Exploring React Custom Context for Effective State Management

Rainer Regan
2 min readAug 22, 2023

When building complex React applications, managing state effectively becomes a critical task. While there are various state management libraries available, React’s built-in Context API offers a powerful solution to share states across components without resorting to prop drilling. In this article, we’ll delve into the concept of custom Context in React and learn how to harness its potential for better state management.

Understanding React Context:

React Context is a mechanism that allows data to be passed through the component tree without needing to pass props down manually at every level. It consists of two parts: the Provider and the Consumer. The Provider component wraps around a group of components and provides the data (state) that should be accessible to those components. The Consumer component can then access the provided data.

Creating a Custom Context:

Step 1: Create the Context

Start by creating a new JavaScript file, e.g., MyContext.js. In this file, import React and use the React.createContext() function to create your custom context.

// MyContext.js
import React from 'react';

const MyContext = React.createContext();

export default MyContext;

Step 2: Create the Provider:

In the same file, create a component that acts as the provider. This component will wrap around the components that need access to the context’s data.

// MyContext.js
import React, { useState } from 'react';

const MyContext = React.createContext();

const MyProvider = ({ children }) => {
const [data, setData] = useState(initialData);

return (
<MyContext.Provider value={{ data, setData }}>
{children}
</MyContext.Provider>
);
};

export { MyProvider, MyContext };

Step 3: Wrap Components

In your main app file (e.g., App.js), wrap the components that need access to the custom context with the provider component.

// App.js
import React from 'react';
import { MyProvider } from './MyContext';
import ComponentA from './ComponentA';
import ComponentB from './ComponentB';

const App = () => {
return (
<MyProvider>
<ComponentA />
<ComponentB />
</MyProvider>
);
};

export default App;

Step 4: Access Context Data

In the components that need to consume the context data, import the custom context and use the useContext Hook to access the provided data.

// ComponentA.js
import React, { useContext } from 'react';
import { MyContext } from './MyContext';

const ComponentA = () => {
const { data, setData } = useContext(MyContext);

// Use data and setData here

return <div>Component A</div>;
};

export default ComponentA;

React’s Custom Context API offers a clean and efficient way to manage the state that needs to be shared across multiple components. By creating a custom context, you can encapsulate specific states and logic, promoting modularity and reusability in your application. This approach simplifies the state management process and enhances the maintainability of your React projects.

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