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File uploads

Enabling file uploads in Apollo Server

Note: Apollo Server's built-in file upload mechanism is not fully supported in Node 14 and later, and it will be removed in Apollo Server 3. For details, see below.

For server integrations that support file uploads (e.g. Express, hapi, Koa), Apollo Server enables file uploads by default. To enable file uploads, reference the Upload type in the schema passed to the Apollo Server construction.

const { ApolloServer, gql } = require('apollo-server');

const typeDefs = gql`
  type File {
    filename: String!
    mimetype: String!
    encoding: String!

  type Query {
    uploads: [File]

  type Mutation {
    singleUpload(file: Upload!): File!

const resolvers = {
  Query: {
    uploads: (parent, args) => {},
  Mutation: {
    singleUpload: (parent, args) => {
      return args.file.then(file => {
        //Contents of Upload scalar:
        //file.createReadStream() is a readable node stream that contains the contents of the uploaded file
        //node stream api:
        return file;

const server = new ApolloServer({

server.listen().then(({ url }) => {
  console.log(`🚀 Server ready at ${url}`);

Note: When using typeDefs, Apollo Server adds scalar Upload to your schema, so any existing declaration of scalar Upload in the type definitions should be removed. If you create your schema with makeExecutableSchema and pass it to ApolloServer constructor using the schema param, make sure to include scalar Upload.

Uploads in Node 14 and later

Apollo Server's built-in support for file uploads relies on an old version of the graphql-upload npm package for backward compatibility. This old version is not fully compatible with Node 14.

To prevent similar backward compatibility issues in the future, Apollo Server 3 will not include built-in file upload support.

To use file uploads with Node 14, you can disable built-in support by passing uploads: false to the ApolloServer constructor. You can then install and use the lastest version of graphql-upload directly (see the documentation).

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