change env location react

How to Change Environment Location in React

If you are working on a React project, it might be necessary to change the environment location at some point. This can be done by configuring the environment variables.

Step 1: Create an Environment File

The first step is to create an environment file with the desired configuration. For instance, let's say we want to change the location to "http://localhost:8000". We can create a file named ".env" in the root directory of the project with the following content:


The "REACT_APP_" prefix is required for all environment variables used in React. You can use any name after the prefix as long as it starts with a letter.

Step 2: Load the Environment File

To load the environment file, we need to use a package called "dotenv". We can install it using npm:

$ npm install dotenv

After installing the package, we need to import it at the top of our "index.js" file:

import dotenv from 'dotenv';

This will load all the environment variables from the ".env" file into the process.env object.

Step 3: Use the Environment Variable

Finally, we can use the environment variable in our code. For example:

const apiUrl = process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL;

We can then use "apiUrl" wherever we need to make API requests.

Alternative Approach: Use Webpack

Another way to change the environment location in React is to use Webpack. This approach is more complex but offers more flexibility.

We can create a ".env" file as before, but this time we need to install "dotenv-webpack" instead of "dotenv":

$ npm install dotenv-webpack

We then need to update the Webpack configuration in the "webpack.config.js" file:

const Dotenv = require('dotenv-webpack');
module.exports = {
  // ...
  plugins: [
    new Dotenv()

This will load the environment variables from the ".env" file into the Webpack configuration.

We can then use the environment variable in our code as before:

const apiUrl = process.env.REACT_APP_API_URL;

Using Webpack allows us to customize the environment variables based on the build environment (development, production, etc.) and many other configuration options.

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