Setting up Tailwind CSS v2.0 with Create React App

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Hello Everyone, Today I am going to show you how to set up Tailwind CSS v2.0 with create react app.

Create Your React Project

So before starting to set up Tailwind CSS with create react app, first, we need to create a react project using the command below if you already have a project, you don't need to create it again.

npx create-react-app your_react_project_name

Setting Up Tailwind CSS

Now we can start setting up Tailwind CSS in our react project. If you prefer to watch video tutorial, you can check out it over here .

Installing npm packages

First, we need to install tailwindcss, postcss, autoprefixer and postcss-cli packages as dev dependencies using npm.

PostCSS: PostCSS is a tool for transforming CSS with JS plugins.

Autoprefixer: PostCSS plugin to parse CSS and add vendor prefixes to CSS rules. It is a CSS post-processor. It combs through compiled CSS files to add or remove vendor prefixes like -webkit and -moz after checking the code. If you want to read more about postcss, check out their documentation.

So, in order to install all the four npm packages, you need to run this command

npm install tailwindcss postcss autoprefixer postcss-cli -D

After installing the npm packages, now, you need to create a new folder inside src folder and name it assets and then inside the newly created assets folder create two files output.css and tailwind.css. Open your tailwind.css file and paste the following code.

@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

Now, If you want to see all the tailwind default configuration, you can run this command to generate a tailwind config file.

npx tailwindcss init --full

The above command generates a tailwind.config.js file which contains all the default tailwind configurations. I don't recommend you directly make any changes in this file.

After that create a tailwindcss-config.js and postcss.config.js file by using this command

npx tailwindcss init tailwindcss-config.js -p

tailwindcss-config.js file looks something like this.

module.exports = {
  purge: [],
  darkMode: false, // or 'media' or 'class'
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  variants: {
    extend: {},
  plugins: [],

In this file, you can extend default tailwind css configurations like colors, fonts, and much more.

Now, Open your postcss.config.js file and change the tailwindcss line with this one.

tailwindcss: { config: './tailwindcss-config.js' },

Your complete postcss.config.js file looks like this.

module.exports = {
  plugins: {
    tailwindcss: { config: './tailwindcss-config.js' },
    autoprefixer: {},

Now, open your package.json file and replace all the script files with these ones.

  "scripts": {
    "start": "npm run watch:css && react-scripts start",
    "build": "npm run watch:css && react-scripts build",
    "test": "react-scripts test",
    "eject": "react-scripts eject",
    "watch:css": "postcss src/assets/tailwind.css -o src/assets/output.css"

Import output.css file

Now, you need to import the output.css file inside your app.js file like this.

import './assets/output.css'

And run npm start

CongratulationsūüéČ! You successfully set up Tailwind CSS v2.0 in your react project.

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Thank You

Lucas Frutig's photo

Nice post, but one doubt. In nextjs would be the same approach?

Rishi Purwar's photo

Thanks for reading. Actually, I never use nextjs. So, I don't know whether this method will work or not. But this is a basic approach to integrate tailwind. So, you can this approach to integrate tailwind in your nextjs app.

sridhar katta's photo

Rishi Purwar Thanks for your post, I tried setting tailwind using the official docs in my react app for the first time but they are so confusing, followed your post it just worked.

Rishi Purwar's photo

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you find it helpful.