Async Generator in JavaScript: A Practical Guide (with Examples)

Updated: February 14, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


Asynchronous programming in JavaScript has evolved significantly over the years, from callbacks to promises, and then to async/await. But there’s a powerful yet underused feature in modern JavaScript: async generators. This practical guide will dive deep into async generators, explaining their workings, use cases, and providing concrete examples to help you understand and implement this feature in your projects.

Understanding Async Generators

Async generators are a unique combination of async functions and generators. They allow you to work with asynchronous data streams seamlessly. Introduced in ES2018 (ES9), they extend the generator functions that were added in ES6, adding the ability to work with asynchronous operations.

async function* asyncGeneratorExample() {
  yield 'Hello';
  yield await Promise.resolve('Async World');

This simple example illustrates how async generators work. The function defined with async function* keyword can yield values asynchronously, thanks to the await keyword.

Why Use Async Generators?

Async generators are particularly useful for handling streams of data that arrive over time, such as reading from a file in a chunked manner, processing data fetched from an API, or handling events. Their power lies in the combination of async/await syntax for readability and the yield keyword for pausing and resuming execution.

Creating and Consuming Async Generators

Creating an async generator is similar to creating a standard async function, but with the addition of the * character after the async keyword. Consuming the values from an async generator, however, requires a different approach, utilizing the for await...of loop.

async function* fetchDataAsync() {
  const urls = ['', ''];

  for (let url of urls) {
    const response = await fetch(url);
    const data = await response.json();
    yield data;

(async () => {
  for await (const chunk of fetchDataAsync()) {

This example demonstrates fetching data from multiple URLs asynchronously and yielding the results one by one. The for await...of loop is then used to iterate over these asynchronous yields.

Error Handling

Async generators also support error handling mechanisms similar to regular async functions. Try-catch blocks can be used inside the generator function to catch and handle errors.

async function* errorHandlingExample() {
  try {
    yield await Promise.reject(new Error('Something went wrong'));
  } catch (e) {
    console.error('Error caught inside async generator:', e);

Advanced Use Cases

Beyond simple data streaming, async generators can be used in more advanced scenarios. They can serve as a powerful tool in event-driven programming, particularly in Node.js environments for handling streams and buffers or incorporating them into reactive programming patterns with libraries such as RxJS.


Async generators are a potent addition to JavaScript’s asynchronous capabilities. While not needed in every project, they fill a specific niche for handling asynchronous data streams elegantly. Understanding how to create and consume async generators enriches your programming toolkit, making you better equipped to tackle complex asynchronous tasks in your JavaScript applications.

Start experimenting with the examples provided in this guide and explore the possibilities async generators can open up for your projects.