Fixing Cannot assign to property self is immutable Tips Solutions

Fixing ‘Cannot assign to property: self is immutable’ – Tips & Solutions

The error message “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” is a common issue encountered when working with SwiftUI’s views. This is because SwiftUI’s views are immutable by default, meaning that any attempt to modify the view’s properties will result in this error. It is important to understand how to fix this error to ensure that your SwiftUI project works as intended without any unwanted errors.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of fixing this error and provide an overview of how to do so. We will also provide some practical tips and techniques to help you avoid this error in your SwiftUI projects going forward.

Understanding the Error: Cannot assign to property ‘self’ is immutable

The error message “Cannot assign to property ‘self’ is immutable” is a common error that occurs in Swift when trying to modify a property in a struct that is declared with the ‘let’ keyword. SwiftUI’s views, being structs, are immutable by default, and thus cannot be changed after initialization.

The error occurs when attempting to modify a property of a struct instance that was defined with a ‘let’ keyword. The ‘let’ keyword denotes that the value of the property cannot be changed after initialization, thus resulting in the “immutable” property error.

The error message can occur in various scenarios, such as when attempting to update the UI of a SwiftUI view with a ‘let’ property or when trying to pass a structure to a function that modifies the properties of the structure.

Debugging Tips for the Error

When encountering the error “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” in SwiftUI, debugging the code can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you debug the error:

  • Understanding the stack trace: The error message usually includes a stack trace that points you to the line of code that caused the error. Use this information to narrow down the source of the problem.
  • Using breakpoints to find the source of the error: Set a breakpoint at the line of code mentioned in the stack trace, then step through the code to see where the error occurs.
  • Using print statements to debug the error: Use print statements to output the values of variables and other relevant information at various points in the code. This can help you identify where the error is occurring and what values are causing the problem.
  • Other debugging tools and tips: Take advantage of other debugging tools available to you, such as Xcode’s debugger, or third-party tools like LLDB. Additionally, try isolating the problem by creating a minimal, reproducible example that demonstrates the error.

By using these debugging tips, you can more easily track down and solve the “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” error in your SwiftUI code.

Preventing the Error

If you’re running into an “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” error when working with Swift’s immutable structs, there are some best practices you can follow to prevent this error from occurring in the first place.

Firstly, when writing immutable code, you should avoid adding any setter methods. This means that the internal state of the object will never change over time, which is the whole point of immutability. Secondly, you should make sure that all fields are declared as final and private. Private fields are not visible from outside the class, so they can’t be manually changed. Finally, if a field is a mutable object, you should create defensive copies of it for getter methods. This ensures that the object can’t be changed after it has been initialized.

When choosing data structures, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between value types and reference types. Value types, like structs, are copied whenever they are passed around, meaning that their state can’t be changed by other objects. Reference types, like classes, are shared across multiple objects, meaning that their state can potentially be changed by other objects.

Using protocols and extensions is another way to make your code more flexible and safe. By defining protocols, you can ensure that objects conform to a certain interface, which can help prevent errors like “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable”. Extensions can then be used to provide default implementations of interface methods, which can help reduce the amount of code that has to be written.

In addition to these best practices, there are also other ways to prevent the “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” error from occurring. For example, you can use CocoaPods or other dependency managers to ensure that your code is updated to the latest version. You can also use static analysis tools like Xcode’s built-in debugger to catch errors before they occur.

Fixing the Error: Solutions

When encountering the error message, “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable,” developers can explore several solutions to fix it.

Solution 1: Using computed properties or functions instead of directly modifying properties

One way to fix the error is to avoid directly modifying immutable properties. Instead, developers can use computed properties or functions to make changes to the object. This approach allows the object to remain immutable while still allowing for necessary adjustments.

Solution 2: Making the property mutable

Another solution is to make the immutable property mutable. This change enables developers to assign new values to the property without receiving the “Cannot assign to property” error. However, it is crucial to consider the implications of making a previously immutable object mutable before implementing this solution.

Solution 3: Making the object a class instead of a struct

As mentioned earlier, SwiftUI’s views are structs and are immutable by default. Developers can fix the error by changing the view from a struct to a class. This change enables developers to modify the properties of the object.

Solution 4: Using inout parameters

Developers can also solve the error by using inout parameters. The use of inout parameters allows developers to make changes to parameters passed into a function, enabling developers to modify their values without receiving the “Cannot assign to property” error.

Solution 5: Using a reference type instead of a value type

When encountering the error in question, developers can choose to use a reference type instead of a value type. Reference types, such as classes, allow for mutation by multiple instances while value types, such as structs, do not.

Solution 6: Using a different approach entirely

Lastly, developers can explore different approaches to resolving the error. This solution includes using different design patterns, programming paradigms, or libraries to find alternative ways to achieve their desired outcome.

Pros and cons of each solution

Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right solution depends on the specific context of the problem. While Solution 1 and Solution 6 preserve the immutability of objects, they may also introduce additional complexity to the codebase. At the same time, Solution 2 and Solution 3 may solve the error but can compromise the integrity of the object. Ultimately, understanding the context of the error is crucial to deciding which solution to implement.

Best Practices for Dealing with the Error

If you come across an error message that states “Cannot assign to property ‘self’ is immutable” while working on your SwiftUI application, then you’re likely dealing with an immutable object that cannot be altered. Here are some best practices for dealing with this error:

  • Knowing when to ignore the error: Sometimes, the error message might not be directly related to your code and could be caused by something else. In such cases, you can consider ignoring the error and move on with your development process.
  • When to seek help from the community: If you’re unable to determine the cause of the error or how to fix it, seeking help from the community can be a viable option. You can ask for assistance on forums or social media platforms related to SwiftUI.
  • How to write more robust code to prevent future errors: To prevent encountering similar errors in the future, you can write more robust code by following the rules of creating immutable objects. This includes not adding any setter methods, declaring all fields final and private, and creating defensive copies of mutable objects.

By implementing these best practices, you can effectively deal with the “Cannot assign to property ‘self’ is immutable” error in your SwiftUI application.


  • Question 1: Can I assign to a variable inside a closure?
  • The reason why you get the error “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” is because SwiftUI’s views are immutable by default since they are structs. Therefore, you cannot modify their internal state, including its properties. To bypass this error, you may use an inout parameter to make it mutable. Another solution is to use a reference type instead (e.g., a class) because reference types are mutable by nature.

  • Question 2: When should I use inout parameters to fix the error?
  • You should use an inout parameter when you need to modify a value type (e.g., struct) inside a closure. By using inout, you can pass a reference to the value type rather than a copy of it. This allows you to make changes directly to the original value, thereby fixing the error “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable”.

  • Question 3: How do I know if I should use a value type or a reference type?
  • The decision to use a value type or a reference type depends on your specific case. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which one to use:

    Value types Reference types
    – Simple, self-contained data – Complex, shared functionality/data
    – Small size – Large size
    – Copy on write (efficient) – Copy on reference (inefficient)

    Generally, use value types for simple data and reference types for complex data. However, you may also need to consider performance and memory efficiency to make the most out of your app.

  • Question 4: What if none of the solutions work for my specific case?
  • If none of the solutions work for your specific case, you may need to review your code and find out the root cause of the error “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable”. Check for any other places in your code that might be modifying the same property, or make sure that you are correctly passing parameters and handling closures. If you are still unable to resolve the error, consider seeking help from online communities or debugging tools to assist you in the process.

  • The error message “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” often occurs in SwiftUI because its views are immutable by default as they are implemented as structs. Users need to follow certain rules to make their objects immutable, such as not adding setter methods and declaring fields final and private.
  • To efficiently debug such errors, programmers should change only one thing at a time, not multitask during debugging, and use both static (“information-based”) and dynamic (“interactive”) debugging.
  • Thorough error checking, prioritizing error handling first, handling errors at appropriate places, being careful about coding in try blocks, and restoring state and resources are crucial best practices for error catching and handling.
  • If researchers want to recommend future research, their suggestions should be concrete, specific, and connected to their previous research findings. Reproducibility and replication of results and proposing new directions of study should be their primary focus.
  • To keep users engaged, writers can use shorter paragraphs, a conversational tone, incorporate rhetorical questions, analogies, and metaphors in their writing. They should also format their content using headings and subheadings and keep their paragraphs under 120 words.


When working with SwiftUI, you may come across the error message “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable”. This error occurs when you attempt to alter a property of a struct that has been declared as immutable.

Understanding Structs and Immutability

In Swift, structs are used to create value types that can be passed around your codebase. They are also immutable by default, meaning their internal state cannot be changed after they have been created.

If you attempt to change a property of an immutable struct, Swift will throw the “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” error. As such, it is important to understand how to work with immutable structs in order to avoid this error.

Fixing “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable”

If you encounter the “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” error, there are a few ways to fix it:

  • Make the struct mutable: One workaround is to declare the struct as mutable by using the var keyword instead of let. This will allow you to change the struct’s properties without encountering the error.
  • Create a copy: Instead of changing the original struct, you can create a copy of it and modify the copy instead. This can be done using a mutating function that returns a new copy of the struct with the desired changes.
  • Use a class instead: Unlike structs, classes are reference types that can be mutated after they are created. If you need to modify the properties of an object, consider using a class instead of a struct.

Additional Tips

When working with structs in Swift, it is important to follow best practices to avoid the “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” error:

  • Declare all fields as final and private to prevent manual changes
  • If a field is a mutable object, create defensive copies before using it
  • Remember to make a copy of an immutable object before altering it
  • Be sure to check for errors and handle them appropriately in your code


Overall, the “Cannot assign to property: ‘self’ is immutable” error is something that can easily be avoided with the right knowledge and best practices. By understanding how to work with immutable structs in Swift, you can save yourself time and frustration in the long run.

Being a web developer, writer, and blogger for five years, Jade has a keen interest in writing about programming, coding, and web development.
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