Chandler Moisen


June 03, 2020

I so frequently forget the difference between HTTP’s PUT and PATCH methods I figured I’d write it down so that I would have easy access next time I forget.


PUT and PATCH are similar in that both are HTTP methods used to update RESTful resources. The methods differ in the mechanics of how this updating occurs. In other words, a server will process the request body - the enclosed entity - of a PUT request different than that of a PATCH request.


When processing a PUT request against a resource, a server will view the body of this request as the new resource, essentially overwriting the existing resource.

Because of this, clients making PUT request against a resource must send the entire resource to ensure it remains intact.


On the other hand, a server processing a PATCH request against a resource, views the body of the request as a partial update to the resource. The existing resource is then modified versus being overwritten entirely.

Clients making PATCH requests against a resource must only send the data to update as opposed to the entire resource.

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