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The quickest way to set up MobX & React

MobX is a simple way to manage state in React applications. Setting it up is fairly easy – much easier than Redux – although it’s still helpful to follow a guide. For more information on MobX, check out this video.

Sidenote: React now ships with Context, which is even simpler to use than MobX. If you’re interested in that, you can see my tutorial here:

The quickest way to set up Context with React classes

  1. First, add mobx and mobx-react to your project.

    yarn add mobx mobx-react
  2. Then, create a directory where you can add your stores. I like to create a stores directory directly inside src.

  3. Now, create your first store. For the purposes of this guide, I’ll add a single, generic-sounding store called DataStore inside stores/dataStore.js.

    import { observable, action } from 'mobx'

    class DataStore {
    @observable data = 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'

    export default new DataStore()
  4. Connect your store to React. Find the uppermost file in your application. This is where you render your React app to the DOM – for instance, src/index.js if you’re using create-react-app. Import your stores and wrap your application in a MobX <Provider>.

    import React from 'react'
    import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
    import App from './App'

    // Import the MobX provider and your stores
    import { Provider } from 'mobx-react'
    import dataStore from './stores/dataStore'

    // List your stores in an object
    const stores = {

    // Wrap your app in `<Provider {...stores}>`
    <Provider {...stores}>
    <App />
  5. Connect your components to MobX. You can do this by @injecting your store and making the component an @observer of the state. You may also need to enable decorator support Enable decorators to make working with MobX much cleaner. and add @withRouter. If you’re using react-router-dom, your components may not update correctly unless they have a @withRouter decorator. See more here, or just use the two ‘optional’ lines included in the code from Step 5.

    import React, { Component } from 'react'
    import { withRouter } from 'react-router-dom' // optional, see Footnote 2
    import { inject, observer } from 'mobx-react'

    @withRouter // optional, see Footnote 2
    export default class ExampleComponent extends Component {
    render() {
    const { data } = this.props.dataStore
    return <div>{data}</div>