Setting and Using Cookies in React


Learn how to set up cookies in React with this guide! You'll create a login page and store user information using cookies.

Web cookies consist of data generated by a server and sent to a user's web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). These small pieces of information are then stored by the website on the user's device. Cookies can be used to keep track of things like items in a shopping cart. If the user leaves the website and comes back later, the items will still be there waiting for them.

They can also be used for security purposes, such as user authentication, and for tracking a user's behavior, which allows websites to personalize the user's experience. For instance, if a user logs out of your site, they can simply log back in without needing to enter their username and password again. It's important to note, however, that cookies can be stolen by hackers who can use them to impersonate the user on your website.

In this article, you'll explore how to set up cookies in a ReactJS application. You'll create a simple login page and use cookies to store information about the user's logged-in session.

What Are Web Cookies?

As mentioned, web cookies are small pieces of data that are stored on a user's computer by a website. They're typically used to store information about the user, such as their preferences, login information, and other data. Cookies are created and stored by the website when the user visits the site. The website can then retrieve the cookies from the user's computer when they visit the site again, allowing the website to "remember" the user and their preferences.

Cookies are typically stored in plain text, which means that they can be read and modified by anyone who has access to the user's computer. Therefore, it's important to use cookies carefully and securely to protect the user's data.

Before you start the tutorial below, make sure you have npm and Node.js installed on your machine. Once this is done, you can begin working on your React application.

Set Up Your React Application

Open a terminal and create a new React application using the following command: npx create-react-app my-app. Once the application is created, open the directory with your favorite code editor (such as VS Code) and start working on your application. You'll see a bunch of files and folders that look like the image below.

To test that your React application is properly set up, open a terminal and navigate to the my-app project folder. Start the server by running npm start; open your web browser and enter the specified port in the terminal (3000) to view your React application.

By completing these steps, you can verify that your React application is running as expected. You can then proceed with writing code and building your application without any issues. You should see a web page like the image below.

Create a Simple Welcome Page

In your React project, create a new file called WelcomePage.js inside the src folder and add the following code inside:

import React from 'react'

export default function WelcomePage() {
  return <div>WelcomePage</div>

To render the welcome page, first navigate to the App.js file inside the src folder. Import the WelcomePage.js file using the following code:

import WelcomePage from './WelcomePage.js'

Then, inside the return statement, remove everything and add this code:

<WelcomePage />

In the above instructions, you imported the WelcomePage.js file and used the <WelcomePage /> tag inside the return statement of the App.js file. This allows the App.js file to render the welcome page in a web browser. When the page is rendered, you should see a white page with the word "WelcomePage" on it.

Create a Login Page

Create another file inside the src folder called LoginPage.js and add the following block of code:

import React, { useState } from 'react'

function LoginPage({ onLogin }) {
  const [username, setUsername] = useState('')
  const [password, setPassword] = useState('')

  function handleSubmit(event) {
    onLogin({ username, password })

  return (
    <form onSubmit={handleSubmit}>
        <input type="text" value={username} onChange={(e) => setUsername(} />
      <br />
        <input type="password" value={password} onChange={(e) => setPassword(} />
      <br />
      <input type="submit" value="Submit" />

export default LoginPage

This LoginPage component has fields for a username and a password as well as a submit button. When the user fills out the form and clicks Submit, the onLogin callback function is called with their username and password. The parent component (App in this case) can then use this information to set the user cookie and render the WelcomePage component.

To use cookies in your app, you'll need to import the react-cookie library from the React library. This library allows you to set, get, and delete cookies in your app.

First, install the library by running the command npm install react-cookie in the root folder of your app in the terminal.

Now change your App.js file to match the following code:

import React from 'react'
import WelcomePage from './WelcomePage.js'
import LoginPage from './LoginPage.js'
import { CookiesProvider, useCookies } from 'react-cookie'

function App() {
  const [cookies, setCookie] = useCookies(['user'])

  function handleLogin(user) {
    setCookie('user', user, { path: '/' })

  return (
        {cookies.user ? <WelcomePage user={cookies.user} /> : <LoginPage onLogin={handleLogin} />}

export default App

In the code above, the App component uses the useCookies hook to manage cookies. The handleLogin function is called when a user logs in, and it sets a cookie named "user" with the user's information.

The LoginPage and WelcomePage components are wrapped in the CookiesProvider component, which provides a global context for cookies. This allows the WelcomePage component to access the user cookie and display the user's information.

The App component uses a ternary operator to decide which component to render based on the presence of the user cookie. If the cookie exists, the WelcomePage component is rendered. If the cookie does not exist, the LoginPage component is rendered instead.

Now, if you check your page on your browser, you should see a login form that looks like the image below.

Before you test your application, first change the WelcomePage.js file to match the following block of code:

import React from 'react'

function WelcomePage({ user }) {
  return <h1>Welcome, {user.username}!</h1>

export default WelcomePage

This WelcomePage component simply displays a welcome message with the user's username. It receives the user object as a prop, which contains the user's username and password. The parent component (App in this case) passes the user object to the WelcomePage component when WelcomePage is rendered.

Test Your Application

To test your application, go to the browser and fill in the login form with your username and password. When you click Submit, the welcome page should be displayed with the words "Welcome" followed by your username. This indicates that the login was successful and the WelcomePage component was rendered. It should look like the image below.

To check if a cookie has been set in your Chrome browser, you can use the developer tools. Open your browser, and if you're on Chrome, go to the page where the cookie is set by pressing F12 on your keyboard to open the developer tools.

Click on the Application tab in the developer tools. In the left panel, expand the Cookies section and click on the domain where the cookie is set—in this case, it's http://localhost:3000. In the right panel, you should see a cookie that has been set for the domain like in the image above.

You can find the complete code for this tutorial on GitHub.


In this tutorial, you learned how to create a login page and a welcome page in a React app and how to store the user's login information in a cookie. You also learned how to only display the welcome page if the user is logged in and how to check if a cookie has been set in the Chrome browser.

Using cookies in a React app can make the login process more user-friendly as it allows users to access the welcome page without having to enter their login information every time they visit the page.

Clerk provides an easy way to add authentication and user management to your application. Clerk handles session management, including setting cookies on your behalf, saving you time and effort. This allows you to focus on building the features of your app without having to worry about implementing the authentication and session management features from scratch. Give Clerk a try by signing up today.

Marshall Chikari