Intro to React devtools standalone

Why you should use React devtools standalone

Alexander Hupfer
2 min readDec 5, 2020

Most people using React have probably heard of their corresponding debugging environment called react-devtools. React-devtools is actually developed alongside the main react project and even is part of the same Github repository. The best know version is probably the Google Chrome extension but there are defintly reasons to try the standalone version.

There are mainly two usecases where you want to use the standalone version, and not the browser extension:

  1. You are debugging a project inside an iFrame e.g. embedded Shopify app
  2. You are using a browser that does not have an react-devtools extension.
No react devtools here (usecase one). The react-devtools exentension will only show you the outside of the iFrame, which is not what we are interested in.

If you have answer yes to one or more of the above use cases, react-devtools standalone is the way to go:


Install the react-devtools package. Because this is a development tool, a global install is often the most convenient:

# Yarn
yarn global add react-devtools

npm install -g react-devtools

Now find the index.html file of your react app (if you used create-react-app it will be in located in <projectfolder>/public/index.html) and add the marked line like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<script src="http://localhost:8097"></script>
<meta charset="utf-8" /><link rel="icon" href="%PUBLIC_URL%/favicon.ico" />


Now since you modified and saved your index.html file, start react-devtools from your shell by simply invoking:


Now fire up your react-app in the browser and devtools should be ready to go:

Success! React-devtools works and connected to the browser.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment.



Alexander Hupfer

Writing on SaaS entrepreneurship, building a SaaS business