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Depcheck is a tool for analyzing the dependencies in a project to see: how each dependency is used, which dependencies are useless, and which dependencies are missing from package.json.


Build Status Build status

dependencies Status devDependencies Status


npm install -g depcheck

Notice: depcheck needs node.js >= 4.

Syntax Support

Depcheck not only recognizes the dependencies in JavaScript files, but also supports these syntaxes:

To get the syntax support by external dependency, please install the corresponding package explicitly. For example, for Typescript user, install depcheck with typescript package:

npm install -g depcheck typescript


The special component is used to recognize the dependencies that are not generally used in the above syntax files. The following scenarios are supported by specials:

  • bin - Dependencies used in npm commands, Travis scripts or other CI scripts
  • eslint - ESLint configuration presets, parsers and plugins
  • webpack - Webpack loaders
  • babel - Babel presets and plugins
  • Grunt plugins
  • feross-standard - Feross standard format parser
  • mocha - Mocha explicit required dependencies
  • commitizen - Commitizen configuration adaptor
  • gulp-load-plugins - Gulp-load-plugins lazy loaded plugins

The logic of a special is not perfect. There might be false alerts. If this happens, please open an issue for us.


depcheck [directory] [arguments]

The directory argument is the root directory of your project (where the package.json file is). If unspecified, defaults to current directory.

All of the arguments are optional:

--ignore-bin-package=[true|false]: A flag to indicate if depcheck ignores the packages containing bin entry. The default value is true.

--json: Output results in JSON. When not specified, depcheck outputs in human friendly format.

--ignores: A comma separated array containing package names to ignore. It can be glob expressions. Example, --ignores=eslint,babel.

--ignore-dirs: A comma separated array containing directory names to ignore. Example, --ignore-dirs=dist,coverage.

--help: Show the help message.

--parsers, --detectors and --specials: These arguments are for advanced usage. They provide an easy way to customize the file parser and dependency detection. Check the pluggable design document for more information.

Deprecated arguments

The following arguments are deprecated and will be removed in next major version:

--dev=[true|false]: [DEPRECATED] It leads a wrong result for missing dependencies when it is false. This option will be enforced to true in next major version. The corresponding API option withoutDev is deprecated too.


Similar options are provided to depcheck function for programming.

import depcheck from 'depcheck';
const options = {
  withoutDev: false, // [DEPRECATED] check against devDependencies
  ignoreBinPackage: false, // ignore the packages with bin entry
  ignoreDirs: [ // folder with these names will be ignored
  ignoreMatches: [ // ignore dependencies that matches these globs
  parsers: { // the target parsers
    '*.js': depcheck.parser.es6,
    '*.jsx': depcheck.parser.jsx
  detectors: [ // the target detectors
  specials: [ // the target special parsers
depcheck('/path/to/your/project', options, (unused) => {
  console.log(unused.dependencies); // an array containing the unused dependencies
  console.log(unused.devDependencies); // an array containing the unused devDependencies
  console.log(unused.missing); // a lookup containing the dependencies missing in `package.json` and where they are used
  console.log(unused.using); // a lookup indicating each dependency is used by which files
  console.log(unused.invalidFiles); // files that cannot access or parse
  console.log(unused.invalidDirs); // directories that cannot access


The following example checks the dependencies under /path/to/my/project folder.

$> depcheck /path/to/my/project
Unused dependencies
* underscore
Unused devDependencies
* jasmine
Missing dependencies
* lodash

It figures out:

  • The dependency underscore is declared in the package.json file, but not used by any code.
  • The devDependency jasmine is declared in the package.json file, but not used by any code.
  • The dependency lodash is used somewhere in the code, but not declared in the package.json file.

Please note that, if a subfolder has a package.json file, it is considered another project and should be checked with another depcheck command.

The following example checks the same project, however, outputs as a JSON blob. Depcheck's JSON output is in one single line for easy pipe and computation. The json command after the pipe is a node.js program to beautify the output.

$> depcheck /path/to/my/project --json | json
  "dependencies": [
  "devDependencies": [
  "missing": {
    "lodash": [
  "using": {
    "react": [
    "lodash": [
  "invalidFiles": {
    "/path/to/my/project/file.having.syntax.error.js": "SyntaxError: <call stack here>"
  "invalidDirs": {
    "/path/to/my/project/folder/without/permission": "Error: EACCES, <call stack here>"
  • The dependencies, devDependencies and missing properties have the same meanings in the previous example.
  • The using property is a lookup indicating each dependency is used by which files.
  • The value of missing and using lookup is an array. It means the dependency may be used by many files.
  • The invalidFiles property contains the files having syntax error or permission error. The value is the error details. However, only one error is stored in the lookup.
  • The invalidDirs property contains the directories having permission error. The value is the error details.

False Alert

Depcheck just walks through all files and tries to find the dependencies according to some predefined rules. However, the predefined rules may not enough or even be wrong.

There may be some cases in which a dependency is being used but is reported as unused, or a dependency is not used but is reported as missing. These are false alert situations.

If you find that depcheck is reporting a false alert, please open an issue with the following information to let us know:

  • The output from depcheck --json command. Beautified JSON is better.
  • Which dependencies are considered as false alert?
  • How are you using those dependencies, what do the files look like?


We use the Github release page to manage changelog.


MIT License.