Check for outdated packages

Select CLI Version:


npm outdated [[<@scope>/]<pkg> ...]


This command will check the registry to see if any (or, specific) installed packages are currently outdated.

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 If there's no available semver range (i.e. you're running npm outdated --global, or the package isn't included in package.json), then wanted shows the currently-installed version.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 dependency tree the package is located. Note that npm outdated defaults to a depth of 0, so unless you override that, you'll always be seeing only top-level dependencies that are outdated.
  • package type (when using --long / -l) tells you whether this package is a dependency or a devDependency. Packages not included in package.json are always marked dependencies.
  • homepage (when using --long / -l) is the homepage value contained in the package's package.json
  • 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$ npm outdated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
glob 5.0.15 5.0.15 6.0.1 test-outdated-output
nothingness 0.0.3 git git test-outdated-output
npm 3.5.1 3.5.2 3.5.1 test-outdated-output
local-dev 0.0.3 linked linked test-outdated-output
once 1.3.2 1.3.3 1.3.3 test-outdated-output

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might satisfy the dependency specifier (if it's something immutable, like a commit SHA), or it might not, so npm outdated and npm update have to fetch Git repos to check.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.
  • npm@3.5.2 is marked as "wanted", but "latest" is npm@3.5.1 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

Show information in JSON format.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Show extended information.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Show parseable output instead of tree view.


  • Default: false
  • Type: Boolean

Check packages in the global install prefix instead of in the current project.


  • Default: 0
  • Type: Int

Max depth for checking dependency tree.

See Also