Query Vs. Find Vs. Get in React Testing Library

There are three query types in React Testing Library: query... , find... , and get... (for finding a single element, queryBy, findBy, and getBy and for finding multiple elements queryAllBy, findAllBy, and getallBy.) So what's the difference, and how do those differences inform us about how to use these queries?

Use queryBy and queryAllBy for when you know the elements don't exist

The query... queries are what you need to use when you want to assert that a given node doesn't exist.

queryBy returns the node for a given query if it's found and returns null is no elements match. queryAllBy returns an array of all matching nodes or an empty array if no nodes match. These empty data structures can easily be asserted against.

Really, the queryBy/queryAllBy methods should only be used on assertions where the nodes that they are looking for don't exist. This is because the other two methods will return very helpful, explicit error messages that print the whole DOM when a node isn't found, which can be helpful for debugging failing tests, whereas this method will not.


// error messaging/alerts are a common thing to assert does not exist in
// the DOM under certain conditions, so use the queryBy... query

Use findBy and findAllBy in asynchronous contexts

The most important thing to remember about the find... queries is that they are promise-based. They will retry to find the node/nodes that are being searched for and default to timing out their retry attempts after 1000ms.

findBy returns a promise which resolves to the node for a given query if it's found and rejects the promise if no element is found (or if more than one element is found that matches the query.) findByAll does the same thing, except it returns a promise that resolves to an array of all matching nodes.

The findBy/findByAll queries are useful when waiting for an element to appear or disappear in response to an event like a user action (button clicks, form submissions, etc.) or maybe something like a promise resolving (perhaps you are mocking a successful network request and changing the DOM in response to that.)

const button = screen.getByRole("button", { name: "Submit" });
await screen.findByText("Form submitted");

Use getBy and getAllBy for everything else

For everything else, use the getBy/getAllBy queries! They aren't promise-based, but will return helpful error messaging if the given node/nodes you are searching for aren't found.

const nameInput = screen.getByLabelText("Name");
// then run assertions against nameInput, or use it in setting up
// further assertions

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