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Pitfalls of overusing React Context

Brian Neville-O'Neill on February 04, 2020

Written by Ibrahima Ndaw✏️ For the most part, React and state go hand-in-hand. As your React app grows, it becomes more and more crucial to manage... [Read Full]
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Having one global context for an app is like providing a full state for every connected component in redux version. In both versions every context consumer/connected component will be re-rendered on any context/state update.
With react-redux it's important to connect a component to minimum slice of a global state to avoid unnecessary re-renders. The similar rule is true for contexts - keep separate contexts for every logical part of an app and avoid using unnecessary contexts in the components.


We briefly tried using Context to pass down the Redux store state in React-Redux v6, but we ran into these perf problems. That's why we had to go back to direct store subscriptions in components as part of the React-Redux v7 rewrite.

I covered all the history of how and why we use context in React-Redux in my post The History and Implementation of React-Redux.

There's an interesting looking React RFC that was filed to add "context selector" functionality, but I will be surprised if the React team actually decides to do anything about it. Dan Abramov commented on Twitter that he doesn't think a selector-based API is a good approach.

Folks might also want to read through these other articles discussing context and Redux:


Doesn't react-redux use context under the hood? How does it avoid the re-rendering issue?


Because we only use context to pass the store instance, not the store state.

I just put up a blog post recently explaining the difference:

React, Redux, and Context Behavior

And for complete details on how React-Redux actually works internally, see my post The History and Implementation of React-Redux.


Hi, great post!

Dan Abramov gives three solutions to this problem, check this issue.

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