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File uploading in React.js

Last Updated : 20 Nov, 2023
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File upload in React JS is an essential requirement while creating a complete application. File uploading means a user from a client machine wants to upload files to the server. For example, users can upload images, videos, etc on Facebook, and Instagram. As with any programming problem, there are many ways to achieve this outcome. This article explains a simple way to implement the approach to upload a single file with React. 


Approach for File Uploading in React JS:

The process of uploading an image can be broadly divided into two steps: 

  • Select a File (user input): To enable the user to pick a file, the first step is to add the tag to our App component. This tag should have the type attribute set as “file”. Now, we need an event handler to listen to any changes made to the file. This event handler will be triggered whenever the user selects a new file and will update the state.
  • Send a request to the server: After storing the selected file (in the state), we are now required to send it to a server. For this purpose, we can use fetch or Axios. (In this code, we use Axios a promise-based HTTP client for the browser and NodeJS). The file is sent to the service wrapped in a FormData object.

Steps to Create React Application:

Step 1: Initialize the React Project using this command in the terminal.

npx create-react app myapp

Step 2: Move to the project directory.

cd myapp

Step 3: Install the requires modules using the below command.

npm i axios --save

Project Structure:


Example: This example use axios and input type to accept the valid file input and uploading.


// Filename - App.js
import axios from "axios";
import React, { Component } from "react";
class App extends Component {
    state = {
        // Initially, no file is selected
        selectedFile: null,
    // On file select (from the pop up)
    onFileChange = (event) => {
        // Update the state
    // On file upload (click the upload button)
    onFileUpload = () => {
        // Create an object of formData
        const formData = new FormData();
        // Update the formData object
        // Details of the uploaded file
        // Request made to the backend api
        // Send formData object"api/uploadfile", formData);
    // File content to be displayed after
    // file upload is complete
    fileData = () => {
        if (this.state.selectedFile) {
            return (
                    <h2>File Details:</h2>
                        File Name:{" "}
                        File Type:{" "}
                        Last Modified:{" "}
        } else {
            return (
                    <br />
                        Choose before Pressing the Upload
    render() {
        return (
                <h3>File Upload using React!</h3>
                    <button onClick={this.onFileUpload}>
export default App;

Step to run the application: Open the terminal and type the following command.  

npm start

Output: Open the browser and our project is shown in the URL http://localhost:3000/ 

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