Reactivity allows Qwik to track which components are subscribed to which state. This information enables Qwik to invalidate only the relevant component on state change, which minimizes the number of components that need to be re-rendered.

Without fine-grained reactivity, a state change would require re-rendering from the root component, which would force the whole component tree to be eagerly downloaded.

It's important to notice that Qwik does not do change detection like Angular. Instead, Qwik relies on signals to surgically update the component templates when the relevant state changes, without having to dirty-check the whole state.


Reactivity requires that the framework keeps track of the relationship between the state of the application and the components. The framework must render the whole application at least once to build the reactivity graph. The build of this reactivity graph initially happens on the server and is serialized to HTML so that the browser can use the information without being forced to do a single pass through all components to rebuild the graph. (Qwik does not need to do hydration to register events or build up the reactivity graph).

Reactivity can be done in a few ways:

  1. Using explicit registration of listeners using .subscribe() (for example, RxJS)
  2. Using implicit registration using a compiler (for example, Svelte)
  3. Using implicit registration using proxies.

Qwik uses proxies for a few reasons:

  1. Using explicit registration such as .subscribe() would require the system to serialize all of the subscribed listeners to avoid hydration. Serializing subscribed closures would not be possible, as all the subscribe functions would have to be lazy-loaded and asynchronous (too expensive).
  2. Using the compiler to create graphs implicitly would work, but only for components. Intra component communications would still require .subscribe() methods and hence suffer the issues described above.

Because of the above constraints, Qwik uses proxies to keep track of the reactivity graph.

  • Use useStore() to create a store proxy.
  • The proxy notices the reads and creates subscriptions that are serializable.
  • The proxy notices the writes and uses the subscription information to invalidate the relevant components.

Counter Example

export const Counter = component$(() => {
  const store = useStore({ count: 0 });
  return <button onClick$={() => store.count++}>{store.count}</button>;
  1. The server performs an initial render of the component. The server rendering includes creating the proxy represented by store.
  2. The initial render invokes the OnRender method, which has a reference to the store proxy. The rendering puts the proxy in "learn" mode. During the build-up of JSX, the proxy observes a read of the count property. Because the proxy is in "learn" mode, it records that the text node inside Counter has a subscription on the store.count.
  3. The server serializes the state of the application into HTML. This includes the store as well as subscription information which says that the text node inside Counter is subscribed to store.count.
  4. In the browser, the user clicks the button. Because the click event handler closed over store, Qwik restores the store proxy. The proxy contains the application state (the count) and the subscription, which associates the text node inside Counter with state.count.
  5. The event handler increments the store.count. Because the store is a proxy, it notices the write and uses the subscription information to create a signal operation to update the text node inside Counter.
  6. After requestAnimationFrame, the signal value is reflected in the DOM by updating the text node's value to that of the signal.

Unsubscribe example

export const ComplexCounter = component$(() => {
  const store = useStore({ count: 0, visible: true });
  return (
      <button onClick$={() => (store.visible = !store.visible)}>
        {store.visible ? 'hide' : 'show'}
      <button onClick$={() => store.count++}>increment</button>
      {store.visible ? <p>{store.count}</p> : null}

This example is a more complicated counter.

  • It contains the increment button, which always increments store.count.
  • It contains a show/hide button which determines if the count is shown.
  1. On the initial render, the count is visible. Therefore the server creates a subscription that records that ComplexCounter needs to get re-rendered if either store.count or store.visible changes.
  2. If the user clicks on hide, the ComplexCounter rerenders. The re-rendering clears all of the subscriptions and records new ones. This time the JSX does not read store.count. Therefore, only store.visible gets added to the list of subscriptions.
  3. User clicking on increment will update store.count, but doing so will not cause the component to re-render. This is correct because the counter is not visible, so re-rendering would be a no-op.
  4. If the user clicks show, the component will re-render and this time the JSX will read both store.visible as well as store.count. The subscription list is once again updated.
  5. Now, clicking on increment updates the store.count. Because the count is visible, the ComplexCounter is subscribed to store.count.

Notice how the set of subscriptions automatically updates as the component renders different branches of its JSX. The advantage of the proxy is that the subscriptions update automatically as the applications execute, and the system can always compute the smallest set of invalidated components.

Deep objects

So far, the examples show the store (useStore()) was a simple object with primitive values.

export const MyComp = component$(() => {
  const store = useStore({
    person: { first: null, last: null },
    location: null
  store.location = {street: 'main st'};
  return (
      <p>{store.person.last}, {store.person.first}</p>

In the above examples, Qwik will automatically wrap child objects person and location into a proxy and correctly create subscriptions on all deep properties.

The wrapping behavior described above has one surprising side-effect. Writing and reading from a proxy auto wraps the object, which means that the identity of the object changes. This should normally not be an issue, but it is something that the developer should keep in mind.

export const MyComp = component$(() => {
  const store = useStore({ person: null });
  const person = { first: 'John', last: 'Smith' };
  store.person = person; // store.person auto wraps object into proxy
  if (store.person !== person) {
    // The consequence of auto wrapping is that the object identity changes.
    console.log('store auto-wrapped person into a proxy');

Out-of-order rendering

Qwik components are rendered out of order. A component can be rendered without forcing a parent component to be rendered first or a child components to be rendered as a consequence of the component render. This is an important property of Qwik because it allows Qwik applications to only re-render components which have been invalidated due to a state change rather than re-rendering the whole component tree on a state change.

When components are rendered, they need to have access to their props. Parent components create props. The props must be serializable for the component to render independently from the parent.

Invalidating child components

When re-rendering a component, the child component's props either stay the same or are updated. A child component only invalidates if its props change.

export const Child = component$((props: { count: number }) => {
  return <span>{props.count}</span>;
export const MyApp = component$(() => {
  const store = useStore({ a: 0, b: 0, c: 0 });
  return (
      <button onClick$={() => store.a++}>a++</button>
      <button onClick$={() => store.b++}>b++</button>
      <button onClick$={() => store.c++}>c++</button>
      <Child count={store.a} />
      <Child count={store.b} />

In the above example, there are two <Child/> components.

  • Every time a button is clicked, one of the three counters is incremented. A change of counter state will cause the MyApp component to re-render on each click.
  • If store.c has been incremented, none of the child components get re-rendered. (And therefore, their code does not get lazy-loaded)
  • If store.a has been incremented, then only <Child count={store.a}/> will re-render.
  • If store.b has been incremented, then only <Child count={store.b}/> will re-render.

Notice that the child components only re-render when their props change. This is an important property of Qwik applications as it significantly limits the amount of re-rendering the application must do on some state change. While less re-rendering has performance benefits, the real benefit is that large portions of the applications do not get downloaded if they don't need to be re-rendered.


Thanks to all the contributors who have helped make this documentation better!

  • wmertens
  • bado22
  • RATIU5
  • manucorporat
  • adamdbradley
  • fleish80
  • saikatdas0790
  • dario-piotrowicz
  • the-r3aper7
  • AnthonyPAlicea
  • mhevery
  • wtlin1228
  • mrhoodz
  • thejackshelton
  • aivarsliepa
  • zanettin