httr2 is a ground-up rewrite of httr that provides a pipeable API with an explicit request object that solves more problems felt by packages that wrap APIs (e.g. built-in rate-limiting, retries, OAuth, secure secrets, and more).


You can install httr from CRAN with:


To use httr2, start by creating a request:


req <- request("")
#> <httr2_request>
#> GET
#> Body: empty

You can tailor this request with the req_ family of functions:

# Add custom headers
req %>% req_headers("Accept" = "application/json")
#> <httr2_request>
#> GET
#> Headers:
#> • Accept: 'application/json'
#> Body: empty

# Add a body, turning it into a POST
req %>% req_body_json(list(x = 1, y = 2))
#> <httr2_request>
#> Body: json encoded data

# Automatically retry if the request fails
req %>% req_retry(max_tries = 5)
#> <httr2_request>
#> GET
#> Body: empty
#> Policies:
#> • retry_max_tries: 5

# Change the HTTP method
req %>% req_method("PATCH")
#> <httr2_request>
#> Body: empty

And see exactly what httr2 will send to the server with req_dry_run():

req %>% req_dry_run()
#> GET / HTTP/1.1
#> Host:
#> User-Agent: httr2/ r-curl/4.3.2 libcurl/7.64.1
#> Accept: */*
#> Accept-Encoding: deflate, gzip

Use req_perform() to perform the request, retrieving a response:

resp <- req_perform(req)
#> <httr2_response>
#> GET
#> Status: 200 OK
#> Content-Type: text/html
#> Body: In memory (6085 bytes)

The resp_ functions help you extract various useful components of the response:

resp %>% resp_content_type()
#> [1] "text/html"
resp %>% resp_status_desc()
#> [1] "OK"
resp %>% resp_body_html()
#> {html_document}
#> <html lang="en">
#> [1] <head>\n<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8 ...
#> [2] <body>\n    <div class="container page">\n      <div class="row">\n       ...

Major differences to httr

  • You can now create and modify a request without performing it. This means that there’s now a single function to perform the request and fetch the result: req_perform(). (If you want to handle the response as it streams in, use req_stream() instead). req_perform() replaces httr::GET(), httr::POST(), httr::DELETE(), and more.

  • HTTP errors are automatically converted into R errors. Use req_error() to override the defaults (which turn all 4xx and 5xx responses into errors) or to add additional details to the error message.

  • You can automatically retry if the request fails or encounters a transient HTTP error (e.g. a 429 rate limit request). req_retry() defines the maximum number of retries, which errors are transient, and how long to wait between tries.

  • OAuth support has been totally overhauled to directly support many more flows and to make it much easier to both customise the built-in flows and to create your own.

  • You can manage secrets (often needed for testing) with secret_encrypt() and friends. You can obfuscate mildly confidential data with obfuscate(), preventing it from being scraped from published code.

  • You can automatically cache all cacheable results with req_cache(). Relatively few API responses are cacheable, but when they are it typically makes a big difference.


httr2 wouldn’t be possible without curl, openssl, jsonlite, and jose, which are all maintained by Jeroen Ooms. A big thanks also go to Jenny Bryan and Craig Citro who have given me much useful feedback on the both design of the internals and the user facing API.



Dev status

  • R-CMD-check
  • Codecov test coverage