Michael Lefkowitz

Handle React Native crashes with the componentDidCatch error boundary

August 22, 2018

React 16 allows you to catch JavaScript errors inside of your components, which is great if you’re aware of a particular component that is prone to break for one reason or another. As an added measure of protection, you can also utilize error boundaries in our top level parent with a componentDidCatch so that your users can have a better experience if an unexpected error occurs in any of the children/screens.

In the below example, I utilize a native alert combined with the react-native-restart package to provide users with an easy way to reboot the app and recover from a crash.

componentDidCatch(error, info) {
    // to prevent this alert blocking your view of a red screen while developing
    if (__DEV__) {
        return;
    }

    // to prevent multiple alerts shown to your users
    if (this.errorShown) {
        return;
    }

    this.errorShown = true;

    Alert.alert(
        null,
        'An unexpected error has occurred. Please restart to continue.',
        [
            {
                text: buttonText,
                onPress: RNRestart.Restart,
            },
        ],
        { cancelable: false }
    );
}

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