Set Default Props in React

Say we were building a “Star Rating” component that rendered the following UI.

Star rating

An option we’d want to give the consumer of our component the ability to customize. We can do that by adding a color prop.

<StarRating color='#ff0000' />

What would happen if they used our component without passing it a color prop?

<StarRating />

The backgroundColor of the star is set to this.props.color , which is now undefined .

Set default props

There are different ways to accomplish this depending on if you’re using a class component or a function component.

Class component - Default Props

If you’re using a class component, you’ll add a static property of defaultProps to your class.

defaultProps is an object whose *keys represent the props being passed to the component and whose values are the default values for those props. In our example, we want color to have a default value of #ECB244 .

class StarRating extends React.Component {
  ...
}

StarRating.defaultProps = {
  color: '#ECB244'
}

Now, if someone consumes our StarRating component without passing in a color prop, props.color will default to #ECB244 .

Function Component - Default Props

ES6 introduced a new feature called Default Parameters. Default Parameters allow you to set default values for any arguments that are undefined when a function is invoked. Because function components are just functions, we can use Default Parameters (along with destructuring) to set a default value for any props that are passed to our function component.

function StarRating ({ color = '#ECB244' }) {
  ...
}

Now, if someone consumes our StarRating component without passing in a color prop, color will default to #ECB244 .

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