Launching your app with a root module

An NgModule describes how the application parts fit together. Every application has at least one Angular module, the root module, which must be present for bootstrapping the application on launch. By convention and by default, this NgModule is named AppModule.

When you use the Angular CLI ng new command to generate an app, the default AppModule looks like the following:

import { BrowserModule } from '@angular/platform-browser';
import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { AppComponent } from './app.component';
declarations: [
imports: [
providers: [],
bootstrap: [AppComponent]
export class AppModule { }

The @NgModule decorator identifies AppModule as an NgModule class. @NgModule takes a metadata object that tells Angular how to compile and launch the application.

Metadata field Details
declarations Includes the root application component.
imports Imports BrowserModule to enable browser-specific services (such as DOM rendering, sanitization)
providers The service providers.
bootstrap The root component that Angular creates and inserts into the index.html host web page.

The declarations array

The module's declarations array tells Angular which components belong to that module. As you create more components, add them to declarations.

The declarations array only takes declarables. Declarables are components, directives, and pipes. All of a module's declarables must be in the declarations array. Declarables must belong to exactly one module. The compiler returns an error if declare the same class in multiple modules.

These declared classes are usable within the module but private to components in a different module, unless they are exported from this module and the other module imports this one.

An example of what goes into a declarations array follows:

declarations: [

Using directives with @NgModule

Use the declarations array for directives. To use a directive, component, or pipe in a module, you must do a few things:

  1. Export it from the TypeScript file where you wrote it
  2. Import it into the appropriate file containing the @NgModule class.
  3. Declare it in the @NgModule declarations array.

Those three steps look like the following. In the file where you create your directive, export it. The following example shows an empty directive named ItemDirective.


import { Directive } from '@angular/core';
selector: '[appItem]'
export class ItemDirective {
// your code here

The key point here is that you have to export it, so that you can import it elsewhere. Next, import it into the file in which your NgModule lives. In this example, this is the app.module.ts file.


import { ItemDirective } from './item.directive';

And in the same file, add it to the @NgModule declarations array:


declarations: [

Now you can use ItemDirective in a component. This example uses AppModule, but you would follow the same steps for a feature module. For more about directives, see Attribute Directives and Structural Directives. You'd also use the same technique for pipes and components.

Remember, components, directives, and pipes belong to one module only. You only need to declare them once in your application because you share them by importing the necessary modules. This saves you time and helps keep your application lean.

The imports array

Modules accept an imports array in the @NgModule metadata object. It tells Angular about other NgModules that this particular module needs to function properly.


imports: [

This list of modules are those that export components, directives, or pipes that component templates in this module reference. In this case, the component is AppComponent, which references components, directives, or pipes in BrowserModule, FormsModule, or HttpClientModule. A component template can reference another component, directive, or pipe when the referenced class is declared in this module, or the class was imported from another module.

The providers array

The providers array is where you list the services the application needs. When you list services here, they are available app-wide. You can scope them when using feature modules and lazy loading. For more information, see Providers in modules.

The bootstrap array

The application launches by bootstrapping the root AppModule. The bootstrapping process creates the component(s) listed in the bootstrap array and inserts each one into the browser DOM, if it finds an element matching the component's selector.

Each bootstrapped component is the base of its own tree of components. Inserting a bootstrapped component usually triggers a cascade of component creations that builds up that tree. While you can put more than one component tree on a host web page, most applications have only one component tree and bootstrap a single root component.

The root component is commonly called AppComponent and is in the root module's bootstrap array.

In a situation where you want to bootstrap a component based on an API response, or you want to mount the AppComponent in a different DOM node that doesn't match the component selector, please refer to ApplicationRef.bootstrap() documentation.

More about Angular Modules

See Frequently Used Modules to learn more about modules you will commonly see in applications.