Golang defer statement [Best Examples 2020]

A defer statement is executed just before return from a function. It means within a function it doesn’t follow the normal execution steps or i,e it doesn’t follow the sequential execution of the statements. Thus a defer statement is executed as the last statement of a function, though it is not present at the end of the function.

package main

import “fmt”

func main() {
        defer fmt.Println(“Hello-3”)


Here,  it looks like the output will be in the order of Hello-3, Hello-1 and Hello-2, but as the Hello-3 is in a defer statement, hence it will execute at the end of the main function call and will be printed as last output.

Defer statements are generally used in situations like:–

To ensure that a opened file is closed properly, once we are done with the updation of that file or i,e just before coming out of that function.

func file_update(file1) {
        defer file_close_function(file1) // Last function to execute.


In above example, we have three functions lets named as f1, f2 and f3, which are trying to open and update same file “file1” . It might happen all the 3 functions will completely execute and return normally or only f1 will execute completely and will return without executing f2 and f3, because of some code issue or a panic.
In either of the cases, just before coming out of the function file_update(), we have to close the file “file1″ properly and then return. Thus the above statement i,e ” defer file_close_function(file1) ” will close the file “file1” just before coming out of the file_update() function.

Defer statement is also used in situations like, to handle a panic function or to do some clean-up stuffs just before coming out of a function.

Properties of defer statements and defer functions:—

1. When there are multiple defer statements and functions in a program, they are executed in LIFO(Last-In and First-Out) order.
2. Considering the above statement, The arguments of a defer statement or function are evaluated at the time when we push them into the LIFO-stack. check below example.

package main

import “fmt”

func func1(a int) {
        fmt.Println(“Value inside function is”, a)

func main() {
        a := 100
        defer fmt.Println(“value in defer-1”, a)

        a = a-10
        fmt.Println(“value in print-1”, a)
        defer fmt.Println(“value in defer-2”, a)
        defer func1(a)

        a = a-10
        fmt.Println(“value in print-2”, a)

value in print-1 90
value in print-2 80
Value inside function is 90
value in defer-2 90
value in defer-1 100

As above, the defer-1 is pushed into the LIFO-stack with a=100.
Next defer-2 is pushed into the LIFO-stack with a=a-10 i,e a=90
next func1 is pushed into the LIFO-stack with a=90.

Now at the end of the main() function execution, when we execute the LIFO-stack, first it will execute func1(As func1 was the last in) with a=90, next defer-2 is executed with a=90 and finally defer-1 is executed with a=100.

Other use cases of defer:—

1. use of defer in panic-recover .
2. use of defer in waitgroup.

5 thoughts on “Golang defer statement [Best Examples 2020]

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