Route to somewhere with react router v6
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by BCiriakJUN 05, 2022 | 10 min read

React Router V6 - How to redirect?

New version of the React Router brought a couple of updates that differ from version 5. Trying to figure them out can get a bit frustrating. Let us have a look at redirecting in React Router V6.

There are 2 main ways we can redirect in our app with React Router V6. The first one is by using the useNavigate hook that is provided by React Router and the second one is with the Navigate component.

First, we will look at the basic usage of these two methods, then we will look at some common use cases like:

  • Redirect if a user tries to access the protected route
  • Redirecting after login

Let's jump right in.

React Router v6 useNavigate hook

Since React v16.8 which brought us hooks, everyone is trying to utilize them to the fullest. React Router is no exception and that is one of the reasons the v6 version was a major upgrade of this fantastic React library.

Hooks change how we work in React and React Router gives us useNavigate hook to handle redirecting programmatically. To use this hook is very simple:

1import {useNavigate} from 'react-router-dom'
3export default function Login() {
4  const navigate = useNavigate()
6  const handleLogin = () => {
7    const user = loginUser()
8    if (user) {
9      navigate('/protected-route')
10    } else {
11      navigate('/login')
12    }
13  }
14  ...

This is more of a pseudocode but the gist is simple. As we can see the useNavigate hook gives us back navigate function that we can simply call with path argument. It is the same argument as we use in <Link to="/some-path">Some path</Link> component.

React Router Navigate Component

Navigate component is a dedicated component to handle redirects in React Router v6. This component is very similar to Redirect in version 5. Let's look at how we can use it.

1import { Navigate } from 'react-router-dom'
3const PrivateRoute = (props) => {
4  return (
5    <div>
6      {props.isAuthenticated ? (
7        <div>Private Route</div>
8      ) : (
9        <Navigate replace to="/login" />
10      )}
11    </div>
12  )
15export default PrivateRoute

This piece of code shows how we can conditionally redirect in our components. You may be asking what is that replace prop doing and that is a good question. Without this property, a new entry is added to React Router history and this can cause unwanted behavior e.g. user tries to click back in the browser but can't get back because we might have a couple of the same entries in our history.

React Router v6 Redirect examples

Now let's look at some common use cases that we might want to solve in our applications. One of those is Some user wants to access private/protected route without being logged in.

I created a simple application that demonstrates these use cases and you can find the code at this GitHub link.

This is the folder structure:

    ├── App.jsx
    ├── main.jsx
    └── pages
        ├── HomePage.jsx
        ├── Login.jsx
        └── PrivateRoute.jsx

And here is the entry file:

1import React from 'react'
2import ReactDOM from 'react-dom/client'
3import { BrowserRouter } from 'react-router-dom'
5import './index.css'
6import App from './App'
9  <React.StrictMode>
10    <BrowserRouter>
11      <App />
12    </BrowserRouter>
13  </React.StrictMode>

It is important to note that we are wrapping our <App /> component with <BrowserRouter /> component imported from React Router.

I am not even gonna show the HomePage, because it is just a barebones functional component returning one div.

Next, we have the most complicated file <App /> component:

1import { useState } from 'react'
2import { Link, Route, Routes, Navigate } from 'react-router-dom'
4import HomePage from './pages/HomePage'
5import PrivateRoute from './pages/PrivateRoute'
6import Login from './pages/Login'
8function App() {
9  const [isAuthenticated, setIsAuthenticated] = useState(false)
11  const login = () => {
12    setIsAuthenticated(true)
13  }
15  return (
16    <div>
17      <h1>{isAuthenticated ? 'Authenticated' : 'Not Authenticated'}</h1>
18      <button onClick={() => setIsAuthenticated(!isAuthenticated)}>
19        Toggle Auth
20      </button>
22      {/*Navigation*/}
23      <ul>
24        <li><Link to="/">Home Page</Link></li>
25        <li><Link to="/private-route">Private Route</Link></li>
26        <li><Link to="/login">Login</Link></li>
27      </ul>
29      {/*Routes*/}
30      <Routes>
31        <Route path="/" element={<HomePage />} />
32        <Route
33          path="private-route"
34          element={<PrivateRoute isAuthenticated={isAuthenticated} />}
35        />
36        <Route
37          path="login"
38          element={
39            !isAuthenticated ? (
40              <Login login={login} />
41            ) : (
42              <Navigate to="/private-route" replace />
43            )
44          }
45        />
46      </Routes>
47    </div>
48  )
51export default App

Let's go over the file.

Is Authenticated state

Right at the top of our component, we are using useState hook to handle one piece of state that we gonna be using isAuthenticated. This boolean is gonna pretend our auth state and distinguish whether we are logged in or not.

Next, we have a dummy login() function that sets our isAuthenticated state variable to true. We pass this function down to our Login component to fake our login process.

App JSX structure

Line 17 shows our header, which conditionally renders Authenticated/Not Authenticated depending on our state. Next up is <button> which toggles our state.

React Router Link components

Our little navigation is consisting of three <Link> components from React Router. These links point to routes that we set up just under the navigation code.


It is important to note that we can only use Link and NavLink in components wrapped with BrowserRouter. It might seem obvious when you think about it, but the error that this mistake produces is not that clear.

React Router v6 Routes

React Router v6 defines routes a bit differently than v5. There is no <Switch /> component and we use <Routes /> instead. We also define our routes differently. There is still path param, but we insert our JSX into element param.

The first route is our Home page, this is the public route to which we have access always.

The second route is a bit more interesting. It is Private Route to which we pass our piece of state to determine if we are authenticated or not. Let's look at the code inside to see how we manage the redirect.

1import { Navigate } from 'react-router-dom'
3const PrivateRoute = (props) => {
4  return (
5    <div>
6      {props.isAuthenticated ? (
7        <div>Private Route</div>
8      ) : (
9        <Navigate to="/login" replace />
10      )}
11    </div>
12  )
15export default PrivateRoute

We import Navigate from React Router and use it in our condition. If the props.isAuthenticated is true, we render our private route, otherwise, we redirect to /login. We are supplying two parameters to the Navigate component: to and replace. It is pretty simple as it was explained at the beginning of this article.

This is how we could handle protecting our routes from unauthenticated access.

Conditional Route Element

Back to the <App /> component:

3  path="login"
4  element={
5    !isAuthenticated ? (
6      <Login login={login} />
7    ) : (
8      <Navigate to="/private-route" replace />
9    )
10  }

Here we are using a very similar method as in our Login component. We are conditionally deciding which element to render right in our element param.

That brings us to the last piece of code, Login component.

1import { useNavigate } from 'react-router-dom'
3const Login = (props) => {
4  const navigate = useNavigate()
6  const loginUser = () => {
7    setTimeout(() => {
8      props.login()
9      navigate('/')
10    }, 1000)
11  }
13  return (
14    <div>
15      <button type="button" onClick={loginUser}>
16        Log me in
17      </button>
18    </div>
19  )
22export default Login

useNavigate hook in action

Right at the top of the component we create navigate variable that is the function to use for redirecting programmatically. loginUser is a dummy function that simulates our async API call and logs the user in by calling the function from the parent App component. Then redirects us to '/'.

JSX is one button that calls the loginUser function.

Now we should understand how to redirect in React Router v6. Make sure to play around with those simple examples to get a good grasp at this important topic.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below the article please. 😇

Keep learning and see you in the next one!

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