Using React with TypeScript: A Comprehensive Guide for Developers

In my experience as a web developer, one of the growing trends in software development is the combination of TypeScript and React. TypeScript, a statically typed superset of JavaScript, offers numerous benefits, such as improved code quality and easier tooling. React, on the other hand, is a widely-used library for building user interfaces. Combining these two technologies can result in cleaner, more efficient, and less error-prone code for your web applications.

While using React with TypeScript, I’ve found that integrating TypeScript’s strong typing system with React components makes catching errors earlier in the development process easier. Additionally, using TypeScript can improve code readability and maintainability. This is essential when working on large-scale applications. I’ve come across numerous tools and frameworks, such as Create React App, which support TypeScript out of the box, making it even more accessible to developers. One aspect I appreciate when working with TypeScript and React is the ability to type component props and hooks. This helps avoid common mistakes and ensures the components are used correctly throughout the application. With both TypeScript and React being highly popular technologies in the web development world, they are a powerful combination that can enhance the overall experience of building and managing complex software projects.

Setting Up React with TypeScript

Install TypeScript in a React project

To start using TypeScript with React, I first create a new React project using create-react-app and the --template typescript flag:

npx create-react-app my-react-typescript-app --template typescript

This command sets up my project with TypeScript support, including the necessary .ts and .tsx files. Next, I need to install the @types/react and @types/react-dom packages:

npm install --save-dev @types/react @types/react-dom

These packages provide type definitions for React, making it easier to work with TypeScript.

Configuring tsconfig.json

After installing TypeScript, I configured my tsconfig.json file, which is located in my project’s root directory. The default configuration provided by create-react-app is sufficient for most use cases, but I can make changes if needed. The tsconfig.json file is used to specify which .ts and .tsx files should be included in my project and to define compiler options. Here’s a basic example of a tsconfig.json configuration:

  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "es5",
    "lib": ["dom", "dom.iterable", "esnext"],
    "allowJs": true,
    "skipLibCheck": true,
    "esModuleInterop": true,
    "allowSyntheticDefaultImports": true,
    "strict": true,
    "forceConsistentCasingInFileNames": true,
    "module": "esnext",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "resolveJsonModule": true,
    "isolatedModules": true,
    "noEmit": true,
    "jsx": "react-jsx"
  "include": ["src"]

Setting up Visual Studio Code

As a popular code editor, Visual Studio Code provides excellent support for TypeScript out of the box. All I have to do is open my project in VSCode, and it will automatically recognise .ts and .tsx files. Additionally, I can set up TypeScript-specific extensions, such as TSLint or Prettier, to enhance my development experience. ### Setting up TypeScript linting Proper linting ensures my TypeScript code follows best practices. I begin by installing eslint and the necessary plugins for React and TypeScript:

npm install --save-dev eslint @typescript-eslint/parser @typescript-eslint/eslint-plugin eslint-plugin-react

Next, I create an .eslintrc.js file in my project’s root directory to configure linting rules. A minimal configuration might look like this:

module.exports = {  
  parser: "@typescript-eslint/parser",  
  plugins: ["@typescript-eslint", "react"],  
  extends: [
  settings: {    
    react: {
      version: "detect"
  rules: {    // Add or modify rules as necessary  

Now, with my React and TypeScript project set up, I can begin writing components using .tsx files and enjoy the benefits of type-safe code.

TypeScript in React Components

As a developer working with React and TypeScript, I find that using TypeScript in React components not only improves the code quality but also enhances the development experience. In this section, I’ll cover how to define functional components type, props type in functional components, and working with TypeScript in class components. ### Defining Functional Components Type When defining functional components, I prefer using the React.FC type (short for React.FunctionComponent) to define my components. This way, I can leverage TypeScript’s static typing and have better type checking for my component props. For example:

import React from "react";
interface MyComponentProps {
  title: string;
  visible: boolean;
const MyComponent: React.FC<MyComponentProps> = ({ title, visible }) => {
  if (!visible) return null;
  return (
      {" "}
      <h1>{title}</h1>{" "}

By using React.FCI can make sure that my component handles the children prop properly and that it returns a valid ReactNode type. ### Defining Props Type in Functional Components To define the prop types for functional components, I use TypeScript interfaces. This provides better type checking and autocompletion for the props, ensuring that my components receive the correct data. Here’s an example:

interface ButtonProps {
  text: string;
  onClick: (event: React.MouseEvent<HTMLButtonElement>) => void;
  disabled?: boolean;
const Button: React.FC<ButtonProps> = ({ text, onClick, disabled = false }) => {
  return (
    <button onClick={onClick} disabled={disabled}>
      {" "}
      {text}{" "}

With these interfaces, I can define optional props, defaultProps, and specify the types of event handlers like onClick. ### TypeScript with Class Components When working with class components, TypeScript can be used to ensure proper typing and validation. I do this by extending React.Component with the defined types for the component props and state:

import React from "react";
interface CounterProps {
  initialCount: number;
interface CounterState {
  count: number;
class Counter extends React.Component<CounterProps, CounterState> {
  constructor(props: CounterProps) {
    this.state = { count: props.initialCount };
  increment = () => {
    this.setState({ count: this.state.count + 1 });
  render() {
    return (
        {" "}
        <h1>Count: {this.state.count}</h1>{" "}
        <button onClick={this.increment}>Increment</button>{" "}

By using TypeScript with class components, I can improve code completion, validation, and maintainability in my React app.

Working with React Hooks and TypeScript


In my experience with React, I find that useState is one of the most commonly used hooks. It allows me to manage local state in functional components. With TypeScript, it is essential to provide a type for my state so that Intellisense can give me better suggestions and I can avoid runtime errors. For example, if I want a simple counter, I use the number type:

const [count, setCount] = useState<number>(0);

By specifying the type, TypeScript will ensure that only numbers are updated in the state.


When I work with side effects in my React components, I use the useEffect hook. TypeScript can help me catch potential errors in my implementation, such as using the wrong type for my dependencies. Here’s a simple useEffect example:

useEffect(() => {  // Perform a side effect, such as fetching data or subscribing to an event}, []);

To improve type safety, I make sure that all the values used in the effect function have the correct types, and this helps me stay confident in my code.


The useContext hook has been a game-changer for managing global state in my React applications. The hooks take a context object created by React.createContext, and when used with TypeScript, I define the interface that represents the shape of the context.

interface MyContext {
  property: string;
const MyContext = React.createContext < MyContext > { property: "" };
const { property } = useContext(MyContext);

This allows me to leverage TypeScript’s type-checking capabilities and get accurate autocompletion suggestions.


When I need to interact with DOM elements or store mutable values in my components without causing re-renders, I use the useRef hook. useRef can store any value, so I make sure to provide a specific type or a type of null if the initial value is null.

const inputRef = (useRef < HTMLInputElement) | (null > null); // Usage<input ref={inputRef} />

By providing the type for the ref, I am ensured that I can only interact with the correct HTML element type.


The useReducer hook allows me to manage more complex state and side effects. With TypeScript, I define the state and action interfaces to ensure type safety in my reducer function. Here’s an example:

interface CounterState {
  count: number;
type CounterAction = { type: "increment" | "decrement" };
function counterReducer(
  state: CounterState,
  action: CounterAction
): CounterState {
  switch (action.type) {
    case "increment":
      return { count: state.count + 1 };
    case "decrement":
      return { count: state.count - 1 };
      return state;
const initialState: CounterState = { count: 0 };
const [state, dispatch] = useReducer(counterReducer, initialState);

By thoroughly defining my types, I can take full advantage of TypeScript’s features and ensure that my hooks are used correctly and effectively in my React components.

Advanced TypeScript Features in React

In this section, I will discuss some of the advanced TypeScript features that can be used in React projects. These features enhance our development experience and help us write more efficient and maintainable code.

Type Guards and Inference

Type guards are a powerful feature in TypeScript that allows me to narrow down the types of values in a specific context. This can be especially useful when working with union types or any values to ensure correct usage and prevent runtime errors. TypeScript’s type inference engine can derive types from variable assignments, function return values, and other situations. For example, suppose I have a User interface and an isAdmin function that narrows down the user type based on their role:

interface User {  
  id: number;  
  name: string;  
  role: 'admin' | 'user';

function isAdmin(user: User) {  
  return user.role === 'admin';

Now, when I use isAdmin in a conditional statement:

function greet(user: User) {
  if (isAdmin(user)) {
    console.log(`Hello, Admin ${}`);
  } else {
    console.log(`Hi, ${}`);

TypeScript can correctly infer that user is an admin inside the if block and provides better IDE support with autocompletion.

Using Utility Types

Utility types in TypeScript allow me to transform and manipulate the types of my React components and props. They are incredibly helpful for making my TypeScript code more flexible and reusable. For example, in a React project, I might have a Props interface for a component:

interface Props {  title: string;  subtitle?: string;}

Now, if I want to make all properties of Props optional, I can use the Partial utility type:

import React from "react";
type PartialProps = Partial<Props>;

function MyComponent({ title, subtitle }: PartialProps) {
  return (
      <h1>{title || "Default Title"}</h1>
      {subtitle && <h2>{subtitle}</h2>}

Another useful utility type is Pick. It allows me to create a new type by selecting specific properties from an existing one:

import React from "react";
type TitleProps = Pick<Props, "title">;
function TitleComponent({ title }: TitleProps) {
  return <h1>{title}</h1>;

By leveraging advanced TypeScript features such as type guards, inference, and utility types in my React projects, I can ensure the reliability and maintainability of my code while enjoying a more productive development experience.

Tips and Best Practices for Using React and TypeScript

As someone who has worked with React and TypeScript, I’d like to share some of the tips and best practices I’ve gathered from my experiences: managing 3rd party libraries and types and improving debugging and error handling.

Managing 3rd Party Libraries and Types

When using TypeScript with React, managing 3rd party libraries and their type definitions effectively is important. To improve the overall development experience, I ensure that I work with popular libraries that have TypeScript typings or .d.ts files included. If typings are not included, I search for and install them from the DefinitelyTyped repository using npm or yarn. For example, when installing the axios library, I also install the corresponding type definitions with:

npm install axios
npm install @types/axios --save-dev

I also pay attention to the documentation of each library and follow their recommended practices for using TypeScript. This helps me avoid common bugs and ensures a smoother development process.

Debugging and Error Handling

Debugging and error handling are critical when working with React and TypeScript. I use source maps with my bundler (e.g., Webpack) to map the compiled JavaScript code back to the original TypeScript code. This makes my debugging process more straightforward and enables me to trace errors back to the TypeScript code. When working with React components, I use TypeScript’s built-in JSX support to use the .tsx extension in my files instead of .ts. This helps ensure better type support for React-specific syntax and makes it easier for me to identify errors related to TypeScript types or module imports. In addition to strict typing, I use React’s built-in Error Boundaries to handle unexpected errors and gracefully display a fallback UI. This approach is particularly useful for providing a good user experience when errors occur during runtime. Furthermore, I make use of my browser’s developer tools and integrated development environment (IDE) tools to effectively detect, locate, and resolve errors. Combined with TypeScript’s strict typing and React’s error-handling techniques, these tools contribute to a cleaner and more maintainable codebase. By applying these tips and best practices, I have found that my React and TypeScript projects run more smoothly, and my development experience dramatically improves.


What are the benefits of using TypeScript?

The main benefits of using TypeScript with React include improved code quality, better developer experience, and easier maintainability. TypeScript’s type system helps catch errors early, enables code refactoring, and provides better navigation and intellisense features. Additionally, using TypeScript can make your code more self-documenting and easier to understand for other developers.

How to set up create-react-app with TypeScript?

Setting up create-react-app with TypeScript is simple. Just run the following command: npx create-react-app my-app --template typescript. This will generate a new React project with TypeScript support out of the box. For more information, check the official TypeScript documentation. ### What are some React TypeScript example projects? There are many popular frameworks that support TypeScript, such as Next.js , Remix and Gatsby. These frameworks provide practical examples and boilerplates for using TypeScript with React. The TypeScript-React-Starter by Microsoft on GitHub is also a good starting point for a React TypeScript example project.

How to create functional components with TypeScript?

To create a functional component with TypeScript, you need to define its prop types using interfaces or types. Then, you can use these prop types to declare your functional component. Here is a simple example:

import React from "react";
interface Props {
  message: string;
const MyComponent: React.FC<Props> = ({ message }) => {
  return <div>{message}</div>;

In this example, Props is an interface defining the expected prop message. The MyComponent functional component takes this prop and renders a div element containing the message. ### Where can I find React TypeScript documentation? The official TypeScript documentation includes a dedicated section for React, which you can find here. This section provides useful information on setting up React projects with TypeScript, creating functional components, and working with React hooks in TypeScript.

What are the best practices for TypeScript in React?

Some best practices for using TypeScript in React projects include:

  • Define prop types for your components using TypeScript interfaces or types.
  • Prefer using functional components and hooks over class components.
  • Avoid using any type, and be as specific as possible with your types.
  • Use utility types such as Partial, Readonly, and Pick to map and manipulate your component prop types.
  • Write type annotations for event handlers and other React-specific code.
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