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Typechecking With PropTypes

As your app grows, you can catch a lot of bugs with typechecking. For some applications, you can use JavaScript extensions like Flow or TypeScript to typecheck your whole application. But even if you don't use those, React has some built-in typechecking abilities. To run typechecking on the props for a component, you can assign the special propTypes property:

class Greeting extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <h1>Hello, {this.props.name}</h1>

Greeting.propTypes = {
  name: React.PropTypes.string

React.PropTypes exports a range of validators that can be used to make sure the data you receive is valid. In this example, we're using React.PropTypes.string. When an invalid value is provided for a prop, a warning will be shown in the JavaScript console. For performance reasons, propTypes is only checked in development mode.

React.PropTypes #

Here is an example documenting the different validators provided:

MyComponent.propTypes = {
  // You can declare that a prop is a specific JS primitive. By default, these
  // are all optional.
  optionalArray: React.PropTypes.array,
  optionalBool: React.PropTypes.bool,
  optionalFunc: React.PropTypes.func,
  optionalNumber: React.PropTypes.number,
  optionalObject: React.PropTypes.object,
  optionalString: React.PropTypes.string,
  optionalSymbol: React.PropTypes.symbol,

  // Anything that can be rendered: numbers, strings, elements or an array
  // (or fragment) containing these types.
  optionalNode: React.PropTypes.node,

  // A React element.
  optionalElement: React.PropTypes.element,

  // You can also declare that a prop is an instance of a class. This uses
  // JS's instanceof operator.
  optionalMessage: React.PropTypes.instanceOf(Message),

  // You can ensure that your prop is limited to specific values by treating
  // it as an enum.
  optionalEnum: React.PropTypes.oneOf(['News', 'Photos']),

  // An object that could be one of many types
  optionalUnion: React.PropTypes.oneOfType([

  // An array of a certain type
  optionalArrayOf: React.PropTypes.arrayOf(React.PropTypes.number),

  // An object with property values of a certain type
  optionalObjectOf: React.PropTypes.objectOf(React.PropTypes.number),

  // An object taking on a particular shape
  optionalObjectWithShape: React.PropTypes.shape({
    color: React.PropTypes.string,
    fontSize: React.PropTypes.number

  // You can chain any of the above with `isRequired` to make sure a warning
  // is shown if the prop isn't provided.
  requiredFunc: React.PropTypes.func.isRequired,

  // A value of any data type
  requiredAny: React.PropTypes.any.isRequired,

  // You can also specify a custom validator. It should return an Error
  // object if the validation fails. Don't `console.warn` or throw, as this
  // won't work inside `oneOfType`.
  customProp: function(props, propName, componentName) {
    if (!/matchme/.test(props[propName])) {
      return new Error(
        'Invalid prop `' + propName + '` supplied to' +
        ' `' + componentName + '`. Validation failed.'

  // You can also supply a custom validator to `arrayOf` and `objectOf`.
  // It should return an Error object if the validation fails. The validator
  // will be called for each key in the array or object. The first two
  // arguments of the validator are the array or object itself, and the
  // current item's key.
  customArrayProp: React.PropTypes.arrayOf(function(propValue, key, componentName, location, propFullName) {
    if (!/matchme/.test(propValue[key])) {
      return new Error(
        'Invalid prop `' + propFullName + '` supplied to' +
        ' `' + componentName + '`. Validation failed.'

Requiring Single Child #

With React.PropTypes.element you can specify that only a single child can be passed to a component as children.

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  render() {
    // This must be exactly one element or it will warn.
    const children = this.props.children;
    return (

MyComponent.propTypes = {
  children: React.PropTypes.element.isRequired

Default Prop Values #

You can define default values for your props by assigning to the special defaultProps property:

class Greeting extends React.Component {
  render() {
    return (
      <h1>Hello, {this.props.name}</h1>

// Specifies the default values for props:
Greeting.defaultProps = {
  name: 'Stranger'

// Renders "Hello, Stranger":
  <Greeting />,

The defaultProps will be used to ensure that this.props.name will have a value if it was not specified by the parent component. The propTypes typechecking happens after defaultProps are resolved, so typechecking will also apply to the defaultProps.