File uploading is a common requirement in web development projects. But handling file uploads in Node.js can be complex and time-consuming. That's where Multer comes in.

Multer is a powerful middleware for Node.js that simplifies the file upload process by handling multipart/form-data requests. In this tutorial, you will learn how to leverage the power of Multer to streamline your file upload process.


To follow along with this tutorial and implement the file upload process using Multer, you should have the following prerequisites:

  1. Basic knowledge of JavaScript and Node.js: Familiarity with JavaScript and Node.js is essential to understand the concepts and code examples in this tutorial.
  2. Node.js and npm: Ensure that you have Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) installed on your machine. You can download and install them from the official Node.js website:
  3. A text editor or an integrated development environment (IDE): You'll need a text editor or an IDE to write and edit your code. Popular choices include Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, Atom, or WebStorm.
  4. Command-line interface (CLI): You should be comfortable using the command line or terminal to run commands and navigate through your project's directory structure.
  5. Basic understanding of HTML: This tutorial assumes a basic understanding of HTML to create an HTML form for file uploads.

By ensuring that you have these prerequisites in place, you'll be ready to follow along and implement the file upload process using Multer.

Let's get started with the first step: setting up your project.

Step 1: Set Up the Project

Start by creating a new Node.js project and initializing it with a package.json file:

$ mkdir multer-tutorial
$ cd multer-tutorial
$ npm init -y

Next, install the necessary dependencies, including Express and Multer:

$ npm install express multer

Step 2: Create an Express Server

Create a new file named server.js and set up a basic Express server:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const port = 3000;

app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`Server is running on port ${port}`);

Step 3: Set Up Multer Middleware

In this step, you'll create a separate file named upload.js to set up the Multer middleware. Multer is a middleware for handling multipart/form-data requests, specifically designed for file uploads in Node.js.

First, import the multer module using require('multer'). This ensures that you have access to the Multer functionality.

Next, define the storage configuration for uploaded files using multer.diskStorage(). This configuration determines where the uploaded files will be stored on the server. It takes an object with two functions: destination and filename.

The destination function specifies the directory where the uploaded files will be saved. In this example, we set it to 'uploads/', which means the files will be stored in a folder named "uploads" in the root directory of your project. You can customize the destination path based on your requirements.

The filename function determines the name of the uploaded file. In this example, we use to generate a unique timestamp for each uploaded file, which helps prevent filename clashes.

We append the original name of the file using file.originalname to maintain some context about the uploaded file. You can modify this function to generate filenames based on your specific needs.

After setting up the storage configuration, you create an instance of Multer by calling multer({ storage }), passing in the storage configuration object. This creates the Multer middleware that you can use in your Express application to handle file uploads.

Finally, you export the Multer instance using module.exports so that it can be imported and used in other parts of your application, such as in the Express route for handling file uploads.

By setting up Multer middleware in this way, you have configured the storage destination and filename for uploaded files, allowing Multer to handle file uploads seamlessly in your application.

const multer = require('multer');

// Set up storage for uploaded files
const storage = multer.diskStorage({
  destination: (req, file, cb) => {
    cb(null, 'uploads/');
  filename: (req, file, cb) => {
    cb(null, + '-' + file.originalname);

// Create the multer instance
const upload = multer({ storage: storage });

module.exports = upload;

Step 4: Handle File Uploads in Express

In your server.js file, require the upload.js file and set up a route for file uploads:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const port = 3000;

// Require the upload middleware
const upload = require('./upload');

// Set up a route for file uploads'/upload', upload.single('file'), (req, res) => {
  // Handle the uploaded file
  res.json({ message: 'File uploaded successfully!' });

app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`Server is running on port ${port}`);

Step 5: Create an HTML Form

In this step, you will create an HTML form that allows users to select and upload a file to your server. The form will be submitted using the POST method and will have an encoding type of "multipart/form-data" to handle file upload:

To create the HTML form, you will use the < form > element with the following attributes:

  • action: This attribute specifies the URL or route where the form data will be sent when the form is submitted. In this case, you will set the action attribute to '/upload', which is the route you created in Step 4 to handle file uploads.
  • method: This attribute specifies the HTTP method to be used when submitting the form. For file uploads, you should use the POST method, as it allows larger amounts of data to be sent. So, set the method attribute to "POST".
  • enctype: This attribute specifies the content type used to submit the form data. For file uploads, you need to set the enctype attribute to "multipart/form-data". This encoding type is necessary for browsers to properly handle file uploads.

Inside the form, you will add an < input > element of type "file". This element allows users to select a file from their local machine. Give the input element a name attribute so that it can be identified when the form is submitted. In this example, the name attribute is set to "file". You can adjust the name attribute value based on your needs.

Finally, you can add any additional form fields or submit buttons as needed. When the form is submitted, the selected file(s) will be sent to the specified route for handling.

By creating this HTML form, users will be able to select and upload files to your server using the provided input field.

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <title>File Upload</title>
  <h1>File Upload</h1>
  <form action="/upload" method="POST" enctype="multipart/form-data">
    <input type="file" name="file" required>
    <button type="submit">Upload</button>

Step 6: Test Your File Upload

Start your server by running node server.js in the project's root directory. Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000. You should see a file upload form. Select a file and click the "Upload" button. If everything is set up correctly, you should receive a JSON response saying "File uploaded successfully!".

That's it! You've successfully simplified your file upload process using Multer.

Multer provides additional features and options for handling various scenarios, such as uploading multiple files or setting file size limits. Check out the Multer documentation for more details and customization options.


In this tutorial, you learned how to simplify your file upload process using Multer, a powerful middleware for Node.js. With Multer, you can handle file uploads effortlessly by configuring storage options, handling single or multiple file uploads, and customizing various aspects of the process.

By leveraging Multer, you can enhance your web application's functionality and save time and effort in handling file uploads.

Remember to explore Multer's documentation for advanced options and features, such as validation, error handling, and integration with cloud storage services.

Happy coding!

Let's connect @ iam_kelvinjnr
You can download the source code @ GitHub