[javascript] How to call loading function with React useEffect only once

The useEffect React hook will run the passed in function on every change. This can be optimized to let it call only when the desired properties change.

What if I want to call an initialization function from componentDidMount and not call it again on changes? Let's say I want to load an entity, but the loading function doesn't need any data from the component. How can we make this using the useEffect hook?

class MyComponent extends React.PureComponent {
    componentDidMount() {
        loadDataOnlyOnce();
    }
    render() { ... }
}

With hooks this could look like this:

function MyComponent() {
    useEffect(() => {
        loadDataOnlyOnce(); // this will fire on every change :(
    }, [...???]);
    return (...);
}

This question is related to javascript reactjs react-hooks

The answer is


If you only want to run the function given to useEffect after the initial render, you can give it an empty array as second argument.

function MyComponent() {
  useEffect(() => {
    loadDataOnlyOnce();
  }, []);

  return <div> {/* ... */} </div>;
}

we developed a module on GitHub that has hooks for fetching data so you can use it like this for your purpose:

import { useFetching } from "react-concurrent";

const app = () => {
  const { data, isLoading, error , refetch } = useFetching(() =>
    fetch("http://example.com"),
  );
};

You can fork that out, but any PRs are welcome. https://github.com/hosseinmd/react-concurrent#react-concurrent


I like to define a mount function, it tricks EsLint in the same way useMount does and I find it more self-explanatory.

const mount = () => {
  console.log('mounted')
  // ...

  const unmount = () => {
    console.log('unmounted')
    // ...
  }
  return unmount
}
useEffect(mount, [])


Pass an empty array as the second argument to useEffect. This effectively tells React, quoting the docs:

This tells React that your effect doesn’t depend on any values from props or state, so it never needs to re-run.

Here's a snippet which you can run to show that it works:

_x000D_
_x000D_
function App() {_x000D_
  const [user, setUser] = React.useState(null);_x000D_
_x000D_
  React.useEffect(() => {_x000D_
    fetch('https://randomuser.me/api/')_x000D_
      .then(results => results.json())_x000D_
      .then(data => {_x000D_
        setUser(data.results[0]);_x000D_
      });_x000D_
  }, []); // Pass empty array to only run once on mount._x000D_
  _x000D_
  return <div>_x000D_
    {user ? user.name.first : 'Loading...'}_x000D_
  </div>;_x000D_
}_x000D_
_x000D_
ReactDOM.render(<App/>, document.getElementById('app'));
_x000D_
<script src="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/umd/react.development.js"></script>_x000D_
<script src="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/umd/react-dom.development.js"></script>_x000D_
_x000D_
<div id="app"></div>
_x000D_
_x000D_
_x000D_


TL;DR

useEffect(yourCallback, []) - will trigger the callback only after the first render.

Detailed explanation

useEffect runs by default after every render of the component (thus causing an effect).

When placing useEffect in your component you tell React you want to run the callback as an effect. React will run the effect after rendering and after performing the DOM updates.

If you pass only a callback - the callback will run after each render.

If passing a second argument (array), React will run the callback after the first render and every time one of the elements in the array is changed. for example when placing useEffect(() => console.log('hello'), [someVar, someOtherVar]) - the callback will run after the first render and after any render that one of someVar or someOtherVar are changed.

By passing the second argument an empty array, React will compare after each render the array and will see nothing was changed, thus calling the callback only after the first render.


function useOnceCall(cb, condition = true) {
  const isCalledRef = React.useRef(false);

  React.useEffect(() => {
    if (condition && !isCalledRef.current) {
      isCalledRef.current = true;
      cb();
    }
  }, [cb, condition]);
}

and use it.

useOnceCall(()=>{
  console.log('called');
})

or

useOnceCall(()=>{
  console.log('isLoading');
},isLoading);

leave the dependency array blank . hope this will help you understand better.

   useEffect(() => {
      doSomething()
    }, []) 

empty dependency array runs Only Once, on Mount

useEffect(() => {
  doSomething(value)
}, [value])  

pass value as a dependency. if dependencies has changed since the last time, the effect will run again.

useEffect(() => {
  doSomething(value)
})  

no dependency. This gets called after every render.


useMountEffect hook

Running a function only once after component mounts is such a common pattern that it justifies a hook of it's own that hides implementation details.

const useMountEffect = (fun) => useEffect(fun, [])

Use it in any functional component.

function MyComponent() {
    useMountEffect(function) // function will run only once after it has mounted. 
    return <div>...</div>;
}

About the useMountEffect hook

When using useEffect with a second array argument, React will run the callback after mounting (initial render) and after values in the array have changed. Since we pass an empty array, it will run only after mounting.


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