SDWebImage 4.0 Migration Guide

SDWebImage 4.0 is the latest major release of SDWebImage, a top library for downloading and caching images. As a major release, following Semantic Versioning conventions, 4.0 introduces several API-breaking changes with its new architecture.

We’ve expanded the list of supported platforms and added to the existing iOS and tvOS, the long waited watchOS and Mac OS X.

Our support for animated images (especially GIFs) was not that great, so we decided to delegate this responsibility to FLAnimatedImage, a library created by Flipboard which has great results in working with animated images.

This guide is provided in order to ease the transition of existing applications using SDWebImage 3.X to the latest APIs, as well as explain the design and structure of new and changed functionality.

Requirements: iOS 7, Mac OS X 10.8, watchOS 2, tvOS 9, Xcode 7.3

SDWebImage 4.0 officially supports iOS 7 and later, Mac OS X 10.8 and later, watchOS 2 and later and tvOS 9 and later. It needs Xcode 7.3 or later to be able to build everything properly.

For targeting previous versions of the SDKs, check README - Backwards compatibility .



Because the 4.0 version included #1581 - Lightweight Generics and Nullability, the Swift interface for all users has changed. For 3.x versions which did not have the Nullability specifiers, all params and vars where bridged as Implicitly Unwrapped Optionals. With 4.0, the ones marked as nullable will be regular optionals, as the nonnull ones are non-optionals.

For details, read Nullability and Objective-C.

Using the UI*View categories brings no change

SDWebImage 3.x

[imageView sd_setImageWithURL:url placeholderImage:placeholderImage];

SDWebImage 4.x

[imageView sd_setImageWithURL:url placeholderImage:placeholderImage];

Using directly SDWebImageManager

SDWebImage 3.x

[manager downloadImageWithURL:url options:options: progress:nil completed:^(UIImage *image, NSError *error, SDImageCacheType cacheType, BOOL finished, NSURL *imageURL) { ... } ];

SDWebImage 4.x

[manager loadImageWithURL:url options:options: progress:nil completed:^(UIImage *image, NSData *imageData, NSError *error, SDImageCacheType cacheType, BOOL finished, NSURL *imageURL) { ... } ];



  • SDImageCacheConfig class for SDImageCache config (shouldDecompressImages, shouldDisableiCloud, shouldCacheImagesInMemory, maxCacheAge, maxCacheSize)
  • SDWebImageDownloadToken class for the ability to cancel specific downloads (url, downloadOperationCancelToken)
  • UIView (WebCache) category because of DRY, with methods
    • sd_imageURL
    • sd_internalSetImageWithURL:placeholderImage:options:operationKey:setImageBlock:progress:completed:
    • sd_cancelCurrentImageLoad
    • sd_showActivityIndicatorView
    • sd_addActivityIndicator
    • sd_removeActivityIndicator
  • SDWebImageDownloaderOperationInterface protocol to describe the downloader operation behavior (in case one wants to customize)
  • SDImageFormat enum containing the formats supported by the library (jpeg, png, gif, tiff, webp)
  • FLAnimatedImageView (WebCache) category for FLAnimatedImageView from FLAnimatedImage

UIImageView (WebCache)

  • moved to UIView (WebCache),UIImageView objects still respond to those methods:
    • sd_imageURL
    • sd_cancelCurrentImageLoad
    • setShowActivityIndicatorView: renamed to sd_setShowActivityIndicatorView:
    • setIndicatorStyle: renamed to sd_setIndicatorStyle:
  • removed deprecated methods:
    • imageURL
    • setImageWithURL:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:options:
    • setImageWithURL:completed:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:completed:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:options:completed:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:options:progress:completed:
    • sd_setImageWithPreviousCachedImageWithURL:andPlaceholderImage:options:progress:completed:
    • setAnimationImagesWithURLs:
    • cancelCurrentArrayLoad
    • cancelCurrentImageLoad

UIButton (WebCache)

  • removed deprecated methods:
    • currentImageURL
    • imageURLForState:
    • setImageWithURL:forState:
    • setImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:
    • setImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:options:
    • setImageWithURL:forState:completed:
    • setImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:completed:
    • setImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:options:completed:
    • setBackgroundImageWithURL:forState:
    • setBackgroundImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:
    • setBackgroundImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:options:
    • setBackgroundImageWithURL:forState:completed:
    • setBackgroundImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:completed:
    • setBackgroundImageWithURL:forState:placeholderImage:options:completed:
    • cancelCurrentImageLoad
    • cancelBackgroundImageLoadForState:

MKAnnotationView (WebCache)

  • removed deprecated methods:
    • imageURL
    • setImageWithURL:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:options:
    • setImageWithURL:completed:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:completed:
    • setImageWithURL:placeholderImage:options:completed:
    • cancelCurrentImageLoad

UIImageView (HighlightedWebCache)

  • removed methods:
    • sd_cancelCurrentHighlightedImageLoad
  • removed deprecated methods:
    • setHighlightedImageWithURL:
    • setHighlightedImageWithURL:options:
    • setHighlightedImageWithURL:completed:
    • setHighlightedImageWithURL:options:completed:
    • setHighlightedImageWithURL:options:progress:completed:
    • cancelCurrentHighlightedImageLoad


  • initWithCache:downloader: is now the designated initializer
  • added SDWebImageScaleDownLargeImages option for scaling large images
  • renamed downloadImageWithURL:options:progress:completed to loadImageWithURL:options:progress:completed just to make it clear what the method does
  • renamed SDWebImageCompletionBlock to SDExternalCompletionBlock
  • renamed SDWebImageCompletionWithFinishedBlock to SDInternalCompletionBlock and added extra NSData param
  • removed synchronous methods:
    • cachedImageExistsForURL:
    • diskImageExistsForURL:
  • removed deprecated methods:
    • downloadWithURL:options:progress:completed:
  • removed deprecated types:
    • SDWebImageCompletedBlock
    • SDWebImageCompletedWithFinishedBlock


  • initWithImageManager: is now the designated initializer



  • initWithRequest:inSession:options:progress:completed:cancelled: replaced by two methods: initWithRequest:inSession:options: and addHandlersForProgress:completed:
  • initWithRequest:inSession:options: is now the designated initializer
  • added cancel: method
  • removed deprecated methods:
    • initWithRequest:options:progress:completed:cancelled:


  • moved the following properties to SDImageCacheConfig:
    • shouldDecompressImages
    • shouldDisableiCloud
    • shouldCacheImagesInMemory
    • maxCacheAge
    • maxCacheSize
  • added a config property (SDImageCacheConfig)
  • renamed SDWebImageQueryCompletedBlock to SDCacheQueryCompletedBlock and added NSData param
  • initWithNamespace:diskCacheDirectory: is now the designated initializer
  • the storeImage:forKey:, storeImage:forKey:toDisk:, storeImage:recalculateFromImage:imageData:forKey:toDisk: methods were async already, but declared as sync. Properly marked them as async + added completion param. Got rid of the recalculate param. If the NSData is provided, use it. Otherwise, recalculate it from the UIImage
    • storeImage:forKey: -> storeImage:forKey:completion:
    • storeImage:forKey:toDisk: -> storeImage:forKey:toDisk:completion:
    • storeImage:recalculateFromImage:imageData:forKey:toDisk: -> storeImage:imageData:forKey:toDisk:completion:
  • removed the synchronous method diskImageExistsWithKey:
  • got rid of the confusion caused by having cleanDisk and clearDisk. Renamed cleanDiskWithCompletion: to deleteOldFilesWithCompletion:.
  • removed the synchronous clearDisk and deleteOldFiles
  • renamed queryDiskCacheForKey:done: to queryCacheOperationForKey:done:
  • another clarification: imageFromDiskCacheForKey: used to also check the memory cache which I think is misleading. Now imageFromDiskCacheForKey: only checks the disk cache and the new method imageFromCacheForKey: checks both caches
  • removed removeImageForKey: and removeImageForKey:fromDisk: because they caused confusion (were calling the async ones with nil as completion)

NSData (ImageContentType)

  • renamed sd_contentTypeForImageData: to sd_imageFormatForImageData: and returns SDImageFormat
  • removed the deprecated method contentTypeForImageData:


  • removed dispatch_main_sync_safe as it could be mistakenly used
  • updated dispatch_main_async_safe so it checks for the main queue instead of the main thread


  • added decodedAndScaledDownImageWithImage: that decodes the image and scales it down if it’s too big (over 60MB in memory)


  • removed sd_animatedGIFNamed: or sd_animatedImageByScalingAndCroppingToSize:
  • added isGIF
  • added sd_imageData and sd_imageDataAsFormat:. Those methods transform a UIImage to the NSData representation