Using Supabase Authentication on Expo

I will start in the order of the steps you would want to do with a new Expo project. Although you could figure out Supabase Authentication via this blog, I highly recommend following Supabase documentation first, starting with the non-native version.

Checkout the initialization of a brand new Expo project since expo init here.

Supabase initialization

// src/lib/supabase.ts
import AsyncStorageLib from "@react-native-async-storage/async-storage";
import { createClient } from "@supabase/supabase-js";
import Constants from "expo-constants";

export const supabaseConfig = Constants.manifest?.extra?.supabase;

const supabase = createClient(supabaseConfig.url, supabaseConfig.publicKey, {
  localStorage: AsyncStorageLib,

export default supabase;

Notice how I’m using the localStorage option.

I use app.json to configure Supabase, simply because I haven’t found any reason to use something like environment variables for a mobile app. Learn more about configuring Expo app with app.json.

One thing I should note, you need to set a scheme in your app.json in order for the Expo redirection proxy to work.

Auth Context

Since it’s a client-side app (of course it is), I would store the Auth Session in a React Context because it absolutely does NOT need Redux. It is heavily inspired from Kent C. Dodds’ “How to use React Context effectively”.

The code below is long and contains documentation & explainations. You can find various stripped-out version of this context on the internet, but I’ve gone through and solve some of these following problems:

  • Supabase uses setTimeout for refreshing the Access Token. In the context of Native apps, the app might be backgrounded, so it warns you about that. We can safely ignore this, check the explanation in the code.
  • If the app cold starts, even if the user has signed in before, the AsyncStorage on the Native would not response synchronously, hence causing the login screen to flash for a second. Solution, documentation and explanation is in the code.
  • useAuthUser fetches the user from the session. It is, my by intention, included in the same file. Doesn’t make sense to put that anywhere else.
// src/state/auth-context.tsx
import AsyncStorageLib from "@react-native-async-storage/async-storage";
import { AuthSession } from "@supabase/supabase-js";
import {
} from "react";
import { LogBox } from "react-native";
import { isBrowser } from "../lib/helpers";
import supabase from "../lib/supabase";

type State = {
  session: AuthSession | null | undefined;

export const AuthContext = createContext<State | undefined>(undefined);

function AuthContextProvider({ children }: { children: ReactNode }) {
   * What the session state can tell us:
   * - undefined: The session is being loaded.
   * - null: The session is fetched and is unavailable.
   * - AuthSession: There is a session.
  const [session, setSession] = useState<AuthSession | null | undefined>(

  useEffect(() => {
     * About the "Setting a timer for a long period of time..." warning:
     * Take a look at this GitHub response:
     * It says:
     * > If you don't mind having your timer get activated later when the app is
     * > foregrounded again, then I think ignoring the YellowBox warning is a good idea.
     * The timer is for the token refresh task, from GoTrueClient.js. When the access token is expired,
     *  the access token needs to be refreshed. For a 1 hour JWT expiration duration on Supabase,
     *  it is scheduled when 59 minutes has passed. If it could not run at that specific time
     *  because the app were not foregrounded, then the access token would be refreshed as
     *  soon as the app is opened up. If it succeeded, the authentication is conserved. Otherwise,
     *  the session would be expired, requiring the user for a re-login.
     * Therefore, we can safely ignore this warning. Even in the case of the user making requests
     *  while the token is being refreshed, they should fail as they are using the expired token.
     *  The failed requests should be handled accordingly instead of bringing the app to a halt.
     *  The refresh should be fast enough.
    LogBox.ignoreLogs(["Setting a timer"]);

    const fetchedSession = supabase.auth.session();
     * Fixing the "login screen flashing on app open" problem:
     * The session could be immediately fetched on the web. But we might be using Native here.
     * So if it's Native, we would keep the session as undefined if it's not already been fetched before.
     *  We would then go visit the AsyncStorage, if it doesn't have a session, the session would be null.
     *  If it has, keep the current session state because the onAuthStateChange would setSession for us later.
     *  It might even have done that before our check.
    setSession(fetchedSession || isBrowser() ? fetchedSession : undefined);
    (async () => {
      if (isBrowser()) return;
      const storageSession = await AsyncStorageLib.getItem(
      if (!storageSession) {
        setSession((oldSession) =>
          oldSession === undefined ? null : oldSession,

    const { data: authListener } = supabase.auth.onAuthStateChange(
      async (_event, newSession) => {

    return () => {
      if (authListener) {
  }, []);

  const value = useMemo(
    () => ({
  return <AuthContext.Provider value={value}>{children}</AuthContext.Provider>;

const useAuthContext = () => {
  const context = useContext(AuthContext);
  if (context === undefined) {
    throw new Error(
      `useAuthContext must be used within a AuthContextProvider.`,
  return context;

const useAuthUser = () => {
  const { session } = useAuthContext();
  if (session === undefined) return undefined;
  return session?.user ?? null;

export { AuthContextProvider, useAuthContext, useAuthUser };

The helper file:

// src/lib/helpers.ts
import { Platform } from "react-native";

// eslint-disable-next-line import/prefer-default-export
export const isBrowser = () => Platform.OS === "web";

Login Screen

Again, you could find various versions of this. They could not figure out how to work with the redirect proxy that Expo provides, so I do it myself.

// src/screens/auth/Login.tsx
import * as AuthSession from "expo-auth-session";
import { Pressable, StyleSheet, Text, View } from "react-native";
import supabase, { supabaseConfig } from "../../lib/supabase";

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
  container: {
    alignItems: "center",
    flex: 1,
    justifyContent: "center",

export default function Login() {
  const handleGithubLogin = async () => {
     * Read this:
     * In the `authUrl` we don't want Supabase to know our varied URL. The flow tries to hide
     *  the varied URL from Supabase. So, is the one who will know our varied URL, and Supabase
     *  will only know

    const proxyRedirectUri = AuthSession.makeRedirectUri({ useProxy: true }); //
    const redirectUri = AuthSession.makeRedirectUri({ useProxy: false }); // Some URL which we don't know beforehand
    const provider = "github";

    const response = await AuthSession.startAsync({
      authUrl: `${supabaseConfig.url}/auth/v1/authorize?provider=${provider}&redirect_to=${proxyRedirectUri}`,
      returnUrl: redirectUri,

    if (response.type !== "success") return;

    await supabase.auth.signIn({
      refreshToken: response.params.refresh_token,

  return (
    <View style={styles.container}>
      <Pressable onPress={handleGithubLogin}>
        <Text>Login with GitHub</Text>


The principle is aligned with the examples on the React Navigation documentation. Notice which screens are rendered with each possible value of user. Another thing is the Promise.allSettled() polyfill that Supabase requires, see the code for the documentation.

// App.tsx
import { NavigationContainer } from "@react-navigation/native";
import { createNativeStackNavigator } from "@react-navigation/native-stack";
import allSettled from "promise.allsettled";
import LogoutButton from "./src/components/LogoutButton";
import { RootStackParamList } from "./src/navigation/types";
import Login from "./src/screens/auth/Login";
import Home from "./src/screens/Home";
import Loading from "./src/screens/auth/Loading";
import { AuthContextProvider, useAuthUser } from "./src/state/auth-context";

const Stack = createNativeStackNavigator<RootStackParamList>();

function AppNavigator() {
  const user = useAuthUser();

  return (
        {user === undefined && (
          <Stack.Screen name="Loading" component={Loading} />
        {user === null && <Stack.Screen name="Login" component={Login} />}
        {user && (
              options={{ headerRight: LogoutButton }}

export default function App() {
   * Polyfill for Promise.allSettled, used by Supabase. Remove when
   *  this PR has been merged:
   * Supabase usage:

  return (
      <AppNavigator />


Check out the code snapshot here.