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

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import npmCheckUpdates from '';



npm version Build Status Coverage Status

npm-check-updates upgrades your package.json dependencies to the latest versions, ignoring specified versions.

  • maintains existing semantic versioning policies, i.e. "express": "^4.0.0" to "express": "^5.0.0".
  • only modifies package.json file. Run npm install to update your installed packages and package-lock.json.


  • Red = major upgrade (and all major version zero)
  • Cyan = minor upgrade
  • Green = patch upgrade

You may also want to consider npm-check. Similar purpose, different features.


Install globally:

npm install -g npm-check-updates

Or run with npx:

npx npm-check-updates


Show all new dependencies (excluding peerDependencies) for the project in the current directory:

$ ncu
Checking package.json
[====================] 5/5 100%

 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 ncu -u to upgrade 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
Upgrading package.json
[====================] 1/1 100%

 express           4.12.x  →   4.13.x

Run npm install to install new versions.

$ npm install      # update installed packages and package-lock.json

Check global packages:

ncu -g

Filter packages using the --filter option or adding additional cli arguments. You can exclude specific packages with the --reject option or prefixing a filter with !. Supports strings, wildcards, globs, comma-or-space-delimited lists, and regular expressions:

# upgrade only mocha
ncu mocha
ncu -f mocha
ncu --filter mocha

# upgrade packages that start with "react-"
ncu react-*
ncu "/^react-.*$/"

# upgrade everything except nodemon
ncu \!nodemon
ncu -x nodemon
ncu --reject nodemon

# upgrade only chalk, mocha, and react
ncu chalk mocha react
ncu chalk, mocha, react
ncu -f "chalk mocha react"

# upgrade packages that do not start with "react-".
ncu \!react-*
ncu '/^(?!react-).*$/' # mac/linux
ncu "/^(?!react-).*$/" # windows

How dependency updates are determined

  • Direct dependencies are updated to the latest stable version:
    • 1.21.3
  • Range operators are preserved and the version is updated:
    • ^1.2.0^2.0.0
    • 1.x2.x
    • >0.2.0>0.3.0
  • "Less than" is replaced with a wildcard:
    • <2.0.0^3.0.0
    • 1.0.0 < 2.0.0^3.0.0
  • "Any version" is preserved:
    • **
  • Prerelease and deprecated versions are ignored by default.
    • Use --pre to include prerelease versions (e.g. alpha, beta, build1235)
    • Use --deprecated to include deprecated versions
  • With --target minor, only update patch and minor:
  • With --target patch, only update patch:


--color                      Force color in terminal
--concurrency <n>            Max number of concurrent HTTP requests to
                             registry. (default: 8)
--configFileName <filename>  Config file name (default: .ncurc.{json,yml,js})
--configFilePath <path>      Directory of .ncurc config file (default:
                             directory of `packageFile`).
--cwd <path>                 Working directory in which npm will be executed.
--deep                       Run recursively in current working directory.
                             Alias of (--packageFile '**/package.json').
--dep <value>                Check one or more sections of dependencies only:
                             dev, optional, peer, prod, bundle
                             (comma-delimited). (default:
--deprecated                 Include deprecated packages.
--doctor                     Iteratively installs upgrades and runs tests to
                             identify breaking upgrades. Run "ncu --doctor"
                             for detailed help. Add "-u" to execute.
--doctorInstall <command>    Specifies the install script to use in doctor
                             mode (default: npm install/yarn).
--doctorTest <command>       Specifies the test script to use in doctor mode
                             (default: npm test).
--enginesNode                Include only packages that satisfy engines.node
                             as specified in the package file.
-e, --errorLevel <n>         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 integration). (default: 1)
-f, --filter <matches>       Include only package names matching the given
                             string, wildcard, glob, comma-or-space-delimited
                             list, or /regex/.
--filterVersion <matches>    Filter on package version using
                             comma-or-space-delimited list, or /regex/.
--format <value>             Enable additional output data, string or
                             comma-delimited list: ownerChanged, repo.
                             ownerChanged: shows if the package owner changed
                             between versions. repo: infers and displays
                             links to source code repository. (default: [])
-g, --global                 Check global packages instead of in the current
--greatest                   DEPRECATED. Renamed to "--target greatest".
-i, --interactive            Enable interactive prompts for each dependency;
                             implies -u unless one of the json options are
-j, --jsonAll                Output new package file instead of
                             human-readable message.
--jsonDeps                   Like `jsonAll` but only lists `dependencies`,
                             `devDependencies`, `optionalDependencies`, etc
                             of the new package data.
--jsonUpgraded               Output upgraded dependencies in json.
-l, --loglevel <n>           Amount to log: silent, error, minimal, warn,
                             info, verbose, silly. (default: "warn")
--mergeConfig                Merges nested configs with the root config file
                             for --deep or --packageFile options (default:
-m, --minimal                Do not upgrade newer versions that are already
                             satisfied by the version range according to
-n, --newest                 DEPRECATED. Renamed to "--target newest".
-o, --ownerChanged           DEPRECATED. Renamed to "--format ownerChanged".
--packageData <value>        Package file data (you can also use stdin).
--packageFile <path|glob>    Package file(s) location (default:
-p, --packageManager <name>  npm, yarn (default: "npm")
--peer                       Check peer dependencies of installed packages
                             and filter updates to compatible versions. Run
                             "ncu --help --peer" for details.
--pre <n>                    Include -alpha, -beta, -rc. (default: 0; default
                             with --newest and --greatest: 1).
--prefix <path>              Current working directory of npm.
-r, --registry <url>         Third-party npm registry.
-x, --reject <matches>       Exclude packages matching the given string,
                             wildcard, glob, comma-or-space-delimited list,
                             or /regex/.
--rejectVersion <matches>    Exclude package.json versions using
                             comma-or-space-delimited list, or /regex/.
--removeRange                Remove version ranges from the final package
--retry <n>                  Number of times to retry failed requests for
                             package info. (default: 3)
--semverLevel <value>        DEPRECATED. Renamed to --target.
-s, --silent                 Don't output anything (--loglevel silent).
-t, --target <value>         Target version to upgrade to: latest, newest,
                             greatest, minor, patch. Run "ncu --help
                             --target" for details.` (default: "latest")
--timeout <ms>               Global timeout in milliseconds. (default: no
                             global timeout and 30 seconds per
-u, --upgrade                Overwrite package file with upgraded versions
                             instead of just outputting to console.
-V, --version                output the version number
-h, --help                   display help for command

Doctor Mode

Usage: ncu --doctor [-u] [options]

Iteratively installs upgrades and runs tests to identify breaking upgrades. Requires -u to execute (modifies your package file, lock file, and node_modules).

To be more precise:

  1. Runs npm install (or yarn) and npm test to ensure tests are currently passing. You can specify your own scripts with --doctorInstall and --doctorTest.
  2. Runs ncu -u to optimistically upgrade all dependencies.
  3. If tests pass, hurray!
  4. If tests fail, restores package file and lock file.
  5. For each dependency, install upgrade and run tests.
  6. When the breaking upgrade is found, saves partially upgraded package.json (not including the breaking upgrade) and exits.


$ ncu --doctor -u
npm install
npm run test
ncu -u
npm install
npm run test
Failing tests found:
  throw new Error('Test failed!')
Now let's identify the culprit, shall we?
Restoring package.json
Restoring package-lock.json
npm install
npm install --no-save react@16.0.0
npm run test
  ✓ react 15.0.0 → 16.0.0
npm install --no-save react-redux@7.0.0
npm run test
  ✗ react-redux 6.0.0 → 7.0.0
Saving partially upgraded package.json

Configuration Files

Use a .ncurc.{json,yml,js} file to specify configuration information. You can specify file name and path using --configFileName and --configFilePath command line options.

For example, .ncurc.json:

  "upgrade": true,
  "filter": "express",
  "reject": [

Module/Programmatic Usage

npm-check-updates can be required as a module:

const ncu = require('npm-check-updates')

(async () => {

  const upgraded = await{
    // Pass any cli option
    packageFile: '../package.json',
    upgrade: true,
    // Defaults:
    // jsonUpgraded: true,
    // silent: true,

  console.log(upgraded) // { "mypackage": "^2.0.0", ... }


Known Issues

  • If ncu prints output that does not seem related to this package, it may be conflicting with another executable such as ncu-weather-cli or Nvidia CUDA. Try using the long name instead: npm-check-updates.
  • Windows: If npm-check-updates hangs, try setting the package file explicitly: ncu --packageFile package.json. You can run ncu --loglevel verbose to confirm that it was incorrectly waiting for stdin. See #136.


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