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Simple monitor of idle time for React

by Daniel Barreiro

1.0.1 (see all)License:MITTypeScript:Built-In
npm i react-simple-idle-monitor


Simple monitor of idle time for React

⚠️ This package is no longer supported. Other packages with similar functionalities, such as useIdle, have larger communities which ensures better quality and testing.

Build Status

Changes state to idle when a certain timeout is reached. Changes back to active when user interaction is detected.

Optionally triggers various possible actions when the idle state changes.


The current v1.0.0 is only partly compatible with the previous v.0.4.1 which has maintained compatibility since first published.

Please check the file for differences.

The current version requires at least React 16.8 as it uses React Hooks and avoids the unsafe life-cycle methods it previously relied upon.

It is also written in TypeScript.


It can do any or all of the following to indicate changes from active to idle and vice-versa:

  • new Provides a useIdleMonitor React custom hook to read status information and act upon the component.
  • Changes the className of the enclosing div element.
  • Fire events (when using IdleMonitorEvents).
  • Dispatch Redux actions (when using IdleMonitorRedux).

The last two features were available in the core of the previous versions and are now provided by separate components, if needed. The new useIdleMonitor hook is deemed much better and flexible.

Table of Contents


npm install -save react-simple-idle-monitor

And then import it as a React Component:

import IdleMonitor from 'react-simple-idle-monitor';

// The additional wrappers for events and redux actions can be imported as
import IdleMonitorEvents from 'react-simple-idle-monitor/lib/IdleMonitorEvents';
import IdleMonitorRedux from 'react-simple-idle-monitor/lib/IdleMonitorRedux';


An instance of IdleMonitor should be placed along with other context providers as high up in the tree as possible:

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';

import IdleMonitor from 'react-simple-idle-monitor';

function App() {
  return (<IdleMonitor>
    {/* other context providers or routes */}

ReactDOM.render(<App />, document.getElementById('root'));

IdleMonitor is a context provider but it also creates a single <div> element to which it attaches several UI event listeners, to detect user interaction, and also, if classNames are provided, it will set its className according to the state.

IdleMonitor can be placed anywhere in the tree but then the UI activity detection will be limited to the enclosed screen area. There can also be several IdleMonitor components enclosing various separate areas, which will respond independently of one another. In such a case, each branch enclosed in each IdleMonitor follows the normal scoping rules for Context Providers.

Class names

When it has either or both of the activeClassName or idleClassName properties set, IdleMonitor will set the className property of the enclosing <div> to either value depending on the state.

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';
import IdleMonitor from 'react-simple-idle-monitor';

  <IdleMonitor activeClassName="user-is-working" idleClassName="UI-is-idle">

Will be rendered in either of the following two, depending on the state:

<div class="user-is-working">.....</div>
<!-- or -->
<div class="UI-is-idle">.....</div>

This value is also available through the className property from the useIdleMonitor hook as described in the next section.

The default for both properties is an empty string, resulting in no className set on the <div>. The values of these properties are set when mounted, changing them afterwards will not affect the resulting HTML.

useIdleMonitor hook.

The useIdleMonitor hook provides access to the context information provided by the monitor.

For example, the className property can easily be accessed anywhere in the tree by doing:

const { className } = useIdleMonitor();

For TypeScript users, useIdleMonitor returns an object of the IdleMonitorContext. It contains the following properties:


A boolean, it is true when no UI activity has been detected for the timeout period, signalling the application is in idle mode, otherwise it is active. isIdle is false when initially mounted and will also be false after un-mounting. Calling the idle and activate functions also affect its state.


A boolean, it is false both right after mounting and after un-mounting. In both cases, isIdle will also be false. It will switch to true after the first render, if the disabled property is not set (the default). Calling the run and stop functions will also affect its state.


A number, in milliseconds, of the currently or last activity timer. It defaults to the timeout, but can be changed by calling run(newTimeout) or activate(newTimeout).

The property is not updated to reflect the remaining time for the current inactivity timer, as that would adversely impact the context consumers by forcing them to re-render. See startTime next for a suggestion on how to calculate one, if needed.


A number, in milliseconds (taken from indicating when the inactivity timer was last launched. It can be used in conjunction with timeout above to provide a running timer.

const { isRunning, isIdle, timeout, startTime } = useIdleMonitor();
const remaining = isRunning && !isIdle 
    ? (startTime + timeout - / 1000 
    : 0;
    // will produce, in seconds the time remaining until idle, 
    // or 0 if already idle or not running.


A string. If isIdle === true, className will be the value of idleClassName, otherwise activeClassName. Either of them might be an empty string.


A function, it allows to start the monitor. If it is already running, it will restart it. It takes an optional number argument representing the timeout (in ms) for this and successive inactivity timers. If no argument is provided, it will restore the default timeout.

Calling this function will result in:


A function, it allows to stop monitoring. Calling this property will result in:

Other properties remain unchanged and are mostly irrelevant.


A function, it is the same function called when the inactivity timer times out. It will have no effect if isRunning is false. It will result in

Other properties remain unchanged and are mostly irrelevant.


A function, will ensure the monitor is active. It will have no effect if isRunning is false. It will re-launch the inactivity timer as if a UI event had been detected. It will take an optional number argument which will become the new timeout for the new inactivity timer. Unlike the newTimeout argument in run, the one given in activate will only be used for the current timer, successive timers will use the previous value. It will result in:


IdleMonitor accepts the following properties.

disabled property

A boolean, defaults to false, if true, monitoring will not be running. This property replaces the enabled property from previous versions as disabled is a standard property for HTML Elements.

<IdleMonitor disabled>...</IdleMonitor>

timeout property

A number, in milliseconds, to be used for the inactivity timer. It defaults to 20 minutes.

<IdleMonitor timeout={10 * 60 * 1000 /* 10 minutes */}> ... </IdleMonitor>

events property

An array of strings, represents the names of the events the monitor is to listen to in order to detect user activity. They must be given in React Synthetic Events format. The defaults cover keyboard, mouse, touch and wheel activity and rarely need overriding. This is a write-once property, changing it when IdleMonitor is already mounted will not affect the component.

<IdleMonitor events={['onMouseMove', 'onKeyDown']}>...</IdleMonitor>

activeClassName and idleClassName properties

Both string properties, they default to falsy (an empty string). Their value will be assigned to the className attribute of the <div> wrapper rendered by the component and the className context property. They are both write-once, changing their value once the component is mounted will have no effect.

Other properties

All other properties assigned to IdleMonitor will be passed on to the <div> it creates, except for className which will be appended to the classnames created by the component depending on the status.


react-simple-idle-monitor has been stable for all its existence and the various versions have resulted from testing it with updated dependencies. However, it used soon to be deprecated life-cycle methods and lacked many features.

The new version has been completely re-written in TypeScript, uses React Hooks and Context.

A few of the original features have been dropped or changed:

  • element: a DOM element on which to attach the events to detect UI activity. It defaulted to document. Now it attaches the events to the <div> created by the IdleMonitor component itself.
  • events: since it now uses React Synthetic Events the name of the events should be given in proper React format.
  • enabled: A bad choice from the start, as its opposite, disabled is already a standard attribute on HTML Elements.

Neither of the first two properties should be missed as the defaults would usually suffice. enabled wasn't much used and, by now, should be totally obsolete as the run and stop functions provided by the useIdleMonitor are much easier to use. It has been dropped in favor of disabled with the corresponding logic reversal. It should be easy to refactor by doing the following replacements:

  • /\benabled={false}/g with disabled
  • /\benabled={([^}]+)}/g with disabled={!($1)}

Two extra helper components are available to provide for old features no longer available in the core component. These helpers add the following properties no longer in the core:

No helper function contains all the features of these two separate helpers, because even though not mutually incompatible, it was deemed improbable to use them both at once.

Both components are available in the react-simple-idle-monitor/lib folder.


IdleMonitorRedux is a wrapper around IdleMonitor and it has all its features plus, when using Redux via react-redux, IdleMonitorRedux can dispatch various actions to be handled as needed. IdleMonitorRedux only needs to have the reduxActionPrefix property set and to receive the dispatch function amongst its properties. This can easily be done by using react-redux connect HoC to wrap it:

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';
import { connect } from 'react-redux';

import IdleMonitorRedux from 'react-simple-idle-monitor/lib/IdleMonitorRedux';

const MyIdleMonitor = connect()(IdleMonitorRedux);

  <div className="my-app">
    <MyIdleMonitor reduxActionPrefix="IdleMonitor" />


A string, defaults to undefined. Using the given prefix, IdleMonitorRedux will dispatch actions of the following types:

  • prefix_run after mounted, unless disabled, or when run is called.
  • prefix_idle when the timeout expires or idle is called.
  • prefix_active when user activity is detected or activate is called
  • prefix_stop when unmounted or otherwise stopped

Actions are called as little as possible, i.e., re-starting a running monitor should not call the run action again.

The component cannot distinguish in between a call to run() when it is already running from a call to activate() as the only difference in between the two is whether the optional newTimeout argument is persisted for future inactivity timers, an information not available throw the useIdleMonitor hook. Both will be reported via an action of type prefix_active.

All actions have properties:

  • type: as described above,
  • startTime: set to the timestamp (i.e.: milliseconds since epoch) when the most recent timeout started counting.
  • now: the timestamp when the event was triggered. This data has always been mostly pointless, as the operation has always been synchronous, but is kept for backwards compatibility.
  • timeout: the value of the timeout for the operation. It will be the newTimeout argument passed to the most recent call to activate or run, if any, the value set through the timeout property or the default timeout (20 min) in milliseconds.


A function that will receive an object as described above. It is expected to be the dispatch function from React-Redux but it might as well be any other function taking an object, such as that resulting from calling React useReducer hook. The component doesn't check the return of calling dispatch nor does it wait should it return a Promise.


IdleMonitorEvents is another wrapper around IdleMonitor so it has all its features plus the following properties which can be set to handler functions that will be called when state changes.


If the component does not have the disabled property set (the default), it is fired immediately after mounted and whenever isRunning changes to true.


It is called when the timeout expires, that is, when isIdle turns true.


It is called when isIdle turns false.


It is called when the components stops running, that is, isRunning turns false and also when unmounted.

All events have the same startTime, now and timeout properties as described for the Redux actions.

Unlike the earlier versions of the component (pre- v1.x), the onActive event will not receive the extra properties event, with the actual event causing activation or the preventActive method to prevent the activation, as it did before.

The component cannot distinguish in between a call to run() when it is already running from a call to activate() as the only difference in between the two is whether the optional newTimeout argument is persisted for future inactivity timers, an information not available throw the useIdleMonitor hook. Both will be reported via the onActive event.

import React from 'react';
import { render } from 'react-dom';
import { connect } from 'react-redux';

import IdleMonitorEvents from 'react-simple-idle-monitor/lib/IdleMonitorEvents';

import {
} from '_store/actions';

const mapDispatchToProps = dispatch => ({
  onRun: ev => dispatch(idleMonitorRunActionCreator(ev)),
  onIdle: ev => dispatch(idleMonitorIdleActionCreator(ev)),
  onActive: ev => dispatch(idleMonitorActiveActionCreator(ev)),
  onStop: ev => dispatch(idleMonitorStopActionCreator(ev)),

const MyIdleMonitor = connect(

  <div className="my-app">
    <MyIdleMonitor />

The code above uses the second argument of react-redux connect method to add the onXxxx event handler functions to the properties of IdleMonitor which will dispatch actions associated to each event. It assumes the corresponding action creators are available to import from elsewhere. This would mostly mimic the effect of using the reduxActionPrefix property, however, it would also give a higher degree of control. Obviously, the event handlers can point to any suitable function.

If mapDispatchToProps is set as shown above, connect will not supply a dispatch property when mapDispatchToProps is given thus, even if the reduxActionPrefix is set, other Redux actions as shown above will not be dispatched because of the lack of a dispatch property.

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