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Add React Router to your Clerk-powered React application

You will learn how to:

    • Install react-router-dom
    • Create components for your routes
    • Create layouts
    • Wire layouts and routes up with createBrowserRouter
Example repository

Add React Router to your Clerk-powered React application

Learn how to add React Router to your application using React Router's new Data API router. This tutorial will cover configuring layouts and setting up protected routes.

Install react-router-dom

React Router's react-router-dom is a mature, battle tested routing package for React that gives you many options. As it is the most popular routing option, it will be used for this guide.

npm install react-router-dom
pnpm add react-router-dom
yarn add react-router-dom

Create components for your routes

The exact routes you will need depends on your application. For this guide, you will create /, /contact, /dashboard, /sign-in, and sign-up routes. The /dashboard route will contain a default route (/dashbard/) and an invoices route (/dashboard/invoices). The first step will be creating basic components for these routes.

Use the tabs below to find the example components and recreate these files using the path from each tab.

import { Link } from "react-router-dom"; export default function IndexPage() { return ( <div> <h1>This is the index page</h1> <div> <ul> <li><Link to="/sign-up">Sign Up</Link></li> <li><Link to="/sign-in">Sign In</Link></li> <li><Link to="/contact">Contact</Link></li> <li><Link to="/dashboard">Dashboard</Link></li> </ul> </div> </div> ) }
import { Link } from "react-router-dom"; export default function ContactPage() { return ( <> <h1>Contact</h1> <p>This is a public page meant to contain a contact form and other related contact details.</p> <ul> <li><Link to="/">Return to Index</Link></li> <li><Link to="/dashboard">Dashboard</Link></li> </ul> </> ); }
import { SignIn } from "@clerk/clerk-react" export default function SignInPage() { return <SignIn />; }
import { SignUp } from "@clerk/clerk-react" export default function SignUpPage() { return <SignUp />; }
import { Link } from "react-router-dom"; export default function DashboardPage() { return ( <> <h1>Dashboard page</h1> <p>This is a protected page.</p> <ul> <li><Link to="/dashboard/invoices">Invoices</Link></li> <li><Link to="/">Return to index</Link></li> </ul> </> ); }
import { Link } from "react-router-dom"; export default function InvoicesPage() { return ( <> <h1>Invoices page</h1> <p>This is a protected page.</p> <ul> <li><Link to="/dashboard">Dashboard</Link></li> <li><Link to="/">Return to index</Link></li> </ul> </> ); }

Create layouts

You're going to create two layouts for your application. One will mount <ClerkProvider> and act as a top level layout. It will also be a place for a header, footer, and other standard elements for your application.

The second layout will be non-rendering and will protect everything in the /dashboard route. This avoids the need for per-page auth checks or for using Clerk's control components.

import { Link, Outlet, useNavigate } from 'react-router-dom' import { ClerkProvider, SignedIn, SignedOut, UserButton } from '@clerk/clerk-react' const PUBLISHABLE_KEY = import.meta.env.VITE_CLERK_PUBLISHABLE_KEY if (!PUBLISHABLE_KEY) { throw new Error("Missing Publishable Key") } export default function RootLayout() { const navigate = useNavigate(); return ( <ClerkProvider navigate={navigate} publishableKey={PUBLISHABLE_KEY}> <header className="header"> <div> <div> <p>Clerk + React + React Router App</p> </div> <SignedIn> <UserButton afterSignOutUrl='/sign-in' /> </SignedIn> <SignedOut> <Link to="/sign-in">Sign In</Link> </SignedOut> </div> </header> <main> <Outlet /> </main> </ClerkProvider> ) }
import * as React from 'react' import { useAuth } from "@clerk/clerk-react" import { Outlet, useNavigate } from "react-router-dom" export default function DashboardLayout() { const { userId, isLoaded } = useAuth() const navigate = useNavigate() console.log('test', userId) React.useEffect(() => { if (!userId) { navigate("/sign-in") } }, []) if (!isLoaded) return "Loading..." return ( <Outlet /> ) }

Key Takeaways

  • The new root-layout.tsx has a simple header that includes the <UserButton /> and a link to the /sign-in page instead of a <SignInButton />. The rendering of these is controlled by the <SignedIn> and <SignedOut> control components. This is very similar to the Embed the <UserButton /> and <SignInButton /> step from the React Quickstart.
  • Both the layouts contain an <Outlet /> component from react-router-dom. This behaves similar to {children} in Next.js or more generic React components. You will take advantage of this component in the next step.

Wire layouts and routes up with createBrowserRouter

With all the routes and layouts you need created, you now need to wire up the layouts and the routes with the createBrowserRouter function from react-router-dom. This will use the Data API (aka Data Router) to configure your application.

You can start by removing src/App.tsx—the contents of that file were moved to src/layouts/root-layout.tsx.

In src/main.tsx, import RouterProvider and createBrowserRouter() from react-router-dom, as well as all of the default components from the layouts and routes you created. Replace the contents inside of <React.StrictMode /> with only <RouterProvider router={router} />. Lastly, you will build the router using createBrowserRouter().

import React from 'react' import ReactDOM from 'react-dom/client' import './index.css' import { RouterProvider, createBrowserRouter } from 'react-router-dom' // Import the layouts import RootLayout from './layouts/root-layout' import DashboardLayout from './layouts/dashboard-layout' // Import the components import IndexPage from './routes' import ContactPage from './routes/contact' import SignInPage from './routes/sign-in' import SignUpPage from './routes/sign-up' import DashboardPage from './routes/dashboard' import InvoicesPage from './routes/dashboard.invoices' const router = createBrowserRouter([ { element: <RootLayout />, children: [ { path: "/", element: <IndexPage /> }, { path: "/contact", element: <ContactPage /> }, { path: "/sign-in", element: <SignInPage /> }, { path: "/sign-up", element: <SignUpPage /> }, { element: <DashboardLayout />, path: "dashboard", children: [ { path: "/dashboard", element: <DashboardPage /> }, { path: "/dashboard/invoices", element: <InvoicesPage /> } ] } ] } ]) ReactDOM.createRoot(document.getElementById('root')!).render( <React.StrictMode> <RouterProvider router={router} /> </React.StrictMode>, )

Visit http://localhost:5173 and explore your app's pages.

Key Takeaways

  • The top most object in the router is the <RootLayout /> component, and everything else is a child. Any child route will be mounted where the <Outlet /> component is inside the root layout. This wraps the entire application with <ClerkProvider> and allows you to add a header, footer, sidebars and other pieces that will be available to the entire application.
  • Several routes are direct children of the root layout. These are all public routes. You can use control components like <SignedIn> or check the userId from useAuth() if you want to make content protected.
  • The <DashboardLayout /> is child of the root layout, renders nothing, and has a check to see if the userId exists. This will confirm that a user is logged in. If the userId is not truthy, then the user will be redirected to the /sign-in route to sign-in. That protects all pages in the /dashboard route. All children of /dashboard will be mounted inside of the <Outlet /> component in the dashboard layout.

Your application is setup with react-router-dom and ready for you to add more layouts and routes as needed! If you want to get started using a template from this guide, please clone the following repository and then checkout the integrate-react-router-dom-using-data-router-method branch.

Next steps

Customization & Localization

Learn how to customize and localize the Clerk components.

Learn More

Authentication Components

Learn more about all our authentication components.

Learn More

Client Side Helpers

Learn more about our client side helpers and how to use them.

Learn More

Last updated on February 22, 2024

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