What is the purpose of forward ref in HOCs?

Refs will not get passed through because ref is not a prop. It handled differently by React just like key. If you add a ref to a HOC, the ref will refer to the outermost container component, not the wrapped component. In this case, you can use Forward Ref API. For example, we can explicitly forward refs to the inner FancyButton component using the React.forwardRef API.

The below HOC logs all props,

function logProps(Component) {
class LogProps extends React.Component {
componentDidUpdate(prevProps) {
console.log('old props:', prevProps);
console.log('new props:', this.props);
render() {
const {forwardedRef, ...rest} = this.props;
// Assign the custom prop "forwardedRef" as a ref
return <Component ref={forwardedRef} {...rest} />;
return React.forwardRef((props, ref) => {
return <LogProps {...props} forwardedRef={ref} />;

Let's use this HOC to log all props that get passed to our “fancy button” component,

class FancyButton extends React.Component {
focus() {
// ...
// ...
export default logProps(FancyButton);

Now lets create a ref and pass it to FancyButton component. In this case, you can set focus to button element.

import FancyButton from './FancyButton';
const ref = React.createRef();
label="Click Me"

April 26, 2022