node package manager


Find newer versions of dependencies than what your package.json or bower.json allows

NPM version Build Status

npm-check-updates is a command-line tool that allows you to upgrade your package.json or bower.json dependencies to the latest versions, regardless of existing version constraints.

npm-check-updates maintains your existing semantic versioning policies, i.e., it will upgrade your "express": "^4.11.2" dependency to "express": "^5.0.0" when express 5.0.0 is released.


Question Having issues? Check out known issues first. Then check the issues page.


npm install -g npm-check-updates


Show any new dependencies for the project in the current directory:

$ ncu
 express           4.12.x  →   4.13.x
 multer            ^0.1.8  →   ^1.0.1
 react-bootstrap  ^0.22.6  →  ^0.24.0
 react-a11y        ^0.1.1  →   ^0.2.6
 webpack          ~1.9.10  →  ~1.10.5
Run with -u to upgrade your package.json

Upgrade a project's package file:

Make sure your package file is in version control and all changes have been committed. This will overwrite your package file.

$ ncu -u
 express           4.12.x  →   4.13.x
package.json upgraded

Works with bower:

$ ncu -m bower     # will use bower.json and check versions in bower 

You can include or exclude specific packages using the --filter and --reject options. They accept strings, comma-delimited lists, or regular expressions:

# match mocha and should packages exactly 
$ ncu mocha             # shorthand for ncu -f mocha (or --filter) 
$ ncu one, two, three
# exclude packages 
$ ncu -x nodemon        # shorthand for ncu --reject nodemon 
# match packages that start with "gulp-" using regex 
$ ncu /^gulp-/
# match packages that do not start with "gulp-". Note: single quotes are required 
# here to avoid inadvertent bash parsing 
$ ncu '/^(?!gulp-).*$/'


-d, --dev                check only devDependencies
-f, --filter             include only package names matching the given string, 
                         comma-delimited list, or regex
-g, --global             check global packages instead of in the current project
-h, --help               output usage information
-m, --packageManager     npm or bower (default: npm)
-p, --prod               check only dependencies (not devDependencies)
-r, --registry           specify third-party NPM registry
-u, --upgrade            overwrite package file
-x, --reject             exclude packages matching the given string, comma-
                         delimited list, or regex
-V, --version            output the version number

Advanced Options

Do not use these unless you know what you are doing! Not needed for typical usage.

-e, --error-level        set the error-level. 1: exits with error code 0 if no
                         errors occur. 2: exits with error code 0 if no
                         packages need updating (useful for continuous
-j, --jsonAll            output new package file instead of human-readable
--jsonUpgraded           output upgraded dependencies in json
-l, --loglevel           what level of logs to report: silent, error, warn, 
                         info, verbose, silly (default: warn)
--packageData            include stringified package file (use stdin instead)
--packageFile            package file location (default: ./package.json)
--packageFileDir         use same directory as packageFile to compare against 
                         installed modules. See #201.
-n, --newest             find the newest published versions available instead 
                         of the latest stable versions
-o, --optional           check only optionalDependencies
-s, --silent             don't output anything (--loglevel silent)
--semverLevel            find the highest version within "major" or "minor"
-t, --greatest           find the highest versions available instead of the
                         latest stable versions
-a, --upgradeAll         include even those dependencies whose latest
                         version satisfies the declared semver dependency
--removeRange            remove version ranges from the final package version


The tool allows integration with 3rd party code:

const ncu = require('npm-check-updates');{
    // Always specify the path to the package file 
    packageFile: 'package.json',
    // Any command-line option can be specified here. 
    // These are set by default: 
    silent: true,
    jsonUpgraded: true
}).then((upgraded) => {
    console.log('dependencies to upgrade:', upgraded);

How dependency updates are determined

  • Direct dependencies will be increased to the latest stable version:
    • 1.21.3
    • with --semverLevel major
    • with --semverLevel minor
  • Semantic versioning policies for levels are maintained while satisfying the latest version:
  • ^1.2.0^2.0.0
  • 1.x2.x
  • "Any version" is maintained:
    • **
  • "Greater than" is maintained:
    • >0.2.0>0.3.0
  • Closed ranges are replaced with a wildcard:
    • 1.0.0 < 2.0.0^3.0.0

Why is it not updating ^1.0.0 to ^1.0.1 when 1.0.1 is the latest?

^1.0.0 is a range that will includes all non-major updates. If you run npm update, it will install 1.0.1 without changing the dependency listed in your package file. You don't need to update your package file if the latest version is satisfied by the specified dependency range. If you really want to upgrade your package file (even though it's not necessary), you can run ncu --upgradeAll.


Docker volumes can be used to easily update a package:

docker run -it --rm -v $(pwd)/package.json:/app/package.json creack/ncu -u -a

Known Issues

  • ncu -g incorrectly report that all packages are up-to-date. This is due to an issue in npm v3 in which dead symlinks break npm ls -g. See #235 for a workaround (TLDR; Delete the dead symlinks). For others, it was an issue with the npm prefix path. Try PREFIX="/usr/local/" ncu -g (#146).

  • In some environments (Windows) npm-check-updates may hang. Run ncu --loglevel verbose to see if it is waiting for stdin. If so, try setting the package file explicitly: ncu -g --packageFile package.json. See #136.

  • There is an issue with grunt-shell described in #119. TLDR; You have to explicitly specify your package file with ncu --packageFile package.json.

  • Cannot find module 'proto-list'. This error is occurring for many people, yet it cannot be consistently reproduced. It seems to be fixed by fresh installs of node and npm: "I reinstalled node 4.2.1 and npm 2.14.7. Installed ncu, and it worked fine. So I'm afraid I'm not able to reproduce the issue anymore." See #144.


Please file an issue on github!