I had a little trouble setting up async/await support in Webpack via the Babel Loader, so I wanted to write out what I found in case it helps anyone else.

Let’s start with a simple Webpack config to do Babel transpilation:

const path = require('path');
const HtmlWebpackPlugin = require('html-webpack-plugin');
const webpack = require('webpack');

module.exports = {
  entry: {
    app: './src/index.js',
  plugins: [
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin(),
  output: {
    path: path.resolve(__dirname, 'dist'),
    filename: '[name].bundle.js',
  module: {
    rules: [
        test: /\.js$/,
        exclude: /node_modules/,
        use: {
          loader: 'babel-loader',
          options: {
            presets: ['env'],

And the following simple async/await code:

async function fetchPost() {
  const response = await fetch('https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1');
  return response.json();

  .then(content => console.log(content));

The env preset results in the async/await code transpiling successfully. But when you try to run it in-browser, you get this error:

ReferenceError: regeneratorRuntime is not defined


The recommended way to provide a regeneratorRuntime for apps is to use babel-polyfill:

npm install --save babel-polyfill

At first I tried importing it at the top of my script:

 async function fetchPost() {

But I still got the same error. What fixed it was including ‘babel-polyfill’ in the list of entry points, rather than importing it. This may be related to the requirement for the polyfill to be loaded as early as possible, before any other code:

 entry: {
+  polyfill: 'babel-polyfill',
   app: './src/index.js',

Transform Runtime

An alternative to babel-polyfill is using babel-plugin-transform-runtime. Apparently this is more useful for libraries than for apps.

npm install --save-dev babel-plugin-transform-runtime

Then adding to my Babel config:

 options: {
   presets: ['env'],
+  plugins: [
+    ["transform-runtime", {
+      "regenerator": true,
+    }],
+  ],

Other Options

There are a few other alternatives for providing a regeneratorRuntime listed under syntax-async-functions, but none of them seemed to help me. Here they are for completeness:

  • transform-regenerator: This says it still requires the Babel polyfill or the regenerator runtime, so it doesn’t gain us anything.

  • transform-async-to-generator: I still get the same regeneratorRuntime error.

  • transform-async-to-module-method: This requires the Bluebird library for promises. If I’m going to need a runtime library, I’d prefer to use babel-polyfill rather than a third-party library.