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How to clean node_modules folder of packages that are not in package.json? (6)

Assume I install project packages with npm install that looks into package.json for modules to be installed. After a while I see that I don't need some specific module and remove its dependency from package.json. Then I remove some other modules from package.json because they are not needed anymore and others are replaced with alternatives.

Now I want to clean node_modules folder so that only modules listed in package.json stay there and the rest must go, something like npm clean. I know I can remove them manually but would like to have some nice ready to use sugar functionality for that.


Due to its folder nesting Windows can’t delete the folder as its name is too long. To solve this, install RimRaf:

npm install rimraf -g

rimraf node_modules

First globally install rimraf

npm install rimraf -g

go to the path using cmd where your node_modules folder and apply below command

rimraf node_modules


I think you're looking for npm prune

npm prune [<name> [<name ...]]

This command removes "extraneous" packages. If a package name is provided, then only packages matching one of the supplied names are removed.

Extraneous packages are packages that are not listed on the parent package's dependencies list.

See the docs: https://docs.npmjs.com/cli/prune


You could remove your node_modules/ folder and then reinstall the dependencies from package.json.

rm -rf node_modules/
npm install

This would erase all installed packages in the current folder and only install the dependencies from package.json. If the dependencies have been previously installed npm will try to use the cached version, avoiding downloading the dependency a second time.


simple just run

rm -r node_modules

in fact, you can delete any folder with this.

like rm -r AnyFolderWhichIsNotDeletableFromShiftDeleteOrDelete.

just open the gitbash move to root of the folder and run this command

Hope this will help.





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