Redux Toolkit's createAsyncThunk: Handling API Pagination

Anton Ioffe - January 11th 2024 - 9 minutes read

As modern web applications continue to grow in complexity and data volume, developers must evolve their strategies for efficient data management. Among the nuanced challenges you face as a senior-level developer is seamlessly integrating a paginated API response with your application's state management. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the sophisticated use of Redux Toolkit's createAsyncThunk to streamline this integration. You'll be guided through practical and elegant solutions for setting up pagination-handling async thunks, designing a robust state structure, crafting precise reducers, and ultimately optimizing your UI components for performance and memory efficiency. By the end of this article, you'll be equipped with the advanced techniques needed to master pagination in your Redux-powered applications, ensuring a smooth and scalable user experience.

Mastering Pagination in Redux Toolkit with createAsyncThunk

API pagination is a method that splits large datasets returned by server-side APIs into discrete pages, reducing the burden on both the network and client-side rendering. It's crucial in modern web development for handling large volumes of data efficiently, ensuring quick load times and smooth user experiences. In the context of Redux Toolkit, createAsyncThunk provides a refined mechanism to perform asynchronous operations such as API calls for fetching paginated data.

When implementing pagination, developers face the challenge of correctly maintaining the state of paginated data. This includes tracking loading states, errors, and the actual data across different pages. Redux Toolkit amplifies productivity by exposing lifecycle actions for different stages of the async request - pending, fulfilled, and rejected. createAsyncThunk automatically generates these actions, allowing the developer to orchestrate complex data fetching scenarios, like pagination, with relative ease.

The role of createAsyncThunk extends beyond just making an asynchronous request; it works in tandem with Redux's reducers to manage the state associated with paginated API responses. Utilizing createAsyncThunk for pagination involves passing an action type and a callback function that returns a Promise representing the paginated data fetch. As developers, we can tap into these action types to update the Redux state for each page of data, enabling actions like 'load more' or switching between pages with minimal state management overhead.

Moreover, pagination with createAsyncThunk promotes a streamlined, deterministic approach to handling the various states of the async operation. This is evident in the way it simplifies error handling and loading state indicators. Errors fetched from the backend can be directly mapped to the Redux state, while components can react to the pending state to show loading animations or placeholders, enhancing the user interface's responsiveness.

The art of mastering pagination in Redux Toolkit with createAsyncThunk lies in understanding how to leverage its capabilities to create a robust, scalable solution. Developers must adeptly craft the payload creator to incorporate pagination metadata such as page numbers or cursor positions. This metadata becomes a cornerstone, driving the logic that fetches the correct slice of data and ensures the Redux state remains in sync with the user's navigation through the pages. As a takeaway, successful implementation of pagination in Redux Toolkit is marked by a profound understanding of the API's pagination scheme and precise integration with createAsyncThunk for a seamless data flow.

Setting Up the Async Thunk for Paginated Endpoints

To accommodate paginated API requests in Redux Toolkit, developers must carefully craft createAsyncThunk with consideration for page parameters. An action creator for paginated fetches typically expects arguments such as a page number or cursor, which are crucial for requesting specific subsets of data. The signature of such an action creator might include the page as its argument, and when dispatched, it looks like dispatch(fetchItemsByPage({ page: 1 })).

Within the payload creator function, the actual logic for fetching and handling paginated data occurs. This involves constructing the URL with query parameters for pagination, which could be in the form of page numbers or cursors, and initiating the fetch request. As an example:

const fetchItemsByPage = createAsyncThunk(
  async ({ page }, { rejectWithValue }) => {
    try {
      const response = await axios.get(`${page}`);
    } catch (error) {
      return rejectWithValue(;

In this code snippet, axios.get is called with a dynamically created URL that includes the specified page parameter. The returned Promise will resolve with the retrieved page of items if successful, or will be rejected appropriately using rejectWithValue from thunkAPI, which allows developers to customize the payload of the rejected action.

The nuances of dispatched actions in a paginated context are also important. Each dispatched action for a different page of data should result in discrete loading states, to ensure that the UI can reflect both the transition and the arrival of new data accurately. Furthermore, to enable seamless page transitions from a user perspective, the implementation must adeptly handle potential race conditions where simultaneous fetches for different pages could potentially complete out of order.

When working with Redux Toolkit and paginated APIs, it’s essential to handle the state transitions for each page request thoughtfully. The states associated with a page being fetched (pending), successfully fetched (fulfilled), or having encountered an error (rejected) should be adequately reflected in the Redux store. This allows UI components to react accordingly, providing a responsive and nuanced user experience. The aforementioned example, with its structured request and error handling, lays the foundation for implementing such logic, leaving the specifics for the handling of different states to be defined in the slice's extraReducers.

State Shape Design for Paginated Data

Designing your Redux store's state shape to efficiently handle paginated data requires thoughtful consideration of the state's organization and normalization strategies. When dealing with API pagination, state management should minimize complexity while providing ease of access to the necessary pagination metadata. Let's dive into some viable approaches.

Firstly, consider storing paginated data in a way that encapsulates both the items and their associated pagination details within the same slice of the state. This might typically include properties like currentPage, totalPages, itemsPerPage, and totalItems, alongside the actual list of items. Using this approach, you would update the entire structure whenever a new page of data is fetched, ensuring that both the list and the pagination metadata remain in sync.

const initialState = {
  items: {},
  currentPage: 0,
  itemsPerPage: 10,
  totalItems: 0,
  totalPages: 0,
  loadingStatus: 'idle',
  error: null,

An alternative strategy involves normalization, where you decouple items from the pagination metadata. Here, items could be keyed by their IDs, facilitating constant-time retrievals. The rest of the state would hold arrays of item IDs for each page, along with the pagination details. This technique is advantageous for updating individual items without re-fetching entire pages, but it may add complexity when it comes to tracking changes across different pages.

const initialState = {
  entities: {},
  pages: {
    '1': { ids: [], loadingStatus: 'idle', error: null },
    '2': { ids: [], loadingStatus: 'idle', error: null },
    // More pages...
  currentPage: 1,
  totalItems: 0,
  totalPages: 0,

In both cases, handling the loading status is critical. You would typically have a loading status per page to allow for simultaneous loading of different pages without conflicts. This granularity offers better control over the UI for aspects like loading indicators for individual pages, especially useful in infinite scroll implementations.

const paginationSlice = [createSlice]({
  name: 'pagination',
  reducers: {},
  extraReducers: (builder) => {
      .addCase(fetchItemsByPage.pending, (state, action) => {
        const { page } = action.meta.arg;
        state.pages[page].loadingStatus = 'loading';
    // More cases...

A caveat with this structure is memory usage; as more pages are loaded, the stored data increments, which could lead to performance bottlenecks. Therefore, you may implement strategies to offload or cache out-of-view page data, preserving a fixed number of page items in the state at any given time.

Lastly, remember to address the possibility of stale data. A common mistake is to allow outdated items to linger in the state after operations like deletions or updates that occur from different parts of the application. Ensure your state updates reflect reality by incorporating operations that maintain data integrity throughout your state.

Throughout the design of your paginated data structure in a Redux store, it is important to weigh these design decisions against the specific needs and behaviors of your application. Shaping state to prioritize ease of access, modularity, and reusability will pay dividends in the maintainability and scalability of your Redux-based application.

Reducers and extraReducers for Pagination Control

To manage state transitions effectively while controlling pagination in Redux, we employ both reducers and extraReducers within our slice to respond gracefully to the asynchronous actions generated by createAsyncThunk. The distinction between these two is pivotal; reducers address synchronous actions, while extraReducers are tailored to handle the asynchronous ones, ensuring a separation of concerns.

When implementing pagination, we focus on the lifecycle actions of our asynchronous fetches. This process begins with the pending state, where extraReducers update the loading status to reflect an ongoing data request. It's essential to capture the pagination context here, such as the page number being loaded, to provide feedback to the user, like a spinner, for that specific page.

Upon a successful fetch, indicated by the fulfilled action, the reducer merges the new batch of results into the existing state. This is a crucial step where the previously fetched pages remain intact while introducing the freshly loaded data seamlessly. The pagination metadata, such as the current page, total items, and available pages, should be updated here to reflect the newly acquired information, ensuring the Redux store remains in sync with the application's UI state.

In scenarios where the fetch request fails, captured by the rejected action, the reducer must update the state to indicate the error and reset the loading status. More than just logging the error, this stage should consider user experience and potentially trigger UI elements to inform the user of the failed attempt, perhaps with retry logic built-in.

While addressing these-state transitions for pagination, developers should also ponder on the state's structure, ensuring that pagination data and fetched entities are coherent and efficient to query. An optimal design involves append-only updates to the list of items, avoidance of duplications, and storing pagination metadata that enables the application to make decisions about further data fetching and presentation. Such considerations strike a balance between responsiveness and efficiency, both from a development and user experience perspective.

Optimizing Component Re-renders and Memory Usage With Paginated Data

When dealing with paginated data, efficient state management is crucial for optimizing component re-renders and memory usage. One appropriate technique is the selective rendering of components using memoization. React.memo can be combined with Redux Toolkit's createSelector to memoize portions of the state, thus preventing unnecessary re-renders. Components will only update when the data they rely on has changed. For instance, when handling a list of items, wrap each list item in React.memo and ensure that the selector returns the same item instances if the underlying data hasn't been modified.

Furthermore, consider the design of your state shape to enable components to subscribe to the smallest possible state slice. Instead of a monolithic state object, break down the data into chunks that components can individually subscribe to. This reduces the need for frequent updates and avoids the re-render of components that are not affected by the state changes. For example, store paginated data in separate objects keyed by page, and let components subscribe only to the page they require.

To maintain lean memory usage, it’s essential to implement a caching strategy that limits the stored data to a reasonable size. This might include discarding pages that are far away from the current view or implementing a maximum number of pages/memory size to retain. By carefully deciding what to cache, developers can increase efficiency and prevent memory bloat, which could lead to performance degradation on the client's device.

Another consideration is the use of shallow comparisons in conjunction with Redux Toolkit's shallowEqual function. By using shallowEqual within React.memo or useSelector, components will only re-render when the state slices they are listening to have changed in value rather than just in reference. This is important because even if data is fetched again and an identical object is returned, if it’s a new reference, it could trigger unnecessary re-renders.

Lastly, strategically place heavy computations within memoized selectors and ensure they are only called when relevant state slices change. These selectors can do the hard work of transforming data into the form required by components, leading to a UI that is snappy and responsive to user interactions. Be sure to review and test rendering performance with different amounts of data to catch any significant performance bottlenecks early and address them accordingly.

These strategies will help you balance a performant, user-friendly interface with efficient memory and rendering performance in applications leveraging Redux Toolkit for state management with paginated data.


The article explores how to handle API pagination using Redux Toolkit's createAsyncThunk. It guides senior-level developers through the process of setting up pagination-handling async thunks, designing a robust state structure, crafting reducers, and optimizing UI components for performance and memory efficiency. The key takeaway is that mastering pagination in Redux Toolkit requires leveraging createAsyncThunk to create a scalable solution. The challenging task for the reader is to implement a caching strategy to limit the stored data size and prevent memory bloat while ensuring efficient data retrieval.

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