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Partial types in TypeScript

typescriptquick tip

TypeScript is great for many reasons and when getting past the first few steps it really makes developing a joy. With that said there may come a time when objects keep growing in size and maybe not all properties will exist all the time.

Say we have a user interface that looks like this:

interface User {
  firstName: string;
  lastName: string;
  dateCreated: Date;

All users have a first and last name but also a date when it was created. The date should always exist on the user object so it's not optional (by putting a question mark after the property name like dateCreated?:).

We then have a simple function that creates a new user by posting to our API. The user doesn't have a dateCreated yet because it will be set when saved to the database.

const createUser = (user: User): void => {
  // Here we call our API

const newUser = {
  firstName: 'Erik',
  lastName: 'Samuelsson',


Unfortunately we will get an error when invoking createUser telling us that newUser parameter is missing dateCreated. But as we said we don't know when it will actually be created and we can't just set it ourselves in the payload. Oh no, this really sucks hard time... or does it?

Partial to the rescue 💪🏻

If we change our createUser function to this instead we can send a partial part of the user object.

const createUser = (user: Partial<User>): void => {
  // Here we call our API

This will tell our function that it's okay to not have every property on the argument, the user object. This way we don't have to modify the actual interface just for this occurrence and we still know that dateCreated should exist on the user.