JavaScript Microtasks

In JavaScript, the microtask queue is a critical component of the asynchronous execution model. It prioritizes certain callbacks, ensuring they run after the current script but before the event loop continues with other tasks like rendering or handling user events. This guide offers a deep dive into effectively utilizing the microtask queue to enhance JavaScript applications.

Understanding the Event Loop and Microtask Queue

The JavaScript engine uses an event loop that manages the execution of scripts, allowing for non-blocking operations. The microtask queue is part of this event loop. It is used specifically for promises (check JavaScript: Promises) and other operations like queueMicrotask, ensuring that they are processed at the end of the current run of the JavaScript event loop, before the rendering phase.

Example: Basic Promise

Promise.resolve() .then(() => console.log('Promise resolved')); console.log('Script end');

In this example, the console logs 'Script end' first, followed by 'Promise resolved'. This shows how JavaScript defers promise resolutions to the microtask queue.

How Does the Microtask Queue Work?

The microtask queue executes tasks that are scheduled as microtasks. This includes operations from:

  • Promises
  • Object.observe (deprecated)
  • MutationObserver
  • queueMicrotask() API

Each of these microtasks is processed completely before moving on to the next one or before any rendering or other macrotasks are executed.

Scheduling Microtasks

You can directly schedule microtasks using the queueMicrotask function. This function takes a callback and adds it to the microtask queue. As you see, the queue runs after all the other tasks are done.

queueMicrotask(() => console.log('Executed from the microtask queue')); console.log('outside microtask queue');

Practical Applications of Microtasks

Microtasks are especially useful in complex web applications for tasks that require immediate attention after the current script but before the system handles other events or re-renders the UI.

Scenario: Real-time Data Processing

Consider a scenario where real-time data from a server must be processed without interrupting the user experience:

fetch('') .then(response => response.json()) .then(data => { processData(data); queueMicrotask(() => updateUI(data)); }); function processData(data) { console.log('Processing data', data); } function updateUI(data) { console.log("updating UI with ...", data); }

This example demonstrates fetching data asynchronously, processing it, and scheduling a UI update in the microtask queue.

Efficient Error Handling in Promises

Handling errors effectively in asynchronous code is crucial. Using the microtask queue with promise error handling ensures that errors are dealt with immediately after the promise's resolution logic, but before other unrelated tasks.

new Promise((resolve, reject) => { reject(new Error("Failed to complete")); }) .then(response => console.log("resolved: ", response)) .catch(error => console.log("rejected: ", error.message));

Best Practices for Using the Microtask Queue

  1. Ordering Tasks: Understanding when to use microtasks to ensure correct sequencing of operations.
  2. Avoiding Starvation: Ensure the microtask queue does not continuously get new tasks, preventing macrotasks like UI updates from running.
  3. Debugging: Trace and debug microtask execution to avoid unexpected behaviors in asynchronous code.


Mastering the microtask queue in JavaScript is essential for developing advanced, responsive applications. By effectively leveraging this powerful component of the JavaScript execution model, developers can ensure smoother, non-blocking interactions and an improved user experience. This exploration provides the foundational knowledge and practical skills to utilize the microtask queue effectively in any JavaScript-driven project.

Practice Your Knowledge

What is a Microtask in JavaScript?

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