SOLVED Empty ShallowWrapper Snapshot Object in Jest and Enzyme

Last updated on 7 Apr, 2021

When working with Jest v24 and above, developers are facing issue with Snapshot testing.

The Issue

In my code, I am working with Jest v26 and Enzyme v3. In unit testing, I am doing snapshot testing with a code like below.

import { shallow } from "enzyme";
import App from "./App";

const app = shallow(<App />);

it("renders correctly", () => {
  expect(app).toMatchSnapshot(); // check if a component renders correctly

When the tests are running, it creates a __snapshots__ folder. But the snapshot is storing an empty object like below.

exports[`renders correctly 1`] = `ShallowWrapper {}`;

However we update our App component, the snapshot is not going to change. This results in always passing snapshot tests, since there is no change when the generated snapshots are compared.


The key issue is, for some reasons the module which converts a component to json string is not working. How to fix it?

Downgrade Jest

Developers are saying this issue started from Jest v24. So most of them are downgrading Jest to v23. If that is ok in your project, you can try that.

Enzyme to JSON

In this solution, we are installing an extra package to do enzyme to json conversion.

First of all, install enzyme-to-json as a dev dependancy in your project.

yarn add --dev enzyme-to-json

Now tell Jest to use snapshotSerializers from enzyme-to-json. To do that, add a new key called "jest" in package.json and mention the new serializer.

// package.json
// { ...
  "jest": {
    "snapshotSerializers": [

Now when we run the test, correct JSON is written to snapshot file. Now the snapshot written will look like this:

exports[`renders correctly 1`] = `
  Hello World

React Test Renderer

React Test Render can be used to create snapshots. It is not a helper for Enzyme. Instead it is a replacement for Enzyme. First install it using:

yarn add --dev react-test-renderer

Now the App.test.js file should contain below code.

import React from "react";
import { create } from "react-test-renderer";
import App from "./App";

const app = create(<App />);

it("renders correctly", () => {
  expect(app.toJSON()).toMatchSnapshot(); // check if a component renders correctly

create() method is similar to shallow() in Enzyme. .toJSON() method generates the json to be written to snapshot file.

--- ○ ---
Joby Joseph
Web Architect