Lightweight alternative to Postman? Just use VSCode!


I was looking for alternatives for Postman which didn't require installing yet another Electron app and found a handy tool that can become part of VSCode.


After using Postman for testing REST APIs over the years, I felt it became heavy with all new features it had received over the years. My usage of Postman remained exclusively to test REST APIs and as such I didn't need fancier cloud stuff or any other features it provides really.

I remember when Google Chrome deprecated Chrome Apps in favor of PWA or Progressive Web Apps however many apps had to resort to Electron since PWA just wasn't enough.

This led me to a web search for "alternatives to Postman" on a weekend and I was astounded to learn about a VSCode extension that fits my (simpler) needs perfectly.

Meet the contender

I found Thunder Client extension for Visual Studio Code to be an excellent replacement for a simple REST API testing tool.

It's pretty lightweight, works just like Postman, supports import/export and didn't require installing as an another application.


  1. Open VSCode and open Extensions section.

  2. Search for "thunder client" and install the extension as seen below.


  1. After installation, you should see a new tab with lightening bolt icon on the left. Click on it or alternatively press Ctrl + Shift + R on the keyboard.


Let's make a GET request

Click on New Request on the top to get started with a request.

You should see a GET request set to /welcome endpoint on Thunder Client's website.

This is seen every time you click on New Request button.

To initiate a request, click on "Send" button. You should be greeted with this response.


You can customize this request by updating Auth, check out Headers and Body sections.

Here's a Getting Started video from the official Thunder Client YouTube channel:



I love the fact this tool is a VSCode extension and doesn't constitute another app to be installed on my machine.

Feel free to comment your thoughts below. You can also @ me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!