How To Use Axios Interceptors In ReactJS

How To Use Axios Interceptors In ReactJS
Photo by Anthony Duran / Unsplash

Axios interceptors are functions that can be registered to be executed before or after a request is sent or a response is received. They are commonly used when you want to handle something on every request/response and don't want to repeat that code on every single request/response.

When To Use Axios Interceptors?

  • Adding an Authorization token to every request for authentication and authorization.

  • Handling errors globally by redirecting to a login page when a 401 Unauthorized error is received.

  • Logging all requests and responses for debugging or tracking purposes.
    Modifying the request data before it is sent, such as stringifying a JavaScript object.

  • Modifying the response data before it is returned, such as parsing a JSON string into a JavaScript object.

  • Adding a common header to every request, such as a user-agent or a device-type.

  • Handling network errors, such as displaying a message to the user when the internet connection is lost.

  • Changing the base URL of the API depending on the environment (i.e dev, staging, production)

  • Retry failed requests automatically

  • Showing a loading spinner when a request is being sent and hiding it when the response is received.

Let's Understand With An Example Scenario

A react app using Firebase for login and a Firebase token for verification in backend. Assuming our firebase service is a lib folder.

Let's create a file in the root/src directory as `AxiosConfig.js`

Importing Axios and library for firebase

import axios from 'axios';
import { auth } from "./lib/firebase";

Let's assume all our API URLs starts with `/api` prefix. Read more about setting up a scalable backend with Node.js. Let's declare a base URL

const Axios = axios.create({
    baseURL: process.env.BASE_URL

In your `.env.local` declare your Base URL. You can have different base URL for your production and local, Offcourse

BASE_URL = /api/

Reading Firebase token from local storage and injecting it in every request

Axios.interceptors.request.use(function (config) {
    const token = localStorage.getItem('x-token');
    config.headers.Authorization = token ? `Bearer ${token}` : '';
    return config;

Now intercepting response from the server and logging off user if the server responds with Unauthorized. This can happen in 2 cases. The token expired and for some reason we were not able refresh it or the user is trying something fishy

Axios.interceptors.response.use(response => {

    return response;

}, error => {
    if (error.response.status === 401) {
        auth.signOut().then(() => {

        }).catch((error) => {
            // An error happened.


You can handle various cases here. Like 404, 500, etc.

Finally exporting the Axios to use in for requests.

export default Axios;

That's it. All you have to do is import this in the components or services(mobx or for some reason if you are using Sagas 😅 ).

It's always better to handle things in one place.

You can even use state management frameworks for showing error or success popups using toastify to give your application a more polished experience.