo),

const useOptimisticUpdateTodo = () => {
    const queryClient = useQueryClient();
    return useMutation(updateTodo, {
        onMutate: async (newTodo) => {
            await queryClient.cancelQueries(['todos']);
            const previousTodos = queryClient.getQueryData(['todos']);
            queryClient.setQueryData(['todos'], old => => === ? { ...todo, ...newTodo } : todo));
            return { previousTodos };
        onError: (error, newTodo, context) => {
            queryClient.setQueryData(['todos'], context.previousTodos);
        onSettled: () => {

In the scenario above, we intercept the mutation request using the onMutate option. This allows us to apply the expected changes to our local cache instantly. If the mutation fails for any reason, the onError callback ensures that the previous state is restored, thus keeping the data integrity intact and the user experience seamless.

Optimistic updates are a sophisticated strategy to keep your application's UI snappy and interactive. However, it's paramount to handle error states gracefully. The temporary optimistic changes must be rolled back to maintain consistency between the client and server states. The useIsMutating hook facilitates this by providing a streamlined way to manage mutations and their side effects.

Implementing optimistic updates requires a deep understanding of your data flow and error handling mechanisms. It's crucial to ensure that the rollback in case of an error is as seamless as the optimistic update itself. Despite the complexity, the improved user experience is worth the effort, making your application feel faster and more responsive.

Finally, it's worth noting that optimistic updates, while powerful, are not suitable for all scenarios. Consider the potential impact on your users and the integrity of your data before implementing this pattern. When done right, optimistic UI updates can significantly enhance the perceived performance of your application, leading to a more enjoyable user experience.

Section 4: Common Mistakes and Best Practices

A common mistake when working with useIsFetching and useIsMutating in React Query is misunderstanding the scope and lifecycle of fetching and mutating states. Developers often expect these hooks to behave like traditional loading indicators without fully leveraging their capabilities for granular control over UI components. For instance, it's a missed opportunity when useIsFetching is used only for a global loading spinner rather than also driving conditional rendering or enabling/disabling UI elements based on the fetching state of specific queries or mutations.

const isFetching = useIsFetching(['posts']);
if (isFetching > 0) {
    showLoadingSpinner(); // Correct: Shows a loading spinner when posts are being fetched
} else {
    hideLoadingSpinner(); // Better understanding leads to UI precision

In the case of useIsMutating, a frequent misstep is not correctly tying UI feedback to the mutation's lifecycle. This results in suboptimal user experiences, such as buttons not reflecting the loading state during a mutation or missing out on providing immediate visual feedback. A more effective approach involves using the useIsMutating hook to disable the button and show a loading indicator as soon as the mutation begins and until it completes.

const isMutating = useIsMutating({
    mutationKey: ['createPost']
<button disabled={isMutating > 0}>Submit</button> // Correct: Disables button during mutation

Another area prone to errors is inadequate error handling, especially within mutations. Developers may focus on the happy path, omitting robust error feedback mechanisms. Implementing comprehensive error handling strategies, including optimistic updates with rollback capabilities on mutation failure, significantly enhances application resilience and UX.

const mutation = useMutation(addTodo, {
    onError: (error, variables, context) => {
        // Rollback optimistic update here
    onMutate: async (newTodo) => {
        // Perform optimistic update here

Modularity and reusability are sometimes overlooked, especially when handling states globally. By abstracting the fetching or mutating indicators into dedicated components and hooks, developers can improve code readability and maintainability. This not only streamlines the development process but also encourages best practices such as single responsibility and separation of concerns.

This section evokes a reconsideration of how we manage loading states and user feedback, encouraging a move towards more sophisticated, user-centric design decisions. How might your approach to building React applications change if you considered every loading state or mutation as an opportunity to enhance your user's experience? Reflecting on this can lead to more engaging and responsive applications, ultimately setting a higher standard for web development practices.

Section 5: Advanced Integration Techniques

Integrating useIsFetching and useIsMutating hooks into large-scale applications offers a myriad of advanced strategies to refine data-fetching and state-mutation processes. One sophisticated approach is customizing React Query configurations to define tailored fetching or mutating behaviors. Developers might consider configuring the retry mechanism of mutations or fetches based on the error type returned by the server, a feature that becomes extremely handy in maintaining the stability of an application while dealing with intermittent connectivity issues. By judiciously applying these custom configurations, developers can significantly enhance the resilience and user experience of their applications.

Another advanced technique involves intertwining useIsFetching and useIsMutating hooks with context providers to manage state across deeply nested component trees efficiently. This method allows for a centralized way to track fetching and mutating statuses, effectively propagating updates through context. Such an architecture not only enhances modularity and reusability but also significantly boosts the app's performance by minimizing unnecessary re-renders, a common pitfall in complex applications.

A thought-provoking question arises when considering the optimization of rendering strategies using these hooks: How can developers leverage useIsFetching and useIsMutating to implement a global loading state or dedicated mutation indicators without compromising the application’s performance or user experience? Exploring answers to this question encourages developers to delve deeper into React Query's capabilities, discovering innovative ways to optimize their applications.

Furthermore, integrating these hooks opens up discussions on the potential synergy between React Query and React's concurrent features, particularly for future-proofing web applications. By leveraging React’s Suspense and concurrent mode in combination with useIsFetching, developers can achieve more granular control over rendering states and manage suspenseful data fetching in a more declarative manner. This synergy promises more efficient data fetching strategies, which are essential for building responsive and interactive user interfaces that can handle the dynamic nature of today's web applications.

In conclusion, advanced integration techniques involving useIsFetching and useIsMutating are crucial for developers looking to enhance the efficiency, robustness, and user experience of their large-scale applications. By combining these hooks with custom React Query configurations, context providers, and React's concurrent features, developers can build scalable, maintainable, and future-proof web applications that stand out in the highly competitive digital landscape.


In this article, we explore the useIsFetching and useIsMutating hooks in React Query and their potential to revolutionize data fetching and mutation operations in modern web development. We discuss how these hooks can enhance the user experience by providing real-time feedback on the status of data synchronization tasks. We also delve into advanced techniques such as customizing React Query configurations and integrating with context providers, and we challenge developers to explore the synergy between React Query and React's concurrent features. A thought-provoking task for readers is to optimize rendering strategies using these hooks by implementing a global loading state or dedicated mutation indicators without compromising performance or user experience, pushing them to think creatively and discover innovative ways to optimize their applications.

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