GET and POST HTTP Requests in Swift without Alamofire

This post presents an implementation of HTTP requests in Swift without needing Alamofire, a Cocoapod, or other third-party library. Following the method in this post will allow you to make GET and POST HTTP requests to a url.

Why Not Use Alamofire and Cocoapods for HTTP requests?

Many apps do not require extensive network configuration for HTTP requests beyond what Apple-provided classes like URLSessonDataTask allow. By implementing network requests using Apple-provided classes, a developer can:

  • simplify the codebase by removing a large, third-party dependency like Alamofire
  • reduce the binary size of the application
  • reduce risk associated with relying on third-party dependencies

Create URL Request

The first step is to create a URLRequest. A URLRequest can be created with a URL, representing the API endpoint to make a HTTP request to.

// Create a URLRequest for an API endpoint
let url = URL(string: "")!
var request = URLRequest(url: url)

Configure HTTP Request Headers

If your HTTP request is to an API that requires authentication, you can set the necessary HTTP request headers on the URLRequest.

// Configure request authentication
    forHTTPHeaderField: "Authorization"


If you need to make a POST request, you can set the httpMethod and httpBody on the URLRequest.

// Serialize HTTP Body data as JSON
let body = ["user_id": "12"]
let bodyData = try?
    withJSONObject: body, 
    options: []

// Change the URLRequest to a POST request
request.httpMethod = "POST"
request.httpBody = bodyData

Create URLSessionDataTask

To handle a request response, create a URLSessionDataTask with a completion handler. Use the completion handler to parse the request response and handle any error that may have occurred.

// Create the HTTP request
let session = URLSession.shared
let task = session.dataTask(with: request) { (data, response, error) in

    if let error = error {
        // Handle HTTP request error
    } else if let data = data {
        // Handle HTTP request response
    } else {
        // Handle unexpected error

Start HTTP Request

All newly created URLSessionDataTask objects are in a suspended state by default. To start the HTTP request, call:


Cancel HTTP Request

If the HTTP request needs to be cancelled after the request has started, call:


FREE all Swift loading animations.

Loading Animation Example

Follow AdvancedSwift and immediately get access to commented code for these animations that you can use in your projects.

HTTP Requests in Swift

That’s it! Using URL, URLRequest, URLSession, and URLSessonDataTask allows you to make HTTP requests in Swift without external libraries and dependencies.