When to Use Context API in React

Last updated on 29 Jun, 2022

In a typical React application, there will be lot of components one nested inside another. The depth of nesting can be really big in some cases. What if we need to pass a value from parent component to a child component that is nested few levels deep?

One solution is to pass the value as props from one level to next level. This is more kind of water flowing through steps. Even though this solution works, it can be a nightmare for the developer sometimes.

Context API can help us here. We can set the value to be passed to the context using Provider. Here is an example where I pass the value as "dog".

<ThemeContext.Provider value="dog">
  // ... Nested components

And then inside the nested component where we need to get the value, retrieve it using this.context.

Above example assumed we are using class components. In function components we can make use of useContext() hook.

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Joby Joseph
Web Architect