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Lazy load your content such as images without breaking the internet:

  1. Supports all search engines and no-JS (disabled JavaScript) by using noscript element.
  2. Supports universal rendering (isomorphic JS) so works both client and server side.
  3. Supports both vertical and horizontal scrolling.
  4. Optional: supports rendering images on IE8 and earlier by adding conditional comments to skip noscript elements.

View demo

Why lazy load content such as images?

You want to save your bandwidth and/or server load. As a side effect you may also gain some performance benefits on client side, especially on mobile devices. However the main benefit (and main purpose) for you should always be the reduction of bandwidth/server load.

Likely side effect of lazy loading is that user may see content flashing as it comes into view; sometimes with a lot of delay as it depends on connectivity. You can make the experience less flickery by adding a transition when image is loaded (a bit harder to develop) or by giving Lazy a large cushion (500 pixels or more) to load image before it is actually in the viewport. Using both strategies together is recommended. You can test the experience on your own site by dropping mobile connection to 2G / edge.

Chrome developer tools also has network throttling so you don't need to get yourself into a train to nowhere to test how well or poorly your site works in high latency conditions. However it is also recommended you do get yourself into a train to nowhere as it does good for your mind and soul to abandon the hectic although convenient city lifestyle every once in a while.

Usage: <Lazy />

// curly brackets are required
import { Lazy } from 'react-lazy'
    <Lazy component="a" href="/" className="image-link image-link--100px" ltIE9>
        <img alt="My Lazy Loaded Image" className="image-link__image" src="my-lazy-loaded-image.png" />
<!-- server render and render before component is in client viewport -->
<a href="/" class="image-link image-link--100px">
    <!--[if IE 9]><!--><noscript><!--<![endif]-->
        <img alt="My Lazy Loaded Image" class="image-link__image" src="my-lazy-loaded-image.png" />
    <!--[if IE 9]><!--></noscript><!--<![endif]-->
<!-- client DOM after component is in viewport -->
<a href="/" class="image-link image-link--100px">
    <img alt="My Lazy Loaded Image" class="image-link__image" src="my-lazy-loaded-image.png" />

Component introduction

There are two ways to use react-lazy: <Lazy /> and <LazyGroup />.

Lazy provides basic functionality for lazy loading: it keeps render in noscript element until it has come into viewport and then simply swaps render. Everything inside the component is wrapped into noscript. As the component is quite simple and generic it doesn't support many other things that provide convenience; for example, with images you have to write your own logic for handling onError and onLoad so that you can do things like trigger transitions as images are loaded, or change what to render instead of the image if loading the image fails.

LazyGroup extends Lazy functionality by wrapping only specified component types inside noscript. So only the specified components like img or iframe elements are wrapped to noscript. Other elements are simply rendered as-is.

The wrappable components (imgs and iframes by default) are also always wrapped inside another component. This custom component will receive information on whether loading the img or iframe has succeeded or failed, thus allowing a single place to control lifecycles as images or other content is loaded.

Shared features

These features are supported by both <Lazy /> and <LazyGroup />.


You can apply "cushion" around elements so they are loaded slighly before coming into the actual viewport:

// element content appear if it is in viewport or within 100px radius of it
<Lazy cushion={100}>...</Lazy>


Renders Internet Explorer 8 friendly syntax by adding conditional comments around noscript, effectively hiding existance of the tag from IE8 and earlier. This allows for minimal legacy browser support, since it is highly unlikely anyone writes their JS to execute on IE8 anymore.

Essentially this feature allows to render a visually non-broken page to users of legacy browsers, making it possible to give minimally acceptable user experience to users of browsers that should be dead.

This means there is no lazy rendering on legacy browsers, images load immediately.


  • On Lazy triggers after removing noscript element.
  • On LazyGroup triggers after all wrapped child components onLoad or onError events have triggered.
<Lazy onLoad={yourCustomFunction}>...</Lazy>


Triggers before removing noscript elements.


Allows you to manually tell if the element is actually visible to the user or not.


You can manually trigger checking for elements in viewport, which can be useful if you toggle element resize (which won't cause resize or scroll events). Or you can use setInterval if you want to be very lazy.

import { checkElementsInViewport } from 'react-lazy'
// now you're being a very lazy dev... 
setInterval(checkElementsInViewport, 250)

Notes about performance

checkElementsInViewport is debounced by 50ms so it never executes more than 20 times a second. Checking element's position in viewport is costly, which is why react-lazy uses the most lightweight solution for checking if element is in viewport: it only checks if none of the parent elements has display: none; (this particular case is cheap to check) and then the position in the viewport.

This means the check lacks some features such as seeing whether the child is actually visible in the screen, for example things like visibility, opacity or overflow: hidden; are not checked for, and there is no recursive logic. However, with React you usually have other means to know real visibility via component states, which is why visible property is provided for both <Lazy /> and <LazyGroup />.

<LazyGroup />

Lazy works fine with single images, but sometimes you may want to have slightly more control or better performance when you know multiple images load at the same time (for example, a row of thumbnails). In this case it makes no sense to check each individual image's position in viewport when checking for just the container component will be good enough — and also less for a browser to execute.

You can also use Lazy for multiple images, but there are some practical limitations such as the fact that everything inside Lazy is within noscript element, thus there is nothing rendered inside. LazyGroup solves this issue by rendering noscript only around specific wrapped elements (img and iframe by default). Also, further control is given with childWrapper component that will receive a set of props to make life easier.

Use cases:

  1. You want all contained images/iframes to be transitioned at the exact same time after everything is loaded.
  2. You want to use the abstraction provided by childWrapper instead of writing custom logic.
  3. You want to have slightly better performance by only checking the container element's location relative to the view.


// curly brackets are required
import { LazyGroup } from 'react-lazy'
function ImageContainer({ childProps, children, isFailed, isLoaded, ...props }) {
    return (
        // usually the other props include `dangerouslySetInnerHtml` when rendering `noscript` element
        <div {...props}>
            {isFailed ? 'The image did not load :( ' + childProps.src : children}
    <LazyGroup component="ul" className="image-list" childWrapper={ImageContainer}>
        {, index) =>
            <li key={index} className="image-list__item">
                <img {...image} />

childWrapper lifecycle

  1. On server side render and before the LazyGroup container is in viewport in client childWrapper will receive dangerouslySetInnerHtml prop (thus rendering noscript element that contains the lazily loaded content).
  2. After coming into viewport isFailed and isLoaded are false. childProps also become available.
  3. isFailed is set to true when img's or iframe's onError event triggers. You can use childProps to decide what to render.
  4. isLoaded is set to true when img's or iframe's onLoad event triggers.


Use this array to decide which components are wrapped by childWrapper. Default value: ['iframe', 'img']

Note! The components must support onError and onLoad events as these are used to detect loading.

Other components

Some internal components have been exposed in addition to the main components.


This is the childWrapper used to render LazyGroup's wrapped childs if no custom wrapper is given. The wrapper is a simple div with a className of react-lazy-wrapper. BEM convention is used to tell about the lifecycle:

  1. react-lazy-wrapper--placeholder is set on server render and client render before LazyGroup is in viewport.
  2. react-lazy-wrapper--loading is set once LazyGroup is in viewport.
  3. react-lazy-wrapper--failed is set if lazy loaded component's onError event has triggered.
  4. react-lazy-wrapper--loaded is set if lazy loaded component's onLoad event has triggered.


This is the component used by LazyGroup to handle rendering of the wrapped child components. It manages the onLoad / onError handling. It takes two props: callback and wrapper. callback is called by LazyChild once loading result has been resolved. wrapper is the component rendered around wrapped child element.


npm install
npm run build
npm test

Note! This component uses jsdom in it's tests. This means you may need to install stuff, especially on Windows. The following is copied from node-jsdom's readme:


Contextify is a dependency of jsdom, used for running <script> tags within the page. In other words, it allows jsdom, which is run in Node.js, to run strings of JavaScript in an isolated environment that pretends to be a browser environment instead of a server. You can see how this is an important feature.

Unfortunately, doing this kind of magic requires C++. And in Node.js, using C++ from JavaScript means using "native modules." Native modules are compiled at installation time so that they work precisely for your machine; that is, you don't download a contextify binary from npm, but instead build one locally after downloading the source from npm.

Getting C++ compiled within npm's installation system can be tricky, especially for Windows users. Thus, one of the most common problems with jsdom is trying to use it without the proper compilation tools installed. Here's what you need to compile Contextify, and thus to install jsdom:


  • The latest version of Node.js for Windows

  • A copy of Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop

  • A copy of Python 2.7, installed in the default location of C:\Python27

  • Set your system environment variable GYP_MSVS_VERSION like so (assuming you have Visual Studio 2013 installed):

    setx GYP_MSVS_VERSION 2013
  • Restart your command prompt window to ensure required path variables are present.

There are some slight modifications to this that can work; for example other Visual Studio versions often work too. But it's tricky, so start with the basics!


  • XCode needs to be installed
  • "Command line tools for XCode" need to be installed
  • Launch XCode once to accept the license, etc. and ensure it's properly installed


You'll need various build tools installed, like make, Python 2.7, and a compiler toolchain. How to install these will be specific to your distro, if you don't already have them.