This document describes the compatibility policy of kotlinx.coroutines library since version 1.0.0 and semantics of compatibility-specific annotations.

Public API types

kotlinx.coroutines public API comes in five flavours: stable, experimental, obsolete, internal and deprecated. All public API except stable is marked with the corresponding annotation.

Experimental API

Experimental API is marked with @ExperimentalCoroutinesApi annotation. API is marked experimental when its design has potential open questions which may eventually lead to either semantics changes of the API or its deprecation.

By default, most of the new API is marked as experimental and becomes stable in one of the next major releases if no new issues arise. Otherwise, either semantics is fixed without changes in ABI or API goes through deprecation cycle.

When using experimental API may be dangerous:

  • You are writing a library which depends on kotlinx.coroutines and want to use experimental coroutines API in a stable library API. It may lead to undesired consequences when end users of your library update their kotlinx.coroutines version where experimental API has slightly different semantics.
  • You want to build core infrastructure of the application around experimental API.

Flow preview API

All Flow-related API is marked with @FlowPreview annotation. This annotation indicates that Flow API is in preview status. We provide no compatibility guarantees between releases for preview features, including binary, source and semantics compatibility.

When using preview API may be dangerous:

  • You are writing a library/framework and want to use Flow API in a stable release or in a stable API.
  • You want to use Flow in the core infrastructure of your application.
  • You want to use Flow as “write-and-forget” solution and cannot afford additional maintenance cost when it comes to kotlinx.coroutines updates.

Obsolete API

Obsolete API is marked with @ObsoleteCoroutinesApi annotation. Obsolete API is similar to experimental, but already known to have serious design flaws and its potential replacement, but replacement is not yet implemented.

The semantics of this API won't be changed, but it will go through a deprecation cycle as soon as the replacement is ready.

Internal API

Internal API is marked with @InternalCoroutinesApi or is part of kotlinx.coroutines.internal package. This API has no guarantees on its stability, can and will be changed and/or removed in the future releases. If you can't avoid using internal API, please report it to issue tracker.

Stable API

Stable API is guaranteed to preserve its ABI and documented semantics. If at some point unfixable design flaws will be discovered, this API will go through a deprecation cycle and remain binary compatible as long as possible.

Deprecation cycle

When some API is deprecated, it goes through multiple stages and there is at least one major release between stages.

  • Feature is deprecated with compilation warning. Most of the time, proper replacement (and corresponding replaceWith declaration) is provided to automatically migrate deprecated usages with a help of IntelliJ IDEA.
  • Deprecation level is increased to error or hidden. It is no longer possible to compile new code against deprecated API, though it is still present in the ABI.
  • API is completely removed. While we give our best efforts not to do so and have no plans of removing any API, we still are leaving this option in case of unforeseen problems such as security holes.

Using annotated API

All API annotations are kotlin.Experimental. It is done in order to produce compilation warning about using experimental or obsolete API. Warnings can be disabled either programmatically for a specific call site or globally for the whole module.


For a specific call-site, warning can be disabled by using UseExperimental annotation:

@UseExperimental(ExperimentalCoroutinesApi::class) // Disables warning about experimental coroutines API 
fun experimentalApiUsage() {


For the Gradle project, a warning can be disabled by passing a compiler flag in your build.gradle file:

tasks.withType(org.jetbrains.kotlin.gradle.tasks.AbstractKotlinCompile).all {
    kotlinOptions.freeCompilerArgs += ["-Xuse-experimental=kotlinx.coroutines.ExperimentalCoroutinesApi"]


For the Maven project, a warning can be disabled by passing a compiler flag in your pom.xml file:

    ... your configuration ...