Environment Variables

This document is for Next.js versions 9.4 and up. If you’re using an older version of Next.js, refer to Environment Variables in next.config.js.

Next.js comes with built-in support for environment variables, which allows you to do the following:

Inlined Environment Variables

Next.js will inline any environment variable that starts with NEXT_PUBLIC_ in your application. Inlining means replacing the variable with the value. For example, the following page:

export default function Page() {
  return <h1>The public value is: {process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_EXAMPLE_KEY}</h1>

Will end up being:

export default function Page() {
  return <h1>The public value is: {'my-value'}</h1>

Next.js replaced process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_EXAMPLE_KEY with its value, that in this case is 'my-value'.

You can use the shell or any other tool that runs before the Next.js CLI to add environment variables. For example, using bash:

NEXT_PUBLIC_EXAMPLE_KEY=my-value npx next dev

Or using cross-env for Windows and Unix support:

npx cross-env NEXT_PUBLIC_EXAMPLE_KEY=my-value next dev


  • Trying to destructure process.env variables won't work due to the limitations of webpack's DefinePlugin.
  • To avoid exposing secrets, do not use the NEXT_PUBLIC_ prefix for them. Instead, expose the variables using .env.

Exposing Environment Variables

Next.js allows you to expose variables using an environment variables file (.env), with included support for multiple environments. It works like this:

  • .env - Contains environment variables for all environments
  • .env.local - Local variable overrides for all environments
  • .env.[environment] - Environment variables for one environment. For example: .env.development
  • .env.[environment].local - Local variable overrides for one environment. For example: .env.development.local

Note: .env files should be included in your repository, and .env*.local should be in .gitignore, as those files are intended to be ignored. Consider .local files as a good place for secrets, and non-local files as a good place for defaults.

The supported environments are development, production and test. The environment is selected in the following way:

If the same environment variable is defined multiple times, the priority of which variable to use is decided in the following order:

  • Already defined environment variables have the higher priority. For example: MY_KEY=value next dev
  • .env.[environment].local
  • .env.local
  • .env.[environment]
  • .env

For example, consider the file .env.local with the following content:


And the following page:

export default function Page() {
  return <h1>The locale is set to: {process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_APP_LOCALE}</h1>

export async function getStaticProps() {
  const db = await myDB(process.env.API_KEY)
  // ...

process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_APP_LOCALE will be replaced with 'en-us' in the build output. This is because variables that start with NEXT_PUBLIC_ will be inlined at build time.

process.env.API_KEY will be a variable with 'my-secret-api-key' at build time and runtime, but the build output will not contain this key. This is because process.env.API_KEY is only used by getStaticProps which runs only on the server — and only the props returned by getStaticProps are included in the client build. Same goes for our other data fetching methods.

Now, if you add a .env file like this one:


Both API_KEY and NEXT_PUBLIC_APP_LOCALE will be ignored as .env.local has a higher priority, but CLIENT_KEY will become available.