Angular || How To Resolve Issue: “Module Parse Failed: Unexpected Character – You May Need An Appropriate Loader” Using Angular

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The following is a page which demonstrates how to resolve the issue: “Module parse failed: Unexpected character ”. You may need an appropriate loader to handle this file type, currently no loaders are configured to process this file” using Angular.


1. Overview
2. Install Custom Webpack Config Package
3. Update angular.json
4. Create Custom Webpack Config File
5. Rebuild Project

1. Overview

This error basically means there is no appropriate webpack file loader installed in the project to handle the file being referenced.

Out of the box, webpack only understands JavaScript and JSON files. File loaders allow webpack to process other types of files and convert them into valid modules that can be consumed by our application.

This page will demonstrate how to use webpack Asset Modules to configure the appropriate file loader for our project.

Asset Modules are loaders that specifies how a file should be handled. There are 4 module types:

  • asset/resource: Emits a separate file and exports the URL. (file-loader)
  • asset/inline: Exports a data URI of the asset. (url-loader)
  • asset/source: Exports the source code of the asset. (raw-loader)
  • asset: Automatically chooses between exporting a data URI and emitting a separate file. (url-loader with asset size limit)

If you are using >= webpack 5, you don’t need to install anything. These are included.

2. Install Custom Webpack Config Package

To configure a file loader in our Angular project, we need to allow for custom webpack configurations.

In the terminal, run the following command from your project directory. This command installs a package that allows for custom webpack build configurations with Angular. The custom configuration will allow us to configure the proper file loader for use in our project.

npm i -D @angular-builders/custom-webpack

3. Update angular.json

To tell Angular to use the custom build process, we need to update src/angular.json.

In src/angular.json, wherever ‘@angular-devkit/build-angular‘ is referenced, replace the value with ‘@angular-builders/custom-webpack‘.

For example:

  • '@angular-devkit/build-angular:browser' will be changed to '@angular-builders/custom-webpack:browser'
  • '@angular-devkit/build-angular:dev-server' will be changed to '@angular-builders/custom-webpack:dev-server'

The following is a sample of src/angular.json after making the above changes:

After the changes above have been made, we need to add a field that specifies the custom webpack config file path. It should be added in the following section of src/angular.json:

The file ‘extra-webpack.config‘ is where we will define the file loader.

4. Create Custom Webpack Config File

Create the ‘extra-webpack.config‘ file. It should be placed in the same path as specified in the ‘customWebpackConfig‘ node of src/angular.json.

The following is a sample ‘extra-webpack.config’ file. This file configures an Asset Module file loader rule for images.

For more example configurations, visit the official documentation.

5. Rebuild Project

After making the above changes, save, and restart your project / server.

The highlighted lines are sections of interest to look out for.

The code is heavily commented, so no further insight is necessary. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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