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React.forwardRef is a method in React that allows you to access and interact with a child component directly from a parent component. This means you can modify the child's properties, call its methods, or access its elements.

Normally, you wouldn't interact with a child component directly. But sometimes it's necessary, especially when you're dealing with UI elements like inputs, forms, or animations.

React.forwardRef creates a ref (reference) to a DOM element or class component in the child component, which you can then use in the parent component.

You create a forwarded ref like this:

import React, { forwardRef } from 'react';

const MyComponent = forwardRef((props, ref) => (
<input type="text" ref={ref} />

export default MyComponent;

Then you can use this ref in parent component like so:

import React, { createRef, Component } from 'react';
import MyComponent from './MyComponent';

class ParentComponent extends Component {

myRef = createRef();

componentDidMount() {

render() {
return <MyComponent ref={this.myRef} />;

export default ParentComponent;

In this example, `ParentComponent` is able to directly manipulate the input field created in `MyComponent` via the forwarded ref. Specifically, it sets focus to the input field right after it gets loaded on the page. This wouldn't be possible without `forwardRef`.

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