Debouncing and Throttling in JavaScript

What are Debouncing and Throttling in JavaScript and How to Use?

Debounce and throttle are two fundamental techniques in JavaScript for managing the execution of functions, particularly in situations involving frequent and potentially expensive function calls.

They are often used to improve performance and user experience, especially when dealing with events like scrolling, resizing, or typing.

In this article, we will explore the concepts of debounce and throttle, how they work, and when to use each technique effectively.

Table of Contents #
  1. Introduction to Debounce and Throttle
  2. debounce-delayed-execution
  3. Throttle: Rate-Limited Execution
  4. Debounce vs. Throttle: When to Use Which
  5. Common Libraries and Utilities
  6. Best Practices and Considerations
  7. Conclusion

Introduction to Debounce and Throttle

Debounce and throttle are techniques used to control how often a function is executed, especially when dealing with events that may fire rapidly.

These techniques help manage the efficiency of the code and ensure that functions are not invoked excessively.

Debounce: Delayed Execution

Debouncing is a technique that ensures a function is executed only after a specified period of inactivity.

When an event is fired, the function execution is delayed by a defined time interval.

If the event is triggered multiple times within that interval, the timer is reset, and the function is not executed until the interval elapses without any further events.

Implementing Debounce

function debounce(func, delay) {
    let timer;
    return function (...args) {
        timer = setTimeout(() => {
        }, delay);

// Run after 3 seocnds or (3000 milliseconds)
const runAfter3Seconds = debounce(function (name) {
    console.log('Hi, ' + name);
}, 3000);

runAfter3Seconds('Babu Rao');

Use Cases for Debounce

  • Auto-complete suggestions: Delaying the search for auto-complete suggestions until the user stops typing.
  • Resizing and scrolling: Efficiently handling window resizing and scrolling events.
  • Button click events: Preventing multiple rapid clicks on a button that triggers an action.

Throttle: Rate-Limited Execution

Throttling, on the other hand, limits the rate at which a function can be executed. It ensures that the function is executed at most once within a specified time interval. If the event fires more frequently, the extra invocations are ignored until the interval expires.

Implementing Throttle

function throttle(func, limit) {
    let inThrottle;
    return function (...args) {
        if (!inThrottle) {
            inThrottle = true;
            setTimeout(() => {
                inThrottle = false;
            }, limit);

// call once every 3 seconds
const sayHi = throttle(function () {
}, 3000);

// Call sayHi() every second:
setInterval(() => {
    sayHi(); //This function will run once in 3 seconds
}, 1000);

Use Cases for Throttle

  • Scroll-based animations: Smooth scrolling animations are achieved by throttling the scroll event handler.
  • User interface interactions: Rate-limiting actions like dragging and zooming in interactive UIs.
  • Network requests: Preventing excessive API requests when a user rapidly interacts with a search or pagination feature.

Debounce vs. Throttle: When to Use Which

The choice between debounce and throttle depends on the specific use case and the desired behavior:

  • Use debounce when you want to ensure that a function is executed only after a period of inactivity. It’s ideal for scenarios where you want a single delayed execution, such as auto-complete suggestions or preventing multiple button clicks.
  • Use throttle when you want to limit the frequency of function execution. Throttling is suitable for scenarios where you want a controlled and consistent rate of execution, such as scrolling animations or network requests.

Common Libraries and Utilities

Several JavaScript libraries and utilities, such as Lodash, provide pre-built debounce and throttle functions. These libraries offer additional features and optimizations for various use cases.

// Example of using Lodash's throttle
import { throttle } from 'lodash';

const throttledFunction = throttle(myFunction, 100);

Best Practices and Considerations

  • Choose the right technique based on the specific use case. Debounce and throttle serve different purposes, so understanding your requirements is crucial.
  • Be mindful of the delay or interval you set. It should be fine-tuned to achieve the desired balance between responsiveness and efficiency.
  • Consider the impact of debouncing or throttling on user experience. Overly aggressive debouncing or throttling can lead to a sluggish interface.
  • Test your implementation thoroughly, especially in scenarios with multiple interactions, to ensure the behavior meets expectations.


Debounce and throttle are valuable techniques for managing the execution of functions in JavaScript, especially when dealing with events that occur frequently.

They provide control over how often a function is executed, improving performance and user experience.

By understanding when and how to use debounce and throttle, you can optimize your JavaScript code and create more responsive and efficient web applications.