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Try the latest stable version of npm

See what version of npm you're running:

npm -v

Upgrading on *nix (OSX, Linux, etc.)

(You may need to prefix these commands with sudo, especially on Linux, or OS X if you installed Node using its default installer.)

You can upgrade to the latest version of npm using:

npm install -g npm@latest

Or upgrade to the most recent release:

npm install -g npm@next

Upgrading on Windows

Microsoft wrote a small command line tool to automate the steps below. You can go and download it here - or stick with the manual path outlined below.


By default, npm is installed alongside node in C:\Program Files (x86)\nodejs. npm's globally installed packages (including, potentially, npm itself) are stored separately in a user-specific directory (which is currently C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\npm). Because the installer puts C:\Program Files (x86)\nodejs before C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\npm on your PATH, it will always use version of npm installed with node instead of the version of npm you installed using npm -g install npm@<version>. To get around this, you can do one of the following:

cd %ProgramFiles%\nodejs
npm install npm@latest

If you installed npm with the node.js installer, after doing one of the previous steps, do the following.

(See also the point below if you're running Windows 7 and don't have the directory %appdata%\npm.)

A brief note on the built-in Windows configuration

The Node installer installs, directly into the npm folder, a special piece of Windows-specific configuration that tells npm where to install global packages. When npm is used to install itself, it is supposed to copy this special builtin configuration into the new install. There was a bug in some versions of npm that kept this from working, so you may need to go in and fix that up by hand. Run the following command to see where npm will install global packages to verify it is correct.

npm config get prefix -g

If it isn't set to <X>:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\npm, you can run the below command to correct it:

npm config set prefix "${APPDATA}/npm" -g

Incidentally, if you would prefer that packages not be installed to your roaming profile (because you have a quota on your shared network, or it makes logging in or out from a domain sluggish), you can put it in your local app data instead:

npm config set prefix "${LOCALAPPDATA}/npm" -g

...as well as copying %APPDATA%\npm to %LOCALAPPDATA%\npm (and updating your %PATH%, of course).

Everyone who works on npm knows that this process is complicated and fraught, and we're working on making it simpler. Stay tuned.

Last modified December 13, 2017           Found a typo? Send a pull request!

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