Web & iOS dev – Ruby, Rails, RubyMotion & React

Paul Sturgess

How to Test React Lifecycle Method componentDidUpdate When the Component Props Change

React has many lifecycle methods you can hook behaviour onto, one of which is componentDidUpdate.

This blog will show you how to test this method using react-dom.

Let’s say your component implements componentDidUpdate like this:

import React from 'react';

class YourComponent extends React.Component {
  componentDidUpdate() {

  someFunction() {
    // ...

Now say you want to test that componentDidUpdate calls this.someFunction().

Because the props for the component are set on initial render, and cannot change after that, you can’t just render an instance of the component and manually update the props in your spec.

This is where react-dom comes in. Use it to render the component with an initial set of props and then render the component again with different props.

react-dom will re-render the same instance of the component, instead of creating a brand new one each time.

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import YourComponent from 'path/to/your-component';

describe('your-component', () => {
  describe('componentDidUpdate', () => {
    it('calls someFunction()', () => {
      let node = document.createElement('div');
      instance = ReactDOM.render(<YourComponent yourProp={'foo'} />, node);
      spyOn(instance, 'someFunction');
      ReactDOM.render(<YourComponent yourProp={'bar'} />, node);