Unraveling the Mysteries of Debugging React Applications in VSCode


Debugging is a significant process in software development. It is crucial in identifying errors present in the code and rectifying them. React.js and Visual Studio Code (VSCode), offer powerful tools to facilitate this process. This in-depth article seeks to demystify the process of debugging React applications in VSCode, thereby helping developers write flawless code more efficiently.

Getting Started: An Overview Of React

React is a widely used JavaScript library built to create user interfaces, especially for single-page applications. It’s effective in building reusable components that streamline the development process, enhance performance, and boost application efficiency.

Unveiling The Potentials Of VSCode

VSCode is a cross-platform source code editor that includes support for debugging, embedded Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. Its capacity to debug directly in the editor significantly benefits React developers.

Setting Up VSCode for React Debugging: Step-By-Step Guide

To debug React applications with VSCode, developers need to set up the environment effectively.

1. Install Necessary Extensions

The first step involves installing the necessary extensions for React development and debugging. These include the ‘Debugger for Chrome’ and ‘ES7 React/Redux/GraphQL/React-Native snippets’. They will help in code debugging and writing React syntax with ease.

2. Configure The Debug Settings

After successfully installing the extensions, proceed to set up the debugger. Inside the .vscode folder in your project’s root directory, create a launch.json file. This includes the configurations set for the debugger. Below is a sample snippet of what it should look like:

   "version": "0.2.0",
   "configurations": [
          "type": "chrome",
          "request": "launch",
          "name": "Launch Chrome against localhost",
          "url": "http://localhost:3000",
          "webRoot": "${workspaceFolder}/src",
          "sourceMapPathOverrides": {
               "webpack:///src/*": "${webRoot}/*"

Debugging Techniques in VSCode

Several debugging techniques can be applied in VSCode to effectively resolve any issues in your React applications.

1. Breakpoints

Breakpoints are primarily the points where the web browsers will stop executing the code. The developer can then check the log values and evaluate the expressions.

2. Call Stack

The call stack traces the sequence the code takes. It points out where the function gets called, enabling the developer to navigate back to the function’s original calling point.

3. Variables

The debugging pane displays all the active variables and their values in the current scope. The developer can also manually watch specific variables that are not in the local scope.

4. Watch

The watch feature allows developers to track a variable’s value over time. This feature is essential in debugging variables that change values dynamically.

5. Console Statements

Using console.log() is another effective technique. It provides an easy way to log the output to the console. However, using too many can clutter the console output and make debugging difficult.


VSCode offers several features that can help developers streamline the debugging process for React applications. By correctly utilizing these features and applying effective debugging techniques, developers can increase their efficiency and improve the quality of their code.

While debugging may seem challenging at times, patience and practice are key to mastering it. With a thorough understanding of React and the detailed overview of VSCode provided in this article, you are now equipped to start debugging your own applications.

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