How To Fix Cannot use import statement outside a module JavaScript

Are you getting the SyntaxError Cannot use import statement outside a module in JavaScript? In this article, I will discuss how to resolve this error in JavaScript.

You can receive this error for various reasons in JavaScript, it can be the Node.js or NPM that may cause the error. Or it may be the ECMAScript 6 that is not getting supported by the browser you are using.

Fix SyntaxError: Cannot Use Import statement outside a Module in JavaScript

You use the below methods discussed to get this error fixed that you are getting while you are trying to import a library in JavaScript.

Method 1: Using Module in Package.JSON file

The first method that you can use the get rid of this error is using the "type":"module" code in your package.json file present inside your project folder.

Filename: package.json
  "type": "module",

As you can see in the above code, I have used the import syntax function instead of require method that can usually cause the SyntaxError. Hence to remove this syntax error you need to import[1] the module in the package JSON.

How To Fix Cannot use import statement outside a module JavaScript

Also, make sure that you do not run TypeScripts scripts present in your project independently as those scripts can also cause this error or you can go into an infinite loop instead.

Method 2: Adding Module to Script Tag

If you are still getting the error then you may try adding the type as a module in the script tag as well. Sometimes adding a module to a package JSON file may not work and it may work if you add it to an individual script tag that is throwing an error for you.

<script type="module" src="../src/main.js"></script>

Since type module specifies to JavaScript that you can import the module you want to use for this script tag and hence removes the chances of getting StandardError.

Method 3: Using Require Instead of Import

You can use the require method of JavaScript if none of the above methods are working for you. But you need to add it differently as mentioned below in the example code snippet.

//Suppose you want to import fetch from 'getFetch'
fetch = require('getFetch')

Note: Here inside the bracket after require you need to enter your library name and before equals what you want to import from that library.

Using the above code, I was able to fix my error for SyntaxError for importing the module. This usually works for Node.

Method 4: Enable EMCAScript 6 in NodeJs

Another method that can help you fix this SyntaxError is enabling the ECMAScript 6 in your project if it is already not enabled. To enable you to need to follow the below steps.

//Open the Terminal and Type and Press Enter
npm install --save esm


node -r esm server.js

Why SyntaxError: Cannot use import statement outside a module Occurs?

Numerous interfaces continue to be incompatible with the ES6 JavaScript syntax and functionality. As a result, if ES6 is used in a file or project, it must be built to ES5 first.

The SyntaxError: Cannot use import statement outside of a module error could occur if you attempt to execute the file independently. You have not yet installed and configured an ES6 compiler such as Babel, or the file path in your runscript is incorrect/is not the compiled file.

If you wish to proceed without using a compiler, the optimal way is to use ES5 syntax, which in this example would be var ms = require(./ms.js);. This can be updated later as necessary, or better yet, configure your compiler and ensure that your file/project is compiled prior to running. Additionally, ensure that your run script is running the compiled file, which is typically named dist, build, or whatever you named it and that the path to the compiled file in your runscript is correct.

Wrap Up

I hope you were able to fix the SyntaxError using the methods listed above. As to resolve this error I have listed around four methods that you can use to resolve this issue.

If you are still not able to resolve this issue then please let me know in the comment section. Also, let me know if you know a better method to resolve these issues other than the one discussed above I will be happy to add it here.

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Further Read:

  1. How To Remove A Specific item From An Array
  2. Best Udemy JavaScript Course 2021

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