The next/server module provides several exports for server-only helpers, such as Middleware.


Middleware is created by using a middleware function that lives inside a _middleware file. The Middleware API is based upon the native Request, FetchEvent, and Response objects.

These native Web API objects are extended to give you more control over how you manipulate and configure a response, based on the incoming requests.

The function signature is defined as follows:

type NextMiddlewareResult = NextResponse | Response | null | undefined

type NextMiddleware = (
  request: NextRequest,
  event: NextFetchEvent
) => NextMiddlewareResult | Promise<NextMiddlewareResult>

It can be imported from next/server with the following:

import type { NextMiddleware } from 'next/server'

The function can be a default export and as such, does not have to be named middleware. Though this is a convention. Also note that you only need to make the function async if you are running asynchronous code.


The NextRequest object is an extension of the native Request interface, with the following added methods and properties:

  • cookies - Has the cookies from the Request
  • nextUrl - Includes an extended, parsed, URL object that gives you access to Next.js specific properties such as pathname, basePath, trailingSlash and i18n
  • geo - Has the geo location from the Request
    • - The country code
    • geo.region - The region code
    • - The city
    • geo.latitude - The latitude
    • geo.longitude - The longitude
  • ip - Has the IP address of the Request
  • ua - Has the user agent

You can use the NextRequest object as a direct replacement for the native Request interface, giving you more control over how you manipulate the request.

NextRequest is fully typed and can be imported from next/server.

import type { NextRequest } from 'next/server'


The NextFetchEvent object extends the native FetchEvent object, and includes the waitUntil() method.

The waitUntil() method can be used to prolong the execution of the function, after the response has been sent. In practice this means that you can send a response, then continue the function execution if you have other background work to make.

An example of why you would use waitUntil() is integrations with logging tools such as Sentry or DataDog. After the response has been sent, you can send logs of response times, errors, API call durations or overall performance metrics.

The event object is fully typed and can be imported from next/server.

import type { NextFetchEvent } from 'next/server'


The NextResponse object is an extension of the native Response interface, with the following added methods and properties:

  • cookies - An object with the cookies in the Response
  • cookie - Set a cookie in the Response
  • redirect() - Returns a NextResponse with a redirect set
  • rewrite() - Returns a NextResponse with a rewrite set
  • next() - Returns a NextResponse that will continue the middleware chain

All methods above return a NextResponse object that only takes effect if it's returned in the middleware function.

NextResponse is fully typed and can be imported from next/server.

import { NextResponse } from 'next/server'

Why does redirect use 307 and 308?

When using redirect() you may notice that the status codes used are 307 for a temporary redirect, and 308 for a permanent redirect. While traditionally a 302 was used for a temporary redirect, and a 301 for a permanent redirect, many browsers changed the request method of the redirect, from a POST to GET request when using a 302, regardless of the origins request method.

Taking the following example of a redirect from /users to /people, if you make a POST request to /users to create a new user, and are conforming to a 302 temporary redirect, the request method will be changed from a POST to a GET request. This doesn't make sense, as to create a new user, you should be making a POST request to /people, and not a GET request.

The introduction of the 307 status code means that the request method is preserved as POST.

  • 302 - Temporary redirect, will change the request method from POST to GET
  • 307 - Temporary redirect, will preserve the request method as POST

The redirect() method uses a 307 by default, instead of a 302 temporary redirect, meaning your requests will always be preserved as POST requests.

How do I access Environment Variables?

process.env can be used to access Environment Variables from Middleware. These are evaluated at build time, so only environment variables actually used will be included.

Any variables in process.env must be accessed directly, and cannot be destructured:

// Accessed directly, and not destructured works. process.env.NODE_ENV is `"development"` or `"production"`
// This will not work
const { NODE_ENV } = process.env
// NODE_ENV is `undefined`
// process.env is `{}`