Upgrading Your React Native Project to the Latest Version: A Step-by-Step Guide

Upgrading Your React Native is a popular framework for building mobile applications using JavaScript and React. Like any other software, React Native is continuously evolving, with new features, bug fixes, and improvements being introduced in each release. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your React Native project up to date to take advantage of these improvements and ensure the security and stability of your app. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of upgrading your React Native project to the latest version. We’ll cover the steps and provide code examples to help you along the way.

Upgrading Your React Native Project to the Latest Version: A Step-by-Step Guide


Before we start, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  1. Node.js and npm: Make sure you have Node.js and npm installed on your system. You can download and install them from Node.js’s official website.
  2. A React Native project: You should already have a React Native project that you want to upgrade. If you haven’t created one yet, you can start by running the following command:
npx react-native init YourProjectName
  1. Git: Ensure you have Git installed on your machine. You can download Git from git-scm.com.
  2. A code editor: You’ll need a code editor to modify project files. Visual Studio Code, Atom, and Sublime Text are popular choices.

Now that you have the prerequisites, let’s proceed with the upgrade process.

Step 1: Check the Current Version and Upgrading Your React Native

Start by checking the current version of your React Native project. Open your project’s package.json file and locate the react-native dependency. It should look something like this:

"dependencies": {
  "react": "16.13.1",
  "react-native": "0.63.3",
  // Other dependencies...

In this example, the React Native version is “0.63.3.” Note down this version as you’ll be upgrading your react native from this point.

Step 2: Backup Your Project

Before making significant changes to your project, it’s always a good practice to create a backup or snapshot of your codebase. This ensures that you can revert to the previous state if anything goes wrong during the upgrade process. You can use Git to create a branch or commit that represents the current state of your project.

# Create a new branch for backup
git checkout -b upgrade-backup

# Commit your current project state
git add .
git commit -m "Backup before React Native upgrade"

Having a backup will provide you with peace of mind and an easy way to revert in case of unexpected issues.

Step 3: Update React Native

To upgrading your react native, you can use the react-native CLI tool. Open your terminal and navigate to your project’s root directory. Run the following command:

npx react-native upgrade

This command will attempt to upgrade your project to the latest React Native version. Follow the on-screen prompts to resolve any potential issues or conflicts. You may need to review and accept changes to configuration files.

Step 4: Check for Breaking Changes

React Native release notes often include information about breaking changes in each new version. It’s essential to review these notes to understand what changes may affect your project. Visit the React Native GitHub releases page for your target version to find detailed release notes.

For example, if you’re upgrading your react native from 0.63.3 to 0.64.0, you can find the release notes here: React Native 0.64.0 Release Notes

Step 5: Update Dependencies

After upgrading your react native, you should also update other project dependencies. This can be done by running:

npm install

This will update all your project’s dependencies to their latest compatible versions.

Step 6: Manual Configuration Updates

Sometimes, the upgrade process may not cover all necessary configuration changes. In such cases, you may need to make manual updates to various files, such as android/app/build.gradle, android/settings.gradle, ios/Podfile, etc. Consult the React Native upgrade documentation for your specific version for details on any manual changes required.

Step 7: Update Third-Party Libraries

Chances are your project relies on various third-party libraries and packages. After upgrading your react native, you should also update these dependencies to ensure compatibility with the new version. Run the following command to update all dependencies:

npm update

Be cautious when updating libraries, as newer versions might introduce breaking changes or require additional configuration. Check the release notes for the libraries you use and be prepared to make adjustments as necessary.

Step 8: Optimize and Refactor

While upgrading your react native project, it’s an excellent opportunity to optimize your code and refactor any outdated or inefficient parts. Consider implementing best practices and taking advantage of new features introduced in the latest React Native version.

Additionally, consider updating your project to use the latest ES6/ES7 JavaScript features, as well as modern coding patterns and practices to enhance maintainability and performance.

Step 9: Test Your App

After the upgrade is complete, it’s essential to thoroughly test your app to ensure that everything is functioning as expected. Pay close attention to any breaking changes or deprecations introduced in the new version. Fix any issues that arise during testing.

Step 10: Continuous Integration

If your project uses a Continuous Integration (CI) system, ensure that your CI pipeline is updated to test and build your app with the new React Native version. This will help catch issues early in the development process.

Step 11: Documentation

Maintain or update project documentation to reflect any changes or new configurations introduced during the upgrade process. Clear and up-to-date documentation is essential for your team and future developers who work on the project.

Step 12: Commit Your Changes

Once you’re satisfied with the upgrade and testing, commit your changes to your version control system (e.g., Git) to ensure you can track and revert changes if needed.


Upgrading your react native to the latest version requires careful planning and attention to detail. While the process may seem complex, following the steps outlined in this blog post will help you navigate the upgrading your react native successfully. Remember that regular upgrading your react native are crucial for staying competitive in the fast-evolving mobile app development landscape. They keep your app secure, reliable, and up-to-date with the latest features, ensuring a positive user experience. Keep your React Native project fresh, and you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the ever-changing world of mobile app development.

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