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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: httr2/0.1.1 r-curl/4.3.2 libcurl/7.79.1
#> 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 (6158 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 both the design of the internals and the user facing API.