How to Create a React-Electron Application From Scratch

Updated: 2023-04-23
3 min read
[typescript react electron]

In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll create a simple React-Electron application from scratch. Electron is a framework that allows you to build cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. React is a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

I use this clean template as a boilerplate for my projects.


  1. Go to repo electron-react-template
  2. click Use this template to create a new repo and start coding.


Before starting this tutorial, make sure you have the following tools installed on your system:

  1. Node.js (version 12 or newer)
  2. npm or yarn (npm is bundled with Node.js, and yarn can be installed separately)
  3. A code editor (e.g., Visual Studio Code)

Step 1: Set up the project structure

Create a new directory for your project and navigate to it in your terminal:

mkdir react-electron-app
cd react-electron-app

Next, create the following directories and files to set up the project structure:

mkdir -p src electron public
touch src/App.tsx src/index.tsx electron/main.ts
touch public/index.html

Your project should now have the following structure:

├── electron
│   └── main.ts
├── public
│   └── index.html
└── src
    ├── App.tsx
    └── index.tsx

Step 2: Initialize the project

Run the following command in the terminal to initialize the project with a package.json file:

npm init -y

Step 3: Install dependencies

Install the necessary dependencies for the project:

npm install --save react react-dom typescript electron
npm install --save-dev concurrently electron-builder electron-is-dev wait-on cross-env

Step 4: Configure TypeScript

Create a tsconfig.json file in the root of the project:

touch tsconfig.json

Add the following content to the tsconfig.json file:

  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "ES2023",
    "lib": ["dom", "dom.iterable", "esnext"],
    "allowJs": true,
    "skipLibCheck": true,
    "esModuleInterop": true,
    "allowSyntheticDefaultImports": true,
    "strict": true,
    "forceConsistentCasingInFileNames": true,
    "noFallthroughCasesInSwitch": true,
    "module": "esnext",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "resolveJsonModule": true,
    "isolatedModules": true,
    "noEmit": true,
    "jsx": "react-jsx"
  "include": ["src"]

Step 5: Set up the React app

Replace the contents of src/App.tsx with the following code:

function App() {
  return (
    <div className='App'>
        Hello World!

export default App;

Replace the contents of src/index.tsx with the following code:

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import App from './App';

    <App />

Replace the contents of public/index.html with the following code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" />
    <title>React-Electron App</title>
    <div id="root"></div>

Step 6: Set up the Electron main process

Replace the contents of electron/main.ts with the following code:

import { app, BrowserWindow } from 'electron';
import * as path from 'path';
import * as isDev from 'electron-is-dev';

function createWindow() {
  const win = new BrowserWindow({
    width: 800,
    height: 600,
    webPreferences: {
      nodeIntegration: true,

      ? 'http://localhost:3000'
      : `file://${path.join(__dirname, '../build/index.html')}`



app.on('window-all-closed', () => {
  if (process.platform !== 'darwin') {

app.on('activate', () => {
  if (BrowserWindow.getAllWindows().length === 0) {

Step 7: Configure scripts in package.json

Open your package.json file and update the scripts section to include the following:

"scripts": {
  "start": "react-scripts start",
  "build": "react-scripts build",
  "eject": "react-scripts eject",
  "electron:dev": "concurrently \"cross-env BROWSER=none yarn start\" \"wait-on && tsc -p electron -w\" \"wait-on && tsc -p electron && electron .\"",
  "electron:build": "yarn build && tsc -p electron && electron-builder",
  "electron:dist": "yarn build && tsc -p electron && electron-builder --mac --dir"

These scripts will allow you to run the React app in development mode, build the app for production, and package the Electron app for distribution.

Step 8: Run the application

You’re now ready to run your React-Electron application in development mode. In the terminal, run:

npm run electron:dev

This command will start the React development server, compile the Electron main process, and launch the Electron app. You should see a new window with your “Hello World!” message displayed.