Middleware

Version History
VersionChanges
v13.0.0Middleware can modify request headers, response headers, and send responses
v12.2.0Middleware is stable
v12.0.9Enforce absolute URLs in Edge Runtime (PR)
v12.0.0Middleware (Beta) added

Middleware allows you to run code before a request is completed, then based on the incoming request, you can modify the response by rewriting, redirecting, modifying the request or response headers, or responding directly.

Middleware runs before cached content, so you can personalize static files and pages. Common examples of Middleware would be authentication, A/B testing, localized pages, bot protection, and more. Regarding localized pages, you can start with i18n routing and implement Middleware for more advanced use cases.

Note: If you were using Middleware prior to 12.2, please see the upgrade guide.

Using Middleware

To begin using Middleware, follow the steps below:

  1. Install the latest version of Next.js:
npm install next@latest
  1. Create a middleware.ts (or .js) file at the root or in the src directory (same level as your pages)
  2. Export a middleware function from the middleware.ts file:
// middleware.ts
import { NextResponse } from 'next/server'
import type { NextRequest } from 'next/server'

// This function can be marked `async` if using `await` inside
export function middleware(request: NextRequest) {
  return NextResponse.redirect(new URL('/about-2', request.url))
}

// See "Matching Paths" below to learn more
export const config = {
  matcher: '/about/:path*',
}

Matching Paths

Middleware will be invoked for every route in your project. The following is the execution order:

  1. headers from next.config.js
  2. redirects from next.config.js
  3. Middleware (rewrites, redirects, etc.)
  4. beforeFiles (rewrites) from next.config.js
  5. Filesystem routes (public/, _next/static/, Pages, etc.)
  6. afterFiles (rewrites) from next.config.js
  7. Dynamic Routes (/blog/[slug])
  8. fallback (rewrites) from next.config.js

There are two ways to define which paths Middleware will run on:

  1. Custom matcher config
  2. Conditional statements

Matcher

matcher allows you to filter Middleware to run on specific paths.

export const config = {
  matcher: '/about/:path*',
}

You can match a single path or multiple paths with an array syntax:

export const config = {
  matcher: ['/about/:path*', '/dashboard/:path*'],
}

The matcher config allows full regex so matching like negative lookaheads or character matching is supported. An example of a negative lookahead to match all except specific paths can be seen here:

export const config = {
  matcher: [
    /*
     * Match all request paths except for the ones starting with:
     * - api (API routes)
     * - _next/static (static files)
     * - favicon.ico (favicon file)
     */
    '/((?!api|_next/static|favicon.ico).*)',
  ],
}

Note: The matcher values need to be constants so they can be statically analyzed at build-time. Dynamic values such as variables will be ignored.

Configured matchers:

  1. MUST start with /
  2. Can include named parameters: /about/:path matches /about/a and /about/b but not /about/a/c
  3. Can have modifiers on named parameters (starting with :): /about/:path* matches /about/a/b/c because * is zero or more. ? is zero or one and + one or more
  4. Can use regular expression enclosed in parenthesis: /about/(.*) is the same as /about/:path*

Read more details on path-to-regexp documentation.

Note: For backward compatibility, Next.js always considers /public as /public/index. Therefore, a matcher of /public/:path will match.

Conditional Statements

// middleware.ts

import { NextResponse } from 'next/server'
import type { NextRequest } from 'next/server'

export function middleware(request: NextRequest) {
  if (request.nextUrl.pathname.startsWith('/about')) {
    return NextResponse.rewrite(new URL('/about-2', request.url))
  }

  if (request.nextUrl.pathname.startsWith('/dashboard')) {
    return NextResponse.rewrite(new URL('/dashboard/user', request.url))
  }
}

NextResponse

The NextResponse API allows you to:

  • redirect the incoming request to a different URL
  • rewrite the response by displaying a given URL
  • Set request headers for API Routes, getServerSideProps, and rewrite destinations
  • Set response cookies
  • Set response headers

To produce a response from Middleware, you should rewrite to a route (Page or Edge API Route) that produces a response.

Using Cookies

Cookies are regular headers. On a Request, they are stored in the Cookie header. On a Response they are in the Set-Cookie header. Next.js provides a convenient way to access and manipulate these cookies through the cookies extension on NextRequest and NextResponse.

  1. For incoming requests, cookies comes with the following methods: get, getAll, set, and delete cookies. You can check for the existence of a cookie with has or remove all cookies with clear.
  2. For outgoing responses, cookies have the following methods get, getAll, set, and delete.
// middleware.ts
import { NextResponse } from 'next/server'
import type { NextRequest } from 'next/server'

export function middleware(request: NextRequest) {
  // Assume a "Cookie:nextjs=fast" header to be present on the incoming request
  // Getting cookies from the request using the `RequestCookies` API
  const cookie = request.cookies.get('nextjs')?.value
  console.log(cookie) // => 'fast'
  const allCookies = request.cookies.getAll()
  console.log(allCookies) // => [{ name: 'nextjs', value: 'fast' }]

  request.cookies.has('nextjs') // => true
  request.cookies.delete('nextjs')
  request.cookies.has('nextjs') // => false

  // Setting cookies on the response using the `ResponseCookies` API
  const response = NextResponse.next()
  response.cookies.set('vercel', 'fast')
  response.cookies.set({
    name: 'vercel',
    value: 'fast',
    path: '/test',
  })
  const cookie = response.cookies.get('vercel')
  console.log(cookie) // => { name: 'vercel', value: 'fast', Path: '/test' }
  // The outgoing response will have a `Set-Cookie:vercel=fast;path=/test` header.

  return response
}

Setting Headers

You can set request and response headers using the NextResponse API (setting request headers is available since Next.js v13.0.0).

// middleware.ts

import { NextResponse } from 'next/server'
import type { NextRequest } from 'next/server'

export function middleware(request: NextRequest) {
  // Clone the request headers and set a new header `x-hello-from-middleware1`
  const requestHeaders = new Headers(request.headers)
  requestHeaders.set('x-hello-from-middleware1', 'hello')

  // You can also set request headers in NextResponse.rewrite
  const response = NextResponse.next({
    request: {
      // New request headers
      headers: requestHeaders,
    },
  })

  // Set a new response header `x-hello-from-middleware2`
  response.headers.set('x-hello-from-middleware2', 'hello')
  return response
}

Note: Avoid setting large headers as it might cause 431 Request Header Fields Too Large error depending on your backend web server configuration.

Producing a Response

You can respond to middleware directly by returning a NextResponse (responding from middleware is available since Next.js v13.0.0).

To enable middleware responses, update next.config.js:

// next.config.js
module.exports = {
  experimental: {
    allowMiddlewareResponseBody: true,
  },
}

Once enabled, you can provide a response from middleware using the Response or NextResponse API:

// middleware.ts
import { NextRequest, NextResponse } from 'next/server'
import { isAuthenticated } from '@lib/auth'

// Limit the middleware to paths starting with `/api/`
export const config = {
  matcher: '/api/:function*',
}

export function middleware(request: NextRequest) {
  // Call our authentication function to check the request
  if (!isAuthenticated(request)) {
    // Respond with JSON indicating an error message
    return new NextResponse(
      JSON.stringify({ success: false, message: 'authentication failed' }),
      { status: 401, headers: { 'content-type': 'application/json' } }
    )
  }
}

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