Test process.env with Jest


I have an application that depends on environmental variables like:

const APP_PORT = process.env.APP_PORT || 8080;

And I would like to test that for example:

  • APP_PORT can be set by a Node.js environment variable.
  • or that an Express.js application is running on the port set with process.env.APP_PORT

How can I achieve this with Jest? Can I set these process.env variables before each test or should I mock it somehow maybe?

This question is tagged with node.js testing environment-variables jestjs

~ Asked on 2017-12-30 12:14:21

The Best Answer is


The way I did it can be found in this Stack Overflow question.

It is important to use resetModules before each test and then dynamically import the module inside the test:

describe('environmental variables', () => {
  const OLD_ENV = process.env;

  beforeEach(() => {
    jest.resetModules() // Most important - it clears the cache
    process.env = { ...OLD_ENV }; // Make a copy

  afterAll(() => {
    process.env = OLD_ENV; // Restore old environment

  test('will receive process.env variables', () => {
    // Set the variables
    process.env.NODE_ENV = 'dev';
    process.env.PROXY_PREFIX = '/new-prefix/';
    process.env.API_URL = 'https://new-api.com/';
    process.env.APP_PORT = '7080';
    process.env.USE_PROXY = 'false';

    const testedModule = require('../../config/env').default

    // ... actual testing

If you look for a way to load environment values before running the Jest look for the answer below. You should use setupFiles for that.

~ Answered on 2017-12-31 13:18:32


Jest's setupFiles is the proper way to handle this, and you need not install dotenv, nor use an .env file at all, to make it work.


module.exports = {
  setupFiles: ["<rootDir>/.jest/setEnvVars.js"]


process.env.MY_CUSTOM_TEST_ENV_VAR = 'foo'

That's it.

~ Answered on 2019-11-20 11:31:54

Most Viewed Questions: