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How to fix Syntaxerror: Cannot use import statement outside a module?

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Web development has become a lot easier thanks to the many design and backend frameworks available for developers to play around with and come up with better-looking and performing websites. That said, the coding part can still throw a rut in your workflow. 

In this article, we’re talking about the “Syntaxerror: Cannot use import statement outside a module” error, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.

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What causes this error?

The error occurs exactly because of what it states the reason is — you’re trying to use import outside of an ES module. This can happen both in a Node.js environment and in the browser. 

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How to fix this?

Here are two fixes you can try out.

For Node.js environments

If you’re working with a Node framework, the simplest solution is to add the module type to your package file. Simply find the package.json file and add the following snippet.

{
  "type": "module"
}

Now restart your Node.js server, and you should be good to go. 


For web browser environments

If you’re writing HTML code for browsers, include type=module wherever you import your JavaScript file. 

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

Refresh the page, and the error should be gone.

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