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Check for outdated packages


npm outdated [<package-spec> ...]


This command will check the registry to see if any (or, specific) installed packages are currently outdated.

By default, only the direct dependencies of the root project and direct dependencies of your configured workspaces are shown. Use --all to find all outdated meta-dependencies as well.

In the output:

  • wanted is the maximum version of the package that satisfies the semver range specified in package.json. If there's no available semver range (i.e. you're running npm outdated --global, or the package isn't included in package.json), then wanted shows the currently-installed version.
  • latest is the version of the package tagged as latest in the registry. Running npm publish with no special configuration will publish the package with a dist-tag of latest. This may or may not be the maximum version of the package, or the most-recently published version of the package, depending on how the package's developer manages the latest dist-tag.
  • location is where in the physical tree the package is located.
  • depended by shows which package depends on the displayed dependency
  • package type (when using --long / -l) tells you whether this package is a dependency or a dev/peer/optional dependency. Packages not included in package.json are always marked dependencies.
  • homepage (when using --long / -l) is the homepage value contained in the package's packument
  • Red means there's a newer version matching your semver requirements, so you should update now.
  • Yellow indicates that there's a newer version above your semver requirements (usually new major, or new 0.x minor) so proceed with caution.

An example

$ npm outdated
Package      Current   Wanted   Latest  Location                  Depended by
glob          5.0.15   5.0.15    6.0.1  node_modules/glob         dependent-package-name
nothingness    0.0.3      git      git  node_modules/nothingness  dependent-package-name
npm            3.5.1    3.5.2    3.5.1  node_modules/npm          dependent-package-name
local-dev      0.0.3   linked   linked  local-dev                 dependent-package-name
once           1.3.2    1.3.3    1.3.3  node_modules/once         dependent-package-name

With these dependencies:

  "glob": "^5.0.15",
  "nothingness": "github:othiym23/nothingness#master",
  "npm": "^3.5.1",
  "once": "^1.3.1"

A few things to note:

  • glob requires ^5, which prevents npm from installing glob@6, which is outside the semver range.
  • Git dependencies will always be reinstalled, because of how they're specified. The installed committish might satisfy the dependency specifier (if it's something immutable, like a commit SHA), or it might not, so npm outdated and npm update have to fetch Git repos to check. This is why currently doing a reinstall of a Git dependency always forces a new clone and install.
  • [email protected] is marked as "wanted", but "latest" is [email protected] because npm uses dist-tags to manage its latest and next release channels. npm update will install the newest version, but npm install npm (with no semver range) will install whatever's tagged as latest.
  • once is just plain out of date. Reinstalling node_modules from scratch or running npm update will bring it up to spec.



  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

When running npm outdated and npm ls, setting --all will show all outdated or installed packages, rather than only those directly depended upon by the current project.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Whether or not to output JSON data, rather than the normal output.

  • In npm pkg set it enables parsing set values with JSON.parse() before saving them to your package.json.

Not supported by all npm commands.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Show extended information in ls, search, and help-search.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Output parseable results from commands that write to standard output. For npm search, this will be tab-separated table format.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Operates in "global" mode, so that packages are installed into the prefix folder instead of the current working directory. See folders for more on the differences in behavior.

  • packages are installed into the {prefix}/lib/node_modules folder, instead of the current working directory.
  • bin files are linked to {prefix}/bin
  • man pages are linked to {prefix}/share/man


  • Default:
  • Type: String (can be set multiple times)

Enable running a command in the context of the configured workspaces of the current project while filtering by running only the workspaces defined by this configuration option.

Valid values for the workspace config are either:

  • Workspace names
  • Path to a workspace directory
  • Path to a parent workspace directory (will result in selecting all workspaces within that folder)

When set for the npm init command, this may be set to the folder of a workspace which does not yet exist, to create the folder and set it up as a brand new workspace within the project.

This value is not exported to the environment for child processes.

See Also

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