React's useRef Hook

React’s useRef hook is a way to persist a value in a component (e.g. a DOM object like a value in a form field) without having to use a piece of state.

For example, on line 7 in the component below, which is for a feature that filters contacts in a contact manager app, the text variable is set to useRef with a starting value of an empty string.

Then when the form input changes, the onChange function on lines 17 - 23 is called and contacts are filtered as long as the current value of text is not an empty string.

// useRef is a way to reference a DOM object so that a piece of state is not required for form
import React, { useContext, useRef, useEffect } from 'react';
import ContactContext from '../../context/contact/contactContext';

const ContactFilter = () => {
  const contactContext = useContext(ContactContext);
  const text = useRef('');

  const { filterContacts, clearFilter, filtered } = contactContext;

  useEffect(() => {
    if (filtered === null) {
      text.current.value = '';

  const onChange = e => {
    if (text.current.value !== '') {
    } else {

  return (
        placeholder='Filter Contacts...'

export default ContactFilter;
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