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6.0.1 • Public • Published


Build Status NPM version npm

Check for outdated, incorrect, and unused dependencies.

npm-check -u


  • Tells you what's out of date.
  • Provides a link to the package's documentation so you can decide if you want the update.
  • Kindly informs you if a dependency is not being used in your code.
  • Works on your globally installed packages too, via -g.
  • Interactive Update for less typing and fewer typos, via -u.
  • Supports public and private @scoped/packages.
  • Supports ES6-style import from syntax.
  • Upgrades your modules using your installed version of npm, including the new npm@3, so dependencies go where you expect them.
  • Works with any public npm registry, private registries, and alternate registries like Sinopia.
  • Does not query registries for packages with private: true in their package.json.
  • Emoji in a command-line app, because command-line apps can be fun too.
  • Works with npm@2 and npm@3, as well as newer alternative installers like ied and pnpm.


  • Node >= 10.9.0

On the command line

This is the easiest way to use npm-check.


$ npm install -g npm-check


$ npm-check


The result should look like the screenshot, or something nice when your packages are all up-to-date and in use.

When updates are required it will return a non-zero response code that you can use in your CI tools.


  $ npm-check <path> <options>

  Where to check. Defaults to current directory. Use -g for checking global modules.

  -u, --update          Interactive update.
  -y, --update-all      Uninteractive update. Apply all updates without prompting.
  -g, --global          Look at global modules.
  -s, --skip-unused     Skip check for unused packages.
  -p, --production      Skip devDependencies.
  -d, --dev-only        Look at devDependencies only (skip dependencies).
  -i, --ignore          Ignore dependencies based on succeeding glob.
  -E, --save-exact      Save exact version (x.y.z) instead of caret (^x.y.z) in package.json.
  --specials            List of depcheck specials to include in check for unused dependencies.
  --no-color            Force or disable color output.
  --no-emoji            Remove emoji support. No emoji in default in CI environments.
  --debug               Show debug output. Throw in a gist when creating issues on github.

  $ npm-check           # See what can be updated, what isn't being used.
  $ npm-check ../foo    # Check another path.
  $ npm-check -gu       # Update globally installed modules by picking which ones to upgrade.


-u, --update

Show an interactive UI for choosing which modules to update.

Automatically updates versions referenced in the package.json.

Based on recommendations from the npm team, npm-check only updates using npm install, not npm update. To avoid using more than one version of npm in one directory, npm-check will automatically install updated modules using the version of npm installed globally.

npm-check -g -u

Update using ied or pnpm

Set environment variable NPM_CHECK_INSTALLER to the name of the installer you wish to use.

NPM_CHECK_INSTALLER=pnpm npm-check -u
## pnpm install --save-dev foo@version --color=always

You can also use this for dry-run testing:

NPM_CHECK_INSTALLER=echo npm-check -u

-y, --update-all

Updates your dependencies like --update, just without any prompt. This is especially useful if you want to automate your dependency updates with npm-check.

-g, --global

Check the versions of your globally installed packages.

If the value of process.env.NODE_PATH is set, it will override the default path of global node_modules returned by package global-modules.

Tip: Use npm-check -u -g to do a safe interactive update of global modules, including npm itself.

-s, --skip-unused

By default npm-check will let you know if any of your modules are not being used by looking at require statements in your code.

This option will skip that check.

This is enabled by default when using global or update.

-p, --production

By default npm-check will look at packages listed as dependencies and devDependencies.

This option will let it ignore outdated and unused checks for packages listed as devDependencies.

-d, --dev-only

Ignore dependencies and only check devDependencies.

This option will let it ignore outdated and unused checks for packages listed as dependencies.

-i, --ignore

Ignore dependencies that match specified glob.

$ npm-check -i babel-* will ignore all dependencies starting with 'babel-'.

-E, --save-exact

Install packages using --save-exact, meaning exact versions will be saved in package.json.

Applies to both dependencies and devDependencies.


Check special (e.g. config) files when looking for unused dependencies.

$ npm-check --specials=bin,webpack will look in the scripts section of package.json and in webpack config.

See for more information.

--color, --no-color

Enable or disable color support.

By default npm-check uses colors if they are available.

--emoji, --no-emoji

Enable or disable emoji support. Useful for terminals that don't support them. Automatically disabled in CI servers.

--spinner, --no-spinner

Enable or disable the spinner. Useful for terminals that don't support them. Automatically disabled in CI servers.


The API is here in case you want to wrap this with your CI toolset.

const npmCheck = require('npm-check');

  .then(currentState => console.log(currentState.get('packages')));


  • Interactive update.
  • default is false


  • Check global modules.
  • default is false
  • cwd is automatically set with this option.


  • Skip checking for unused packages.
  • default is false


  • Ignore devDependencies.
  • This is called --production on the command line to match npm.
  • default is false


  • Ignore dependencies and only check devDependencies.
  • default is false


  • Ignore dependencies that match specified glob.
  • default is []


  • Update package.json with exact version x.y.z instead of semver range ^x.y.z.
  • default is false


  • Show debug output. Throw in a gist when creating issues on github.
  • default is false


  • Override where npm-check checks.
  • default is process.cwd()


  • List of depcheck special parsers to include.
  • default is ''


The result of the promise is a currentState object, look in state.js to see how it works.

You will probably want currentState.get('packages') to get an array of packages and the state of each of them.

Each item in the array will look like the following:

  moduleName: 'lodash',                 // name of the module.
  homepage: '',      // url to the home page.
  regError: undefined,                  // error communicating with the registry
  pkgError: undefined,                  // error reading the package.json
  latest: '4.7.0',                      // latest according to the registry.
  installed: '4.6.1',                   // version installed
  isInstalled: true,                    // Is it installed?
  notInstalled: false,                  // Is it installed?
  packageWanted: '4.7.0',               // Requested version from the package.json.
  packageJson: '^4.6.1',                // Version or range requested in the parent package.json.
  devDependency: false,                 // Is this a devDependency?
  usedInScripts: undefined,             // Array of `scripts` in package.json that use this module.
  mismatch: false,                      // Does the version installed not match the range in package.json?
  semverValid: '4.6.1',                 // Is the installed version valid semver?
  easyUpgrade: true,                    // Will running just `npm install` upgrade the module?
  bump: 'minor',                        // What kind of bump is required to get the latest, such as patch, minor, major.
  unused: false                         // Is this module used in the code?

You will also see this if you use --debug on the command line.

RC File Support

Additional options can be sent to the depcheck process. See depcheck API. Create a .npmcheckrc{.json,.yml,.js} file and set the depcheck options under depcheck property.

For example, to skip packages for unused check, but still want them in the outdated check (so can't use the --ignore option):

# .npmcheckrc

  ignoreMatches: ["replace-in-file","snyk","sonarqube-scanner"]


  • npm outdated - awkward output, requires --depth=0 to be grokable.
  • david - does not work with private registries.
  • update-notifier - for single modules, not everything in package.json.
  • depcheck - only part of the puzzle. npm-check uses depcheck.

About the Author

Hi! Thanks for checking out this project! My name is Dylan Greene. When not overwhelmed with my two young kids I enjoy contributing to the open source community. I'm also a tech lead at Opower. @dylang @dylang

Here's some of my other Node projects:

Name Description npm Downloads
grunt‑notify Automatic desktop notifications for Grunt errors and warnings. Supports OS X, Windows, Linux. grunt-notify
shortid Amazingly short non-sequential url-friendly unique id generator. shortid
space‑hogs Discover surprisingly large directories from the command line. space-hogs
rss RSS feed generator. Add RSS feeds to any project. Supports enclosures and GeoRSS. rss
grunt‑prompt Interactive prompt for your Grunt config using console checkboxes, text input with filtering, password fields. grunt-prompt
xml Fast and simple xml generator. Supports attributes, CDATA, etc. Includes tests and examples. xml
changelog Command line tool (and Node module) that generates a changelog in color output, markdown, or json for modules in's registry as well as any public repo. changelog
grunt‑attention Display attention-grabbing messages in the terminal grunt-attention
observatory Beautiful UI for showing tasks running on the command line. observatory
anthology Module information and stats for any @npmjs user anthology
grunt‑cat Echo a file to the terminal. Works with text, figlets, ascii art, and full-color ansi. grunt-cat

This list was generated using anthology.


Copyright (c) 2016 Dylan Greene, contributors.

Released under the MIT license.

Screenshots are CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike).

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