Sinan Aksay smiling with cool shades

Sinan Aksay

on February 21, 2020

Error handling in React

react1 min read

Normally you’d catch an error in javascript using a try/catch block.

try {
  thisFunctionDoesNotExist()
} catch(error) {
  console.log('oops!', error)
}

The statement in the catch block will be executed only if an exception is thrown in the try block.

If you need something similar for React components, there is a lesser-known feature called Error Boundaries. Using error boundaries, when something went wrong, you can show the user a fallback screen and log the error.

An error boundary is a component that catches an error thrown anywhere in the child component tree.

class ErrorBoundary extends React.Component {
  state = { hasError: false }

  static getDerivedStateFromError(error) {
    return { hasError: true }
  }

  componentDidCatch(error, errorInfo) {
    logError(error, errorInfo) // log the error here
  }

  render() {
    if (this.state.hasError) {
      return <p>💩</p> // show fallback UI instead of children
    }

    return this.props.children
  }
}

It’s a good idea to have an error boundary wrapping your top-level components. You can read more about error boundaries in React docs.

By the way, there is no hook equivalent of error boundaries yet, so you have to create a class component to use this feature for now.

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