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How to enable cors in ReactJS

Understanding CORS

Before we delve into how to enable CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) in ReactJS, it's important to understand what it is and why it's significant. In simple terms, CORS is a mechanism that uses additional HTTP headers to allow a web application running at one origin to access selected resources from a server at a different origin.

Think of CORS as a security guard that checks if you have the right access card (similar to HTTP headers) to enter a specific building (server). Without CORS, the browser restricts web applications from making requests to a different domain than the one it's hosted on due to a security concept known as the same-origin policy.

Need for CORS in ReactJS

ReactJS, like any other web application framework, needs to communicate with the server for data. When your ReactJS application tries to fetch data from a server that resides in a different origin, the browser's same-origin policy kicks in and blocks the request. This is where enabling CORS comes in handy as it allows your ReactJS application to bypass this policy.

How to Enable CORS in ReactJS

There are several ways to enable CORS in ReactJS, but let's focus on two common methods - using the proxy setting in the package.json file, and using an npm package called cors.

Using the proxy Setting

One of the simplest ways to bypass CORS issues is by adding a proxy field in the package.json file of your ReactJS application.

Here is an example:

  "name": "my-app",
  "version": "0.1.0",
  "private": true,
  "proxy": "http://localhost:5000",
  "dependencies": {
    "react": "^16.8.6",
    "react-dom": "^16.8.6"

In this example, "http://localhost:5000" is the server from which you want to fetch data. When you add this proxy field, any unknown requests will be redirected to your specified server, thus bypassing the CORS policy.

Using the cors npm Package

Another common method to enable CORS is by using the cors npm package on the server-side. This package provides a Connect/Express middleware that can be used to enable CORS with various options.

First, you need to install the package. Navigate to your server directory and run the following command:

npm install cors

Then, you can use the package in your server file. Here is an example of how you can do this using Express:

const express = require('express');
const cors = require('cors');
const app = express();


app.get('/api/data', (req, res) => {
  res.json({ message: 'Hello from server!' });

app.listen(5000, () => {
  console.log('Server is running on port 5000');

In this example, app.use(cors()) enables CORS for all resources on your server. If you want to restrict it to specific routes, you can do so by applying the middleware to those routes only.

Troubleshooting CORS Issues

Despite correctly configuring CORS, you may still encounter issues. Some common problems and their solutions include:

Browser cache: Sometimes, the browser caches the result of a CORS preflight request, which might lead to unexpected behavior. To solve this, you can disable caching during development or clear your browser cache.

CORS error messages: If you see CORS error messages in your browser console, it's likely that the server is not set up correctly to handle CORS requests. Check your server configuration and ensure that it's accepting requests from your application's origin.


In conclusion, enabling CORS in ReactJS is a crucial step in developing a secure and functional web application. Depending on your server setup and requirements, you can choose to use the proxy setting in the package.json file or the cors npm package.

Remember, CORS is like a diligent security guard that ensures the correct communication between different origins. So next time you face a CORS issue, know that it's not there to annoy you, but to protect you. Happy coding!