Uncaught referenceerror exports is not defined

In this article, we’ll be exploring one specific error called the Uncaught referenceerror exports is not defined error and diving into its details.

As a JavaScript developer, it’s completely normal to encounter errors while writing code.

These errors actually help us understand what’s wrong with our code and guide us toward finding solutions.

What is Uncaught referenceerror exports is not defined?

The error message “Uncaught ReferenceError: exports is not defined” typically occurs in JavaScript environments, such as Node.js or CommonJS, when attempting to use the exports object to export functionality from a module.

The exports object is used in Node.js and CommonJS to define the public interface of a module.

Additionally, it allows you to expose functions, objects, or values from one module to be used in other modules.

The error message “Uncaught ReferenceError: exports is not defined” suggests that the exports object is being used in a context where it is not available.

There are a few possible reasons for this error:

  • Incorrect environment
  • Syntax error
  • Missing module.exports

Here’s an example that could trigger the “Uncaught ReferenceError: exports is not defined” error:

// example.js
exports.sayHello = function() {

If you attempt to run this code in a web browser environment, you will encounter the error because the exports object is not available in that context.

The browser environment uses a different module system called ES modules.

How to fix Uncaught referenceerror exports is not defined

The aforementioned example above, to resolve it, you can modify the code to use ES modules syntax instead:

// example.js
export function sayHello() {

In this updated code, the export keyword is used to export the sayHello function. This syntax is compatible with modern browsers that support ES modules.

Alternatively, if you are working in a Node.js or CommonJS environment, you can modify the code to use the module.exports object instead:

// example.js
module.exports = {
  sayHello: function() {

In this case, the module.exports object is used to export the sayHello function as a property of the module.

Alternative Solutions:

If you got the error in the browser, try defining a global exports variable above the script tags that load your JS files.

<script>var exports = {};</script>

<!--📌 JS script should be below -->
<script src="index.js"></script>

This defines the exports variable and sets it to an empty object, so you won’t get an error if properties are accessed on it.
Browsers don’t support the CommonJS syntax (unless you use a tool like Webpack) of require and module.exports which cause the error.

If you run your code in the browser, try removing the module property from your tsconfig.json file and set target to es6.

  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "es6",  // 📌 set this to es6
    // "module": "commonjs", //📌 REMOVE this (if browser env)

When you remove the module option and set target to es6, your ES6 modules imports and exports won’t get compiled to the older CommonJS syntax that browsers don’t support.

Modern browsers support all ES6 features, so ES6 is a good choice.

Anyway, here are other fixed errors you can refer to when you might encounter them.


To summarize, it can be quite frustrating to come across the error message “Uncaught ReferenceError: exports is not defined” when working with JavaScript modules.

Nevertheless, by comprehending the reasons behind it and applying the recommended solutions outlined in this article, you can effectively resolve this error and produce JavaScript code that is both modular and free from errors.

It is important to keep in mind the importance of utilizing the correct module syntax, and ensuring the correct loading order of modules to prevent any module-related problems from arising in your projects.

We hope this guide has assisted you in resolving the error effectively.

Until next time! 😊

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