Using afterDelete and afterDestroy Hooks in Sequelize.js

Updated: December 29, 2023 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


Sequelize.js is a powerful Node.js ORM for relational databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and MSSQL. It enables developers to handle common database operations with ease using JavaScript. A significant feature of Sequelize is its use of “hooks,” which are functions that are automatically run at various stages of the database query lifecycle. In this article, we explore the afterDelete and afterDestroy hooks in Sequelize, including how to use them for applying business logic following the deletion of records.

Understanding Sequelize Hooks

Hooks, also known as lifecycle events, are functions you can insert into different phases of a Sequelize model’s lifecycle. These can be used for tasks like hashing passwords before user creation, logging information, or cleaning up related records after a delete operation. The hooks we focus on here, afterDelete and afterDestroy, are called after an instance is deleted.

Setting Up Your Environment

Before diving into the specifics of hooks, ensure that Sequelize is installed and properly set up in your Node.js project. Additionally, carefully model your data according to the needs of your application.

// Sample model definition
module.exports = (sequelize, DataTypes) => {
  const User = sequelize.define('User', {
    username: DataTypes.STRING,
    email: DataTypes.STRING
    // Other attributes...,
  return User;

afterDelete Hook

The afterDelete hook is executed after a delete operation is performed on a model instance via the destroy method. It is important for executing any additional business logic or maintenance tasks that need to occur after the delete operation, such as logging or updating a related cache.

User.afterDelete((instance, options) => {
  console.log('Record deleted:',;

afterDestroy Hook

The afterDestroy hook behaves similarly to afterDelete, triggering after an instance is removed from the database. The difference between afterDelete and afterDestroy traditionally varies between Sequelize versions. However, in recent versions of Sequelize, both are synonymous and can be used interchangeably.

User.afterDestroy((instance, options) => {
  console.log('User destroyed:',;

Using Hooks with Cascading Deletes

In a scenario where related records must also be deleted upon the destruction of a record, cascading deletes are utilized. Sequelize’s hooks are also invoked for related data if cascading is configured.

ParentModel.hasMany(ChildModel, {
  onDelete: 'CASCADE',
  hooks: true

ParentModel.afterDestroy(async (parent, options) => {
  // Normally, associated `ChildModel` should be deleted by CASCADE.
  // The hook is necessary for additional logic after the associated models are removed.

Transactional Deletes

When multiple instances or related records need to be deleted as part of a single database transaction, Sequelize provides support for this common pattern. Hooks respect transactions and can be used as part of larger or atomic operations.

sequelize.transaction(async (t) => {
  const options = { transaction: t };
  const parent = await ParentModel.findByPk(1);
  await parent.destroy(options);
  // Hooks with transaction support can accomplish related cleanup tasks

Advanced Scenarios

For more complex use cases involving conditional logic, asynchronous operations, or error handling, hooks can be carefully designed to fit your requirements:

User.afterDestroy(async (instance, options) => {
  if (instance.isLastAdmin()) {
    throw new Error('Cannot delete last admin user.');
  // Perform asynchronous cleanup.
  await doAsyncCleanup();
}, {
  type: 'after',
  name: 'preventLastAdminDeletion'


In summary, Sequelize’s afterDelete and afterDestroy hooks offer a powerful way to execute logic immediately following a model instance’s deletion. When used correctly, they can bring indispensable benefits to maintaining data integrity, enforcing business rules, and executing related background tasks post-deletion. Understanding and appropriately leveraging hooks can significantly improve the reliability and consistency of database operations within your Sequelize-based applications.