The Strictest TypeScript Config


Most people know that to make projects using TypeScript "strict" in terms of typing, you need to enable the "strict": true option in the tsconfig. What this option does is enable a multitude of other options, such as alwaysStrict, strictNullChecks, strictBindCallApply, strictFunctionTypes, strictPropertyInitialization, noImplicitAny, noImplicitThis, useUnknownInCatchVariables. Indeed, all these options will undoubtedly make your TypeScript project stricter.

However, not everyone knows that in the TypeScript config, there are other options that can more reliably protect your project from type-related errors, which are not yet automatically included by the strict option. Let's take a look at these options together to make our projects using TypeScript more robust.


The first option we will explore is called noUncheckedIndexedAccess. Historically, TypeScript automatically infers a type if it has grounds to do so. For example, if we manually specify the type of an array while leaving it empty or use an index signature for objects. It might seem like TypeScript is doing us a favor, but very often, this can lead to unintended consequences.

This is where noUncheckedIndexedAccess comes to the rescue. It adds undefined to any undeclared key of an object or index of an array, prompting additional checks to ensure that you are fully aware of what you are doing.

// noUncheckedIndexedAccess: false (default behavior)

const ids: number[] = []
const user: Record<string, string> = {}

const id0 = ids[0] // number
const username = user.username // string

id0.toFixed() // βœ… but πŸ’₯
username.trim() // βœ… but πŸ’₯

// noUncheckedIndexedAccess: true

const id0 = ids[0] // number | undefined
const username = user.username // string | undefined

id0.toFixed() // ❌ Error: 'id0' is possibly 'undefined'.
username.trim() // ❌ Error: 'username' is possibly 'undefined'.


Next, we have the option exactOptionalPropertyTypes, which also addresses a long-standing pain point in TypeScript. Specifically, the issue that the ? prefix in object keys serves two purposes – indicating that a field can be undefined and also signifying that the field might not exist in the object at all (yes, these are two different things).

With this option enabled, TypeScript retains only one behavior with the ? prefix. Now, it signifies only the absence of a key, not that it could be undefined. If you need to allow the value to be undefined, you must specify it explicitly (e.g., hasFriends: string | undefined).

// exactOptionalPropertyTypes: false (default behavior)

type User = {
  name: string
  age: number
  hasFriends?: boolean

const user: User = {
  name: 'John',
  age: 18,

user.hasFriends = true // βœ…
user.hasFriends = undefined // βœ…

// exactOptionalPropertyTypes: true

user.hasFriends = true // βœ…
user.hasFriends = undefined // ❌


Concluding the trio of significant options, which are not part of the strict option but play a crucial role in enforcing stricter typing in TypeScript projects, is the noPropertyAccessFromIndexSignature option.

There is often a temptation to either write your own index signature for an object, even when it seems like there is nothing preventing you from explicitly describing all the keys of the object, or to use index signatures from libraries, as library authors often indulge in them. noPropertyAccessFromIndexSignature requires the use of bracket notation when accessing keys of objects described through index signatures.

The goal of this option is to make sure you are absolutely certain about what you are doing. Since nobody likes bracket notation where it can be avoided, this option forces you to avoid index signatures as much as possible. Indeed, many problems arise from them, and this option aims to mitigate those issues.

// noPropertyAccessFromIndexSignature: false (default behavior)

type Settings = {
  mode: string
  [key: string]: string

const settings: Settings = {
  mode: 'MFA',
  kind: 'google',

settings.mode // βœ…
settings.kind // βœ…
settings.wat // βœ…

// noPropertyAccessFromIndexSignature: true

settings.mode // βœ…
settings.kind // ❌
settings.wat // ❌
settings['kind'] // βœ…, but it's better to avoid index signatures and describe all type keys explicitly
settings['wat'] // βœ…

By the way, the TypeScript ESLint plugin developers have thoughtfully provided the ability to use this and many other options from the TypeScript config, along with their rules. The @typescript-eslint/dot-notation rule syncs seamlessly with this option, once again emphasizing that using index signatures is not a good practice.


There are also other options improving typing in the TypeScript config that are not automatically enabled with the strict option, but they are not as crucial as the three mentioned above.

For all new projects where you will be using TypeScript, I recommend starting with a TypeScript config where the strict option is enabled along with the additional three options we discussed earlier: noUncheckedIndexedAccess, exactOptionalPropertyTypes, and noPropertyAccessFromIndexSignature.

  "compilerOptions": {
    "strict": true,
    "noUncheckedIndexedAccess": true,
    "exactOptionalPropertyTypes": true,
    "noPropertyAccessFromIndexSignature": true

Or try enabling them in an existing project, but be prepared to uncover many areas where you might have taken shortcuts πŸ˜‰

All these options, by imposing additional constraints and promoting more correct coding practices, will help make your project more reliable. This simplifies both its maintenance in the long run and the quicker detection of incorrect behavior in your code.


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  • @artxe2 portrait.


    It's quite fascinating. However, noUncheckedIndexedAccess can be a bit restrictive, which is a bit disappointing.

    For instance, it raises errors in cases like the following:

  • @what1s1ove portrait.


    Hey @artxe2 !

    I think the issue lies more in the for...of/ loop, as it returns a string for a key variable. If you typecast it, everything will be fine πŸ™‚

  • @artxe2 portrait.


    The solution you provided might not resolve the issue.
    TS Playground

  • @what1s1ove portrait.


    Oh, I see.

    I understand what issue you're talking about. But here again, the problem is not with noUncheckedIndexedAccess, but with index signatures. If you explicitly annotate all keys, there won't be such an error. Here is the same playground but this explicit keys. … see more

  • @artxe2 portrait.


    Yes, indeed.
    If you have been using the strict option in TypeScript, applying additional stricter options may not introduce many new errors.
    However, for types like Array or Record, there are clear use cases, and it's not accurate to categorize them as inherently bad.
    For instance, I found type casting cumbersome in cases like the code below to eliminate errors.

  • @what1s1ove portrait.


    In general, as always, it depends on the situation 😁

  • @bwca portrait.


    Just dropping my 2 cents, the possible undefined problem of the aforementioned record can be solved by an explicit cast in the value lookup, it's just that both the object and its key need to be casted.

    Though the case seems rather artificial, as you'd probably be using .values or .entries :P

  • @what1s1ove portrait.


    Hey @bwca !
    Thank you for sharing your approach to solving the problem!
    I believe it's challenging to assess it solely based on this small code snippet. In real projects, everything can be significantly different πŸ₯²

  • @denys_dev portrait.


    Wow, hey from kottans nice to see you here :D

  • @what1s1ove portrait.


    Hi @denys_dev ☺️
    Nice to see you and I'm so glad you keep learning πŸ’ͺ

  • @lizaveis portrait.


    Thank you for the article πŸ™ƒ

  • @what1s1ove portrait.


    Thank you for not standing still!

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