How to uninstall npm modules in node js?


As commonly known, any npm module can be installed by running a simple command: npm install <module_name>.

I have installed a few modules that I do not use anymore and I just want to get them off. I have a few questions regarding this:

  • Do we have any command or process to uninstall a module from the root (something like npm uninstall <module_name>) or will simply removing the module files do?

  • How does it affect us if we keep the unused modules?

5/6/2019 9:07:12 AM

Accepted Answer

The command is simply npm uninstall <name>

The Node.js documents have all the commands that you need to know with npm.

A local install will be in the node_modules/ directory of your application. This won't affect the application if a module remains there with no references to it.

If you're removing a global package, however, any applications referencing it will crash.

Here are different options:

npm uninstall <name> removes the module from node_modules but does not update package.json

npm uninstall <name> --save also removes it from dependenciesin package.json

npm uninstall <name> --save-dev also removes it from devDependencies in package.json

npm uninstall -g <name> --save also removes it globally

3/19/2020 3:39:55 PM

If it doesn't work with npm uninstall <module_name> try it globally by typing -g.

Maybe you just need to do it as an superUser/administrator with sudo npm uninstall <module_name>.


Well to give a complete answer to this question, there are two methods: (for example we call the installed module as module1)

  1. To remove module1 without changing package.json:

    npm uninstall module1

  2. To remove module1 with changing package.json, and removing it from the dependencies in package.json:

    npm uninstall --save module1

Note: to simplify the above mentioned commands, you can use -S instead of --save , and can use remove, rm, r, un, unlink instead of uninstall


I just install stylus by default under my home dir, so I just use npm uninstall stylus to detach it, or you can try npm rm <package_name> out.


To uninstall the node module:

npm uninstall <module_name>  

This will remove the module from node_modules, but not from package.json. So when we do npm install again it will download the module.

So to remove the module from package.json use:

npm uninstall <module_name> --save  

This also delete the dependency from package.json.

And if you want to uninstall any globally module you can use:

npm -g uninstall <module_name> --save 

This will delete the dependency globally.


To remove packages in node_modules/ in bulk, you could also remove them from package.json, save it, and then run npm prune on the terminal.

This will remove those packages, which exist in the filesystem, but are not used/declared package.json.

P.S> This is particularly useful on Windows, as you may often encounter problems with being unable to delete some files due to the "exceeded path length limit".