Vscode React Native Save

VSCode extension for React Native - supports debugging and editor integration

Project README

React Native Tools

Build Status

Stable: Stable version VS Marketplace rating

Preview: VS Marketplace version VS Marketplace rating

React Native Tools Preview

The extension has a nightly version which is released on a daily basis at 9 PM PST on each day that changes occur. To avoid conflicts, if both extensions are installed - the only stable version will be activated. So to use the preview version it is needed to disable or remove the stable version and reload VS Code.

About the extension

This VS Code extension provides a development environment for React Native projects. Using this extension, you can debug your code and quickly run react-native commands from the command palette.

React Native features

Table of Contents

Getting started

Before going any further make sure that you:

Please notice that the extension uses .vscode/.react directory at the project root to store intermediate files required for debugging. Although these files usually get removed after debug session ends, you may want to add this directory to your project's .gitignore file.

React Native commands in the Command Palette

In the Command Palette, type React Native and choose a command.

React Native commands

The Run Android command triggers react-native run-android and starts your app for Android.

The Run iOS command similarly triggers react-native run-ios and starts your app in the iOS simulator (e.g. iPhone 6).

The Packager commands allow you to start/stop the Metro Bundler (formerly React Packager).

The full list of commands is:

Name Command ID Description
Launch Android Emulator reactNative.launchAndroidSimulator Prompts you to select the name of the available Android emulator and launch it. If only one emulator is installed in the system, it will be selected automatically
Launch iOS Simulator reactNative.launchIOSSimulator Prompts you to select the available system version of the iOS simulator, then select the simulator name for the selected system and launch it. If only one simulator is installed in the system, it will be selected automatically
Run Android on Emulator reactNative.runAndroidSimulator Run an Android application on Emulator. Launch order: check target platform support, load run arguments, start Packager, run app on the selected emulator. Make sure the emulator utility is added to PATH
Run Android on Device reactNative.runAndroidDevice Run an Android application on Device. Launch order: check target platform support, load run arguments, start Packager, run app in all connected devices
Run iOS on Simulator reactNative.runIosSimulator Run an iOS application on Simulator. Launch order: load run arguments, check target platform support, start Packager, run app in only one connected emulator
Run iOS on Device reactNative.runIosDevice Run an iOS application on Device. Launch order: load run arguments, check target platform support, start Packager, run app in only one connected device
Run Expo reactNative.runExponent Run an Exponent application. Launch order: login to exponent, load run arguments, start Packager, run app
Run Windows reactNative.runWindows Run a RNW application. Launch order: check target platform support, load run arguments, start Packager, run app
Run MacOS reactNative.runMacOS Run a RNmacOS application. Launch order: check target platform support, load run arguments, start Packager, run app
Start Packager reactNative.startPackager Start Packager in context project workspace folder
Stop Packager reactNative.stopPackager Stop Packager
Restart Packager reactNative.restartPackager Restart Packager and clear the Packager's cache
Publish To Expo reactNative.publishToExpHost Publish to Exponent Host. Launch order: login to exponent, execute Run Expo command, then publish app to host
Show Dev Menu reactNative.showDevMenu Show development menu for running aplication on iOS or Android device or emulator
ReloadApp reactNative.reloadApp Reload an application
Run Element Inspector reactNative.runInspector Load development tools for inspect application UI elements
Stop Element Inspector reactNative.stopInspector Stop development tools for inspect application UI elements
Run React Native LogCat Monitor reactNative.startLogCatMonitor Creates a LogCat Monitor for the chosen online Android device to see the device LogCat logs. Default filtering arguments: ["*:S", "ReactNative:V", "ReactNativeJS:V"]. How to configure filtering.
Stop React Native LogCat Monitor reactNative.stopLogCatMonitor Stops an existing LogCat Monitor and removes its output channel
Run Network Inspector reactNative.startNetworkInspector Run Network inspector
Stop Network Inspector reactNative.stopNetworkInspector Stop Network inspector
Check development environment configuration reactNative.testDevEnvironment Checks your development environment for common problems

Using commands in VS Code tasks

To run React Native Tools commands via VS Code tasks, you can create a .vscode/tasks.json file in your project and add tasks configurations the following way:

  "version": "2.0.0",
  "tasks": [
      "label": "Run Android on Emulator",
      "command": "${command:reactNative.runAndroidSimulator}",
      "problemMatcher": []

Debugging React Native applications

To start debugging create a new debug configuration for your ReactNative app in your .vscode/launch.json. Adding a new configuration can be done by opening your launch.json file and clicking on Add Configuration... button and then selecting React Native option. After that the extension will prompt you to create a debugging configuration by selecting debugging parameters in dropdown lists at the top of the editor. A new debugging configuration will be generated and added to the launch.json file automatically as shown in the image below.

Add React Native debug configuration

In case you haven't created the .vscode/launch.json file yet, you can add a whole default debug configuration set. To do that click the debug icon Choose React Native debugger in the View bar, and then click the configuration (gear) icon Configure-gear, then choose the React Native debug environment.

Choose React Native debugger

VS Code will generate a launch.json in your project with some default configuration settings as shown below. You can safely close this file, choose the appropriate configuration in the Configuration dropdown, and then press F5 (or click Green Arrow Configure-gear button) to start debugging your app in VS Code.

React Native launch targets

The extension also allows to start debugging without creating the launch.json file in one of the following ways:

  • Using dynamic debugging configurations

    To use dynamic debugging configurations you can click on the Show all automatic debug configurations string in the Run and Debug panel, then select React Native in the list of extensions and choose the appropriate configuration in the Configuration list to start debugging.

    Run dynamic debugging configuration

  • Using Debug button in the Editor Title area menu

    To start debugging you can click the Debug button in the Editor Title area in the upper right corner. You can also select the appropriate debugging scenario by clicking the dropdown button beside the Debug button and choosing the scenario.

    Select and run debugging command

Once app is loaded and running, open the developer menu inside your application and enable remote debugging by clicking on Debug JS Remotely button.

React Native enable remote debug

The extension allows you to debug multiple devices and configurations, please read the following sections for more information for your particular use case.

Hermes engine

Note: Now react-native 0.70.0 set Hermes as default engine to instead of JSCore. Please see official documentation to get details.

The Hermes engine is an open source JavaScript engine created by Facebook to optimize building and running React Native applications. It improves app performance and decreases app size.

Click here to learn more about Hermes and how to enable it for your application. To turn off Hermes, you can do the same changes in documentation but set Hermes Flag to False.

Debugging apps with Hermes enabled is currently experimental. Please see this issue for current known issues on Hermes support.

Android Hermes

To debug while using Hermes engine use Debug Android Hermes - Experimental launch configuration:

  "name": "Debug Android Hermes - Experimental",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "type": "reactnativedirect",
  "request": "launch",
  "platform": "android"

iOS Hermes

The extension provides experimental support of debugging iOS Hermes applications. See iOS Hermes debugging for more details.

macOS Hermes

The extension provides experimental support of debugging macOS Hermes applications. See macOS Hermes debugging for more details.

Windows Hermes

The extension provides experimental support of debugging Windows Hermes applications. See Windows Hermes debugging for more details.

Attach to Hermes application

To attach to a running Hermes application use Attach to Hermes application - Experimental launch configuration:

  "name": "Attach to Hermes application - Experimental",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "type": "reactnativedirect",
  "request": "attach"

iOS applications

iOS devices

Debugging on an iOS device requires following manual steps:

  • Install ios-deploy brew install ios-deploy.
  • Install a valid iOS development certificate.
  • In your project's launch.json file set target to device. If you need to specify the exact device to run, you can set target to <iOS device name/udid>, or you can also use runArguments property to specify a particular device to run on in case multiple devices are connected (e.g. "runArguments": [ "--device", "My iPhone" ])
  • Choose the Debug iOS option from the "Configuration" dropdown and press F5.
  • Shake the device to open the development menu and select "Debug JS Remotely".

Custom scheme for iOS apps

If you want to use a custom scheme for your application you can either pass it as part of the runArguments parameter arguments, or set the scheme configuration parameter as shown below:

"runArguments": ["--scheme", "customScheme", ...]
// or
"runArguments": ["--scheme=customScheme", ...]
// or
"scheme" : "customScheme"

Please be aware, specifying the scheme value as a part of the runArguments parameter arguments will override the scheme configuration parameter value, if it set.

iOS direct debugging

The extension provides experimental support of iOS direct debugging. See more info here: react-native-community/discussions-and-proposals#40, react-native-community/discussions-and-proposals#206

For now the extension supports iOS direct debugging only on real iOS devices.

To be able to debug an iOS app directly, you need to install ios-webkit-debug-proxy:

  • Install HomeBrew on your Mac.
  • Open a Terminal and run brew install ideviceinstaller ios-webkit-debug-proxy

You can use the following debug scenarios to debug iOS apps directly:

  • React Native Direct: Debug Direct iOS - Experimental
    "name": "Debug Direct iOS - Experimental",
    "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
    "type": "reactnativedirect",
    "request": "launch",
    "platform": "ios",
    "port": 9221,
    "target": "device"
  • React Native Direct: Attach to the React Native iOS - Experimental
    "name": "Attach to the React Native iOS - Experimental",
    "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
    "type": "reactnativedirect",
    "request": "attach",
    "platform": "ios",
    "port": 9221

iOS Hermes debugging

You can enable Hermes engine for an iOS application by editing ios/Podfile file the following way:

-  use_react_native!(:path => config[:reactNativePath])
+  use_react_native!(:path => config[:reactNativePath], :hermes_enabled => true)

After this change you need to execute pod install command in ios folder. After that you can use Debug iOS Hermes - Experimental launch configuration to debug an iOS Hermes application:

  "name": "Debug iOS Hermes - Experimental",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "type": "reactnativedirect",
  "request": "launch",
  "platform": "ios"

Expo applications

To debug a project created using Expo or the create-react-native-app task, you can use embedded support for Expo.

Prepare your environment by following the Expo CLI Quickstart instruction. For correct work with Expo this extension requires Android SDK. So also pay attention to the React Native CLI Quickstart tab, where you can find the Android SDK installation guide:

  • Install the Expo app on the target device or emulator
  • Ensure that the Android SDK is installed on your computer (You may install it using the React Native CLI Quickstart guide)
  • Ensure that the expo-cli is installed globally (npm install -g expo-cli)

You can verify that everything is working correctly and that the environment is ready for use with the npx react-native doctor command.

Debug on Expo Go

If you're using Expo Go, follow below steps tp start debugging Expo application:

  1. Open your project in VS Code with this extension installed.

  2. Create a debug configuration (as described in Debugging React Native applications), select Debug in Exponent in the debug drop-down menu, and start debugging

  3. Wait while some dependencies are configured - the extension will install Expo Development Library(xdl) when this feature is used for the first time.

  4. If you have not used Exponent on this system before, you will be prompted for an Exponent username and password. Exponent account allows you to use Expo cloud services. More info about how it works is available here. If you have not created an Exponent account, then specifying a new username and password will create one. Note that there is no e-mail associated with the account, and no way to recover a forgotten password. If you don't want to create an Exponent account, you can specify expoHostType parameter in your debug configuration to make Expo work locally (via LAN or on localhost).

  5. Once the packager starts, the extension will open a separate tab with QR code to scan from the Expo Go. Once you do so, the Expo Go will connect to the packager and begin running your app.

  6. Once the app is loaded and running, open the developer menu and enable remote debugging by clicking on Debug JS Remotely button.

    React Native developer menu

Debug on expo-dev-client

If you want to debug Expo app using expo-dev-client, follow below steps to start debugging Expo application:

  1. Open your project in VS Code with this extension installed.
  2. In project folder, install expo-dev-client for your app using npx expo install expo-dev-client
  3. Create your app in development mode eas build --profile development --platform all, replace --platform all to android or iOS to build specific platform application(need development account for iOS platform).
  4. After build success, download your build and install application to your device or simulator
  5. In project, using npx expo start --dev-client to start Metro and load application in device or simulator
  6. Using CMD + D or Ctrl + M to open dev menu, then enable local devtools
  7. If your Chrome or MS Edge open devtools after enabling local devtools, waiting the status is changed to Status: Debugger session active, then close browser devtools.
  8. Add Attach to application command ./.vscode/launch.json
    "configurations": [
            "name": "Attach to packager",
            "request": "attach",
            "type": "reactnative",
            "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}"
  1. Run Attach command in debug tab and debugger will start to work(If debugger not go into breakpoint, you need to reload app from Metro to refresh app since maybe it had some conflicts between Browser devtools debug session and RNT debug session).

Configuring Expo

The extension supports running through Exponent not just the applications created with Expo but even pure React Native applications (in that case you need to add expo package to node_modules in order to make it work with Expo: npm install expo --save-dev. In either cases it uses app.json configuration file in the root of the project.

If you are running Debug in Exponent configuration or any of pallette commands like Run in Exponent, Publish to Exponent then this file will be created automatically if absent or updated with the following basic configuration section:

  "expo": {
    "slug": "MyApp", // Project slug
    "name": "MyApp", // Project name
    "sdkVersion": "31.0.0", // Expo SDK version
    "entryPoint": ".vscode\\exponentIndex.js" // Entrypoint for the project
  "name": "MyApp" // Project name

Full list of configuration parameters for expo section in app.json may be found on official Expo documentation page.

For running pure React Native app, the extension, creates and uses .vscode/exponentIndex.js which points to the app entrypoint (index.js or index.android.js or index.ios.js) file.

If you want to change your app entrypoint (for example, from index.js to index.android.js), delete .vscode/exponentIndex.js and then restart your debugging session.

NOTE: The extension caches the version of the exponent SDK used by your project. This is helpful since we don't want to install the SDK each time you run exponent. If you want the extension to update the SDK version based on your React Native version, just restart VS Code and if it is supported it should work. If it does not please open an issue.

Expo Hermes

Expo app is supporting Hermes Engine.

You can add or remove "jsEngine": "hermes" in app.json to enable or disable Hermes Engine. And any changes for app engine you need to run eas build to rebuild your application.

  "expo": {
    "jsEngine": "hermes"

Note: You maybe need to create developer account to run eas build. Any other issue or limitiation, please see expo hermes ducomentation.

React Native for Windows

How to launch and debug a React Native for Windows application

Before launching and debugging a React Native for Windows application, please make sure that your development environment is configured properly in accordance with the official system requirements.

You can debug UWP React Native for Windows applications by changing the platform in your launch.json configuration to windows:

  "name": "Debug Windows",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "type": "reactnative",
  "request": "launch",
  "platform": "windows"

How to attach to a running React Native for Windows application

  1. Add the Attach to packager configuration to .vscode/launch.json in your project

      "name": "Attach to packager",
      "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
      "type": "reactnative",
      "request": "attach"
  2. (Optional) Start Metro packager by means of the React Native: Start Packager Command Palette command or run npx react-native start command in the terminal in the project root folder

  3. Select the Attach to packager configuration and click the play button. If Metro packager isn't running yet, the extension will start it automatically.

  4. Launch your React Native Windows application. Please make sure that the application is on remote debugging mode.

Then the extension should attach to the running application.

You can find more information on how to setup your application to work with Windows in React Native for Windows Getting started instruction

Windows Hermes debugging

Please follow the official guide to enable Hermes engine for a Windows application.

To debug a Windows Hermes application you can use Debug Windows Hermes - Experimental debugging scenario:

  "name": "Debug Windows Hermes - Experimental",
  "request": "launch",
  "type": "reactnativedirect",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "platform": "windows"

React Native for macOS

You can debug React Native for macOS applications by changing the platform in your launch.json configuration to macos:

  "name": "Debug macOS",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "type": "reactnative",
  "request": "launch",
  "platform": "macos"

To attach to a running macOS application you can use the default Attach to packager debugging configuration. Please make sure that the application is on remote debugging mode.

  "name": "Attach to packager",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "type": "reactnative",
  "request": "attach"

You can find more information on how to setup your application to work with macOS in React Native for macOS Getting started instruction

macOS Hermes debugging

Please follow the official guide to enable Hermes engine for a macOS application.

To debug a macOS Hermes application you can use Debug macOS Hermes - Experimental debugging scenario:

  "name": "Debug macOS Hermes - Experimental",
  "request": "launch",
  "type": "reactnativedirect",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "platform": "macos"

TypeScript and Haul


The debugger uses sourcemaps to let you debug with your original sources, but sometimes the sourcemaps aren't generated properly and overrides are needed. In the config we support sourceMapPathOverrides, a mapping of source paths from the sourcemap, to the locations of these sources on disk. Useful when the sourcemap isn't accurate or can't be fixed in the build process.

The left hand side of the mapping is a pattern that can contain a wildcard, and will be tested against the sourceRoot + sources entry in the source map. If it matches, the source file will be resolved to the path on the right hand side, which should be an absolute path to the source file on disk.

Below there are some examples of how sourcemaps could be resolved in different scenarios:

// webRoot = /Users/me/project
"sourceMapPathOverrides": {
    "webpack:///./~/*": "${webRoot}/node_modules/*",       // Example: "webpack:///./~/querystring/index.js" -> "/Users/me/project/node_modules/querystring/index.js"
    "webpack:///./*":   "${webRoot}/*",                    // Example: "webpack:///./src/app.js" -> "/Users/me/project/src/app.js",
    "webpack:///*":     "*",                               // Example: "webpack:///project/app.ts" -> "/project/app.ts"
    "webpack:///src/*": "${webRoot}/*"                     // Example: "webpack:///src/app.js" -> "/Users/me/project/app.js"

Haul debugging

The extension provides functional to attach to Haul packager based applications. You can use the Attach to packager scenario to attach to a Haul based app and debug it. For now launch scenarios aren't supported. You can find more info in the issue.

You can prepare your React Native application to work with Haul by following the Haul Getting started guide.

If you use the legacy version of Haul as your React Native bundler instead of the default Metro, it could be required to add sourceMapPathOverrides to the launch.json file.

For example:

  // Other configurations
  "sourceMapPathOverrides": {
    "webpack:///./~/*": "${workspaceRoot}/node_modules/*",
    "webpack:///./*": "${workspaceRoot}/*",
    "webpack:///*": "*"

Debugger configuration properties

The following is a list of all the configuration properties the debugger accepts in launch.json:

Name Description Type Defaults
cwd The path to the project root folder string ${workspaceFolder}
sourceMaps Whether to use JavaScript source maps to map the generated bundled code back to its original sources boolean true
sourceMapPathOverrides A set of mappings for rewriting the locations of source files from what the source map says, to their locations on disk. See Sourcemaps for details object n/a
sourceMapRenames Whether to use the "names" mapping in sourcemaps. This requires requesting source content, which could slow debugging boolean false
enableDebug Whether to enable debug mode. If set to "false", an application will be launched without debugging boolean true
webkitRangeMin, webkitRangeMax Combines to specify the port range that you want the ios-webkit-debug-proxy to use to find the specific device described in the Direct iOS debug configuration 9223, 9322
trace Logging level in debugger process. May be useful for diagnostics. If set to "Trace" all debugger process logs will be available in Debug Console output window string log
address TCP/IP address of packager to attach to for debugging string localhost
port Port of packager to attach to for debugging string 8081
remoteRoot The source root of the remote host string null
localRoot The local source root that corresponds to the 'remoteRoot' string ${workspaceFolder}
skipFiles An array of file or folder names, or glob patterns, to skip when debugging array []
debuggerWorkerUrlPath Path to the app debugger worker to override. For example, if debugger tries to attach to http://localhost:8081/debugger-ui/debuggerWorker.js and you get 404 error from packager output then you may want to change debuggerWorkerUrlPath to another value suitable for your packager ("debugger-ui" will be replaced with the value you provide) string debugger-ui/
platform The platform to target. Possible values: android, ios, exponent, windows string n/a
target Target to run on. Possible values: simulator, device, <iOS target name/udid>, <Android target id>, <Android emulator AVD name>. If the value is simulator or device then the quick pick window will be expanded with the names of the available virtual or physical targets, then, in case there are more than one available target with specified type, the target value in launch.json will be changed to the name or id of the selected target. If you have only one target with specified type available, it will be selected automatically. If you're using Android emulator targets, please, make sure the emulator utility is added to PATH string simulator
logCatArguments Arguments to be used for LogCat (The LogCat output will appear on an Output Channel). It can be an array such as: [":S", "ReactNative:V", "ReactNativeJS:V"] array ["*:S", "ReactNative:V", "ReactNativeJS:V"]
runArguments Run arguments to be passed to react-native run-<platform> command (override all other configuration params) array n/a
launchActivity The Android activity to be launched for debugging, e.g. it specifies --main-activity parameter in react-native run arguments string MainActivity
expoHostType The connection type to be used on Expo debugging to communicate with a device or an emulator. Possible values:
  • tunnel - allows to deploy and debug an application by means of Expo cloud services
  • lan - allows to deploy and install an application via your LAN
  • local - allows to debug an application on an emulator or an Android device without network connection
string lan
env Environment variables passed to the debugger and react-native run-<platform> command object {}
envFile Absolute path to a file containing environment variable definitions string ${workspaceFolder}/.env
variant A variant to be passed to react-native run-android, e.g. use devDebug to specify --variant=devDebug string n/a
scheme A scheme name to be passed to react-native run-ios, e.g. devDebug to specify --scheme=devDebug string n/a
productName iOS bundle display name e.g. AwesomeProject value means that the extension will search for AwesomeProject.app bundle string n/a


The extension can be further customized for other React Native scenarios. These are the most common:


The extension logging is divided by several output channels:

  • React Native - the main extension channel which collects outputs from React Native Packager and shows critical errors in the extension
  • These channels are spawned only when the specific launch scenario is executed:
    • React Native: Run Android
      • LogCat monitor(to get LogCat output from Android device, can be filtered by debug configuration settings)
    • React Native: Run iOS
    • React Native: Run macOS
    • React Native: Run Windows
    • React Native: Run exponent
  • Debug Console which is used to receive application logs and logs generated by the debug adapter (console.log and other std outputs from the app)
  • Extension debugger verbose logs (these logs are shown up only if the trace: "verbose" option is enabled in debug scenarios)
    • React Native Chrome Proxy - shows what runs in and out to the debugger and application
    • Debug Console becomes more informative and contains some debugging information from the debug adapter
    • Global extension errors are controlled by VS Code and printed in VS Code Developer Tools

There are also some global extension technical logs that might be exposed to the output. To see them set the following properties in your VS Code Settings:

  "react-native-tools": {
    "logLevel": "Trace"

logLevel can be None (no logs), Error, Warning, Info, Debug, Trace (all logs). Default is Info.

Build APK and generate bundle

You can add VSCode tasks to build an .apk file and generate iOS/Android bundles.

The following is an example of a tasks.json for react-native init projects. Place it in the .vscode folder in your project to use it:

  "version": "2.0.0",
  "presentation": {
    "reveal": "always",
    "panel": "new"
  "tasks": [
      "label": "Build APK Debug",
      "group": "build",
      "type": "shell",
      "windows": {
        "command": "cd android; if($?) {./gradlew assembleDebug}"
      "linux": {
        "command": "cd android && ./gradlew assembleDebug"
      "label": "Build APK Release",
      "group": "build",
      "type": "shell",
      "windows": {
        "command": "cd android; if($?) {./gradlew assembleRelease}"
      "linux": {
        "command": "cd android && ./gradlew assembleRelease"
      "label": "Generate Android Bundle",
      "group": "build",
      "type": "shell",
      "command": "npx react-native bundle --platform android --dev false --entry-file index.js --bundle-output android/main.jsbundle"
      "label": "Generate iOS Bundle",
      "group": "build",
      "type": "shell",
      "command": "npx react-native bundle --platform ios --dev false --entry-file index.js --bundle-output ios/main.jsbundle"

To learn more about tasks in VSCode read the official documentation.

Visit generating Signed APK to learn more about this subject.

Specifying custom arguments for react-native run-* command

Using custom run arguments for react-native run-<platform>: NOTE: This overrides all other configuration parameters.

  "react-native.android.runArguments.simulator": [
  "react-native.ios.runArguments.device": [
    "Max's iPhone"

NOTE: You can get the list of installed simulator devices by:

iOS devices (macOS only):

xcrun simctl list --json devices

Android devices:

adb devices

NOTE: If you want to run the application on an iOS device, make sure you have ios-deploy installed globally.

brew install ios-deploy

Setting up the React Native packager

To use a custom port for the react-native packager:

  "react-native": {
    "packager": {
      "port": portNumber

If you change this port, then for iOS device and simulator scenarios you will have to modify the native code files. Instructions here.

If you use Android, you need to change the debug server by:

  1. CTRL+M(CMD+M) in the emulator
  2. Go to Dev Settings
  3. Debug server host for device => enter localhost:<yourPortNumber>.
  4. Reload application (press R twice)
  5. (Hermes only) Hermes engine listens port 8081 for debugging by default, to change it you might need to modify your metro.config.js file adding "port": portNumber argument in there to the server settings.
// Example of metro.config.js
module.exports = {
  server: {
    port: 9091,
Port setup instruction




NOTE: Some aspects of React Native hard-code the port to the default as specified in this issue.

Custom environment variables

Extension supports passing custom environment variables to the React Native Packager process context. To add custom variables you can create .env file in the root folder of your project and add needed environment variables in the following format:


Variables that are declared in this .env file can override the original environment variables from process.env of the Packager process.

It is possible to transfer environment variables (via env and envFile arguments in launch.json) from the launch or attach debug scenarios to the Packager. If these variables are defined, then they will be used, otherwise the .env file is used.

Change project root

To specify a subfolder in which the react-native project is located, set react-native-tools.projectRoot. You can use either an absolute or relative path in your VS Code Settings:

  "react-native-tools": {
    "projectRoot": "./your/react-native/project"

Configure an Android LogCat Monitor

There are two ways to filter your LogCat Monitor output depending on how LogCat Monitor was launched:

  1. Since LogCat Monitor is launched for all Android launch scenarios by default, you can add logCatArguments to your debug scenario in launch.json file like in the following example:
  "name": "Debug Android",
  "cwd": "${workspaceFolder}",
  "type": "reactnative",
  "request": "launch",
  "platform": "android",
  "logCatArguments": ["ReactNativeJS:V"]
  1. If you want to launch LogCat Monitor from the Command Palette command React Native: Run React Native LogCat Monitor with filtering options set react-native.android.logCatArguments settings in your settings.json:
  "react-native.android.logCatArguments": [

To have better understanding on how LogCat filtering works take into account that the extension launches LogCat with flag -s and then adds user-provided filters as arguments. Please see the official instruction on how does LogCat filtering works.

Configure dependencies versions for debugging Expo projects

To debug Expo applications the extension requires additional dependencies, such as xdl and @expo/metro-config. These packages are installed automatically on the first start of the Expo debugging scenario. You can configure the dependencies versions by adding the react-native.expo.dependencies parameter, which contains packages names and appropriate versions, to the settings.json file:

  "react-native.expo.dependencies": {
    "xdl": "59.2.0",
    "@expo/metro-config": "0.2.0",
    "@expo/ngrok": "^4.1.0"

To enable new versions of the dependencies, it's required to restart VS Code editor. After that the extension will download the new versions of the packages on the next Expo debugging starting.

Configure custom key bindings for extension commands

The extension provides context variables for the following features:

Context variable Feature
isRNPackagerRunning - true if the packager is running Metro packager
isRNTNetworkInspectorRunning - true if the Network inspector is running Network inspector

Using these context variables you can assign the same keyboard combination for some pair commands for more convenient use. For example, you can configure the same key bindings for Start Packager and Stop Packager commands using when clauses, as shown below: image

Configure custom colors for extension output logs

The extension provides custom TextMate tokens, with the help of which it is now possible to customize the colors of the logs in output channels:

Scope Description
rnt.output.string Single and double quoted strings
rnt.output.url Links, email and ip address, filepaths
rnt.output.timestamp Date and time
rnt.output.numeric Constant decimal numbers
rnt.output.process Logs of processes such as npm, bundle, and other build tasks
rnt.output.error Errors, exceptions, fails and stack for them
rnt.output.warn Warning logs
rnt.output.info Info logs
rnt.output.debug Debug logs
rnt.output.verbose Verbose logs
rnt.output.constant Such values as true, false, null, undefined, NaN
rnt.output.success Logs indicating successful completion of the process, such as BUILD SUCCESSFUL and others

Now you can customize React Native Tools output logs with editor.tokenColorCustomizations parameter in settings.json this way:

"editor.tokenColorCustomizations": {
  "textMateRules": [
      "settings": {
        "foreground": "#c57ca0",
        "fontStyle": "bold",
      "scope": "rnt.output.string"

Element inspector

In the extension you can run React DevTools Element inspector to inspect the DOM-tree of your application. It's required to install the react-devtools package globally to run React DevTools from the extension.

npm install -g react-devtools

Integration with React Native Inspector

You can open the in-app developer menu and choose "Show Element Inspector". It will bring up an overlay that lets you tap on any UI element and see information about it:

Element inspector usage

Using the Run Element Inspector Command Palette command you can launch React DevTools in the extension. Inspector will enter a special collapsed mode, and use the DevTools as primary UI. In this mode, clicking on something in the emulator will bring up the relevant components in the DevTools:

Element inspector usage

Network Inspector

The extension provides Network inspector feature to inspect outgoing network traffic in your apps. You can browse all requests being made and their responses in VS Code DevTools console.


Network inspector requirements

Before using the Network inspector, please make sure that your system meets the following requirements:

  • OpenSSL utility is installed and added to PATH. You can install OpenSSL the following way:
    • Windows: choco install openssl
    • macOS: brew install openssl
    • Linux: sudo apt-get install openssl
  • (macOS only) idb utility is installed. It's required to interact with iOS physical devices

The Network inspector uses functional of the Flipper plugin integrated to React Native apps. Please make sure that it's enabled in your application. You can use this guide to integate Flipper into your projects.

Network inspector usage

  • To run the Network inspector you can use Run Network Inspector Command Palette command When the Network inspector detects a React Native application and connects to it, VS Code DevTools window will be opened automatically. But you can also open it manually, by opening Help menu and clicking Toggle Developer Tools option. After that you just need to open Console tab in DevTools, where network requests will be printed.
  • To stop the Network inspector you can use Stop Network Inspector Command Palette command

For now the Network inspector doesn't support Expo applications.

Network inspector logs theme

The extension provides “Dark” and “Light” color themes for Network Inspector logs. You can configure the theme in the extension configuration in your VS Code Settings.

  "react-native-tools.networkInspector.consoleLogsColorTheme": "Dark"

Developing inside a Docker Container

The extension supports VS Code Remote Development features on Linux. Please follow the VS Code official documentation to setup your environment to use a remote development approach.

You can use official React Native Docker image provided by the react-native-community.

Here are the steps to run React Native debugging inside a Docker Container on a real Android device:

  1. Open Command Palette and run the following command

    Remote-Containers: Add Development Container Configuration Files...

    Then select Existing Dockerfile to create .devcontainer/devcontainer.json configuration file.

  2. Сreate Dockerfile extending reactnativecommunity/react-native-android image. For example you can use the following Dockerfile:

    FROM reactnativecommunity/react-native-android:latest
    RUN npm install -g expo-cli react-native-cli
  3. Configure your devcontainer.json file as needed. Below is a sample configuration:

      "name": "React Native Android Container",
      // Sets the run context to one level up instead of the .devcontainer folder.
      "context": "..",
      // Update the 'dockerFile' property if you aren't using the standard 'Dockerfile' filename.
      "dockerFile": "Dockerfile",
      // The optional 'runArgs' property can be used to specify additional runtime arguments.
      "runArgs": [
        "--privileged", // give all capabilities to a container, in other words, the container can then do almost everything that the host can do
        "host", // forwarding all host machine ports
        "/dev/bus/usb:/dev/bus/usb" // mount connected USB devices to a container
      "settings": {
        // This will ignore your local shell user setting for Linux since shells like zsh are typically
        // not in base container images. You can also update this to an specific shell to ensure VS Code
        // uses the right one for terminals and tasks. For example, /bin/bash (or /bin/ash for Alpine).
        "terminal.integrated.shell.linux": null
      // Add the IDs of extensions you want installed when the container is created in the array below.
      "extensions": ["msjsdiag.vscode-react-native"]
  4. Open Command Palette and run the following command Remote-Containers: Open Folder in Container to reopen your project in a container

  5. Connect your device via USB and start debugging the same way as on local machine.

Currently the above scenario doesn't work on macOS and Windows. Docker Container implementation on these OS uses Virtual Machine tools which may have problems with USB forwarding for mobile devices.


Please see our contributing guide for more information.

Known Issues

Here is the list of common known issues you may experience while using the extension:

Issue Description
Debugger doesn't stop at breakpoints Breakpoints require sourcemaps to be correctly configured. If you are using TypeScript, then make sure to follow the Getting started section for how to ensure sourcemaps are correctly set up. Also, similar issues may occur on React Native version 0.58.* in some special cases (see #928, #907), bumping dependencies versions of react and react-native package to the more recent ones should resolve these. If you are on Linux, make sure that the project folder which is opened is not a symbolic link to the real folder, that might cause problems with sourcemaps (see #1456)
'adb: command not found' If you receive an error adb: command not found, you need to update your system Path to include the location of your ADB executable.The ADB executable file is located in a subdirectory along with your other Android SDK files.
Targeting iPhone 6 doesn't work There was a known issue with React Native (#5850) but it was fixed. Please upgrade your version of React Native.
Can't communicate with socket pipe (Linux only) If you have two workspaces open that only differ in casing, the extension will fail to communicate effectively.
"Add configuration" button doesn't work when trying to add debug configuration to launch.json You have to add some json configuration to launch.json manually. Please, see (#985).
Error None of these files exist: * .vscode/exponentIndex appears when running React Native apps via Expo On some project configurations (mostly on macOS) there could be problems with running RN app via Expo for the first time. You can resolve this by explicitly adding module.exports.watchFolders = ['.vscode']; to your Metro config. This will help Metro bundler to find the custom entry point generated by the extension needed to work with Expo. For details you can see the issue (#1327).
High CPU load notification while starting debugging Expo app When you start debugging the Expo application you may receive the notification "The extension 'React Native Tools' took a very long time to complete its last operation and it has prevented other extensions from running". The issue occurs because of importing the xdl package, which extension uses for debugging Expo applications. The xdl package has the large size and some peculiarities of its structure, so it may cause high CPU load.

Known-Issues provides a complete list of active and resolved issues.

Telemetry reporting

VS Code React Native extension collects usage data and sends it to Microsoft to help improve our products and services. Read our privacy statement to learn more.

If you don’t wish to send usage data to Microsoft, edit VSCodeTelemetrySettings.json file at ~/.vscode-react-native and add optIn:false.

Code of conduct

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact [email protected] with any additional questions or comments.

Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Vscode React Native" Project. README Source: microsoft/vscode-react-native

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