Published: October 09 2021

Fetch - Error Handling for Failed HTTP Responses and Network Errors

This is a quick example of how to handle both network errors and HTTP errors (4xx or 5xx) for Fetch API (fetch()) requests in a single catch() block.

GET request with error handling

This sends an HTTP GET request to an invalid URL on the Reqres api which is a fake online REST api used for testing, then writes the error message to the parent of the #get-request-error-handling .total element and logs the error to the console.

Error Handling

The fetch() function will automatically throw an error for network errors but not for HTTP errors such as 4xx or 5xx responses. For HTTP errors we can check the response.ok property to see if the request failed and reject the promise ourselves by calling return Promise.reject(error);. This approach means that both types of failed requests - network errors and http errors - can be handled by a single catch() block instead of needing two separate pieces of error handling code.

JSON Check

The fetch .then() callback is passed the HTTP response object when the request is completed, the function checks if the response type is JSON before parsing the response body with the response.json() method, because calling response.json() will cause an error if the response doesn't contain JSON data.

// Fetch GET request with error handling
const element = document.querySelector('#get-request .result');
    .then(async response => {
        const isJson = response.headers.get('content-type')?.includes('application/json');
        const data = isJson ? await response.json() : null;

        // check for error response
        if (!response.ok) {
            // get error message from body or default to response status
            const error = (data && data.message) || response.status;
            return Promise.reject(error);

        element.innerHTML = JSON.stringify(data, null, 4);
    .catch(error => {
        element.parentElement.innerHTML = `Error: ${error}`;
        console.error('There was an error!', error);

Run the example Fetch GET request on StackBlitz at


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