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React - useEffect hook

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In this article, we would like to show you how to use React useEffect hook.

React useEffect hook is equivalent to the class components lifecycle methods:

  • componentDidMount,¬†
  • componentDidUpdate,
  • componentWillUnmount.

The function inside useEffect runs when the component is first rendered and on every array of dependencies update (which is the second, optional argument).

Below examples present:

  • how to import useEffect hook,
  • solution with one argument only (arrow function),
  • solution with two arguments:
    • array of dependencies that is monitored for changes,
    • empty array of dependencies.
  • how to mix useEffect

1. Import

The first thing you need to do is import useEffect hook the following way:

import React, { useEffect } from 'react';

2. One argument example (only arrow function)

The arrow function inside useEffect is always executed after:

  • the rendering cycle,
  • props, state or context change,
  • the parent component is rendered.

Runnable example:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

// Note: Uncomment import lines while working with JSX Compiler.
// import React, { useEffect } from 'react';
// import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';

const App = () => {
    const [counter, setCounter] = React.useState(0);
    React.useEffect(() => {
        console.log(`useEffect: counter: ${counter}`);
    });
    return (
      <div>
        <p>
          <b>Counter: </b>{counter}
        </p>
        <button onClick={() => setCounter(counter + 1)}>Change counter</button>
      </div>
    );
};

const root = document.querySelector('#root');
ReactDOM.render(<App />, root );

3. Two arguments example (arrow function + dependency list)

The function inside useEffect is executed in two cases:

  • after the component is mounted,
  • after any change of the monitored array of dependencies¬†(in our case on¬†the user change).

Note:

In one useEffect array of dependencies we can put many variables.

Runnable example:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

// Note: Uncomment import lines while working with JSX Compiler.
// import React, { useEffect } from 'react';
// import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';

const App = () => {
  const [user, setUser] = React.useState('Tom');
  const [counter, setCounter] = React.useState(0);
  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log(`useEffect: Hello ${user}!`);
  }, [user]);
  return (
    <div>
      <p>
        <b>User: </b> {user},<b>Counter: </b> {counter}
      </p>
      <button onClick={() => setCounter(counter + 1)}>Change counter</button>
      <button onClick={() => setUser(user === 'Tom' ? 'Kate' : 'Tom')}>
        Change user
      </button>
    </div>
  );
};

const root = document.querySelector('#root');
ReactDOM.render(<App />, root );

4. Empty array of dependencies example

In this example, we create useEffect hook with an empty array of dependencies. That tells React to execute the effect only once (at component mount).

Runnable example:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

// Note: Uncomment import lines while working with JSX Compiler.
// import React, { useEffect } from 'react';
// import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';

const App = () => {
  const [counter, setCounter] = React.useState(0);

  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log('Setting counter...');
  }, []);

  return (
    <div>
      <p>
        <b>Counter: </b> {counter}
      </p>
      <button onClick={() => setCounter(counter + 1)}>Increment</button>
    </div>
  );
};

const root = document.querySelector('#root');
ReactDOM.render(<App />, root );

5. We can mix useEffect

We can also use many useEffect hooks and mix them as we want.

Runnable example:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

// Note: Uncomment import lines while working with JSX Compiler.
// import React, { useEffect } from 'react';
// import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';

const App = () => {
  const [counter1, setCounter1] = React.useState(0);
  const [counter2, setCounter2] = React.useState(0);

  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log('Setting counters...');
  }, []);

  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log(`Counter 1 value is now ${counter1}`);
  }, [counter1]);

  React.useEffect(() => {
    console.log(`Counter 2 value is now ${counter2}`);
  }, [counter2]);

  return (
    <div>
      <p>
        <b>Counter 1: </b> {counter1}, <b>Counter 2: </b> {counter2}
      </p>
      <button onClick={() => setCounter1(counter1 + 1)}>Increment 1</button>
      <button onClick={() => setCounter2(counter2 + 1)}>Increment 2</button>
    </div>
  );
};

const root = document.querySelector('#root');
ReactDOM.render(<App />, root );

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