How to Clear Your NPM Cache?

How to clear your NPM cache?

We all love NPM, right? It’s the go-to package manager for all our JavaScript projects, but sometimes a little maintenance is required. It’s possible over time, NPM can become clogged with packages and files that are no longer needed occupying space on your disk, or sometimes some of those files go rogue and corrupt the cache.

When you need to, there’s an easy way to clean the NPM cache and in this article we will explain the why and how of cleaning up the NPM cache.

if you are in a rush just run npm cache clean --force, if not keep on reading to learn more.

What Is the NPM Cache?

The NPM cache is a collection of packages stored on your computer used by the Node Package Manager when installing new packages. This cache helps speed up the installation process since it doesn’t need to download the same packages repeatedly. The cache also allows NPM to track what extensions, files, and packages your computer has installed.

Unfortunately, this cache folder can get cluttered over time because NPM regularly updates old packages or installs new ones. This clutter can cause issues with installing new packages since it may not recognize what files are already installed on your machine.

Should You Clean the NPM Cache?

Let me start by saying that it is not recommended to clean the NPM cache unless you are facing errors due to data corruption issues or simply trying to free up disk space. NPM is pretty good at handling the cache, and if something is odd, it will try to fix it automatically or let you know of any possible corruption.

Why Clear the Npm Cache?

Here are a few reasons why you may want to clean up your NPM cache:

  • To free up disk space.
  • To get rid of the “Please run npm cache clean” error.
  • To fix libraries that didn’t download correctly.
  • To reinstall libraries free of cache (not sure why you would, though).

How to Clean the NPM Cache?

Cleaning up the NPM cache is simple and only requires one command:

npm cache clean --force  

This command will delete all the data stored in the NPM cache, including any outdated versions of packages. Note that it’s important to use the “–force” flag when running this command, as it ensures all data is deleted, even if there may be errors because of cache corruption or others.

What Is Npm Cache Verify?

npm cache verify is a command that verifies the integrity of all installed packages in the NPM cache. It verifies the contents of the cache folder, garbage collecting any unneeded data, and verifies the integrity of the cache index and all cached data.

How to run it?

npm cache verify

Is Deleting the NPM Cache the Same as Deleting the Node_modules Folder?

No, deleting the NPM cache is different from removing your node_modules folder from your project. The NPM cache is global for your computer, whereas the node_modules folder is stored within each project. If you just remove the node_modules folder and install all packages again, you could still be getting those packages from the NPM cache, and cleaning the NPM cache, won’t affect your project’s libraries.


NPM cache is an important part of the NPM package manager that helps speed up installation processes and keeps track of what packages are installed on your machine. Cleaning the NPM cache can help free up disk space, fix corrupted libraries, and save you from running into “Please run npm cache clean” errors.

It’s not recommended to clean the NPM cache unless you really have to, but if you ever need it, now you know how.

Thanks for reading!

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