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Majid Kareem
Majid Kareem

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Common mistakes to avoid when using React Hooks


React Hooks are a powerful feature of React that allow you to use state and other React features without writing a class component. They can simplify your code, make it more reusable, and enable better performance. However, they also come with some challenges and pitfalls that you need to be aware of. In this blog post, I will show you how to use React Hooks effectively and avoid some common mistakes.

What are React Hooks?

React Hooks are functions that let you "hook into" React state and lifecycle features from function components. They also let you create your own custom hooks to share reusable stateful logic between components.

There are two main types of hooks: built-in hooks and custom hooks. Built-in hooks are provided by React and include useState, useEffect, useRef, useContext, useReducer, useMemo, useCallback, and useImperativeHandle. Custom hooks are user-defined functions that start with "use" and can call other hooks inside them.

Why use React Hooks?

React Hooks have several benefits over class components:

  • They reduce the amount of boilerplate code you need to write, such as constructors, binding methods, and lifecycle methods.
  • They make it easier to reuse stateful logic between components, without relying on higher-order components or render props.
  • They allow you to split your code into smaller functions based on related functionality, rather than forcing a split based on lifecycle methods.
  • They enable better performance optimizations, such as memoizing values and avoiding unnecessary re-renders.

How to use React Hooks effectively?

To use React Hooks effectively, you need to follow some rules and best practices. Here are some of them:

  • Only call hooks at the top level of your function component. Don't call them inside loops, conditions, or nested functions. This ensures that the hooks are called in the same order every time your component renders.
  • Only call hooks from React function components or custom hooks. Don't call them from regular JavaScript functions or class methods. This ensures that the hooks have access to the correct React context and state.
  • Use the array argument of useEffect to specify the dependencies of your effect. This tells React when to run your effect and when to skip it. If you omit the array argument, your effect will run after every render. If you pass an empty array, your effect will run only once after the initial render.
  • Use custom hooks to extract and reuse stateful logic between components. A custom hook should start with "use" and return a value or an object with values. You can call other hooks inside your custom hook, but don't call your custom hook inside another hook.
  • Use useCallback to memoize functions that depend on props or state. This prevents unnecessary re-creations of the same function on every render, which can cause performance issues and bugs.
  • Use useMemo to memoize expensive calculations that depend on props or state. This prevents unnecessary re-computations of the same value on every render, which can also cause performance issues and bugs.

How to avoid common pitfalls with React Hooks?

React Hooks can also introduce some pitfalls and challenges that you need to be careful about. Here are some of them:

  • Don't use setState inside useEffect without a dependency array. This can create an infinite loop of updates and re-renders, which can crash your app or cause memory leaks.
  • Don't use stale props or state inside useEffect or useCallback. This can lead to inconsistent or incorrect behavior of your component. To avoid this, use useRef to store the latest props or state values, or use functional updates to access the current state value.
  • Don't forget to clean up your effects. If your effect creates any subscriptions, listeners, timers, or other resources that need to be disposed of when the component unmounts, you need to return a cleanup function from your effect that does that. Otherwise, you may cause memory leaks or errors in your app.
  • Don't mutate state directly. Always use setState or useReducer to update your state in a functional way. Mutating state directly can cause bugs and unexpected behavior in your component.


React Hooks are a great way to use state and other React features in function components. They can make your code simpler, more reusable, and more performant. However, they also require some discipline and attention to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes. By following the rules and best practices outlined in this blog post, you can use React Hooks effectively and confidently in your React projects.

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