Fix - 'jest' is not recognized as an internal or external command

avatar

Borislav Hadzhiev

Sat Mar 05 20224 min read

banner

Photo by Meiying Ng

Fix - 'jest' is not recognized as an internal or external command #

Use npx to solve the error "'jest' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file", e.g. npx jest or install the package globally by running npm install -g jest and make sure your PATH environment variable is set up correctly.

The fastest way to solve the error is to use the npx command.

shell
npx jest npx jest --version

Alternatively, you can install jest globally or as a development dependency.

shell
# 👇️ installs jest globally (can run from any directory) npm install -g jest # 👇️ (better) installs jest locally to the project (must be ran from root directory) npm install --save-dev jest

The benefit of installing jest as a development dependency is that you can control the version of the package in your package.json file.

You can create a script with your test command in the scripts object of your package.json file.

package.json
{ "scripts": { "test": "jest" } }

Now you would run the command as npm run test and not use jest directly.

If you decide to install jest globally and the global installation fails, you have to open your shell as an administrator or run the command prefixed with sudo.
shell
# 👇️ if you got permissions error sudo npm install -g jest

You can link your project to the globally installed jest package, by opening your terminal in your project's root directory (where your package.json file is) and running the npm link jest command.

shell
npm link jest

The npm link command creates a symbolic link from the globally installed package to the node_modules/ directory of the current folder.

If the "jest is not recognized as an internal or external command" error is not resolved, try restarting your terminal.

If that didn't help, run the following command:

shell
npm config get prefix

The command will show you the path where npm puts your globally installed packages. The global packages will be in the bin directory at the specified path.

Look at the PATH environment variable on your operating system and add the path that the npm config get prefix command outputs, if it's not already there.

If you add the output from the command to your PATH environment variable, you have to restart any open command prompts before it takes effect.

On Windows, the output of the npm config get prefix command will look something like: C:\Users\Your_User_Name\AppData\Roaming\npm.

To update the PATH on a Windows machine, you have to:

  1. Open the start search and type in env and then click "Edit the system environment variables"
  2. Then click "Environment Variables"
  3. Edit the Path variable and add the output you got from the npm config get prefix command.

The path should look like C:\Users\Your_User_Name\AppData\Roaming\npm (make sure to replace the Your_User_name placeholder with your actual username).

If you add the output from the command to your PATH environment variable, you have to restart any open command prompts before it takes effect.

If you get the error "jest cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system", open your PowerShell as an administrator and set its execution policy with the Set-ExecutionPolicy command.

shell
Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope CurrentUser
Make sure to open your PowerShell as an administrator before you run the Set-ExecutionPolicy command.

This effectively removes the execution policy of Restricted, which doesn't allow us to load configuration files or run scripts. The Restricted execution policy is the default for Windows client computers.

If you are on macOS, you can update your path with the following command:

shell
# make sure path matches with npm config get prefix export PATH=/usr/local/share/npm/bin:$PATH

If you are on Linux, you can add the output from the npm config get prefix command to your .bashrc file.

~/.bashrc
# 👇️ make sure to update the path with the output # from the command export PATH="/usr/local/share/npm/bin:$PATH"
If you add the output from the command to your PATH environment variable, you have to restart any open command prompts before it takes effect.

If that doesn't help try to reinstall Node.js on your machine and then install jest globally by running npm install -g jest.

During the installation you might get a prompt for whether you want to automatically update the PATH environment variable on your system, make sure to tick the option.
shell
# 👇️ installs jest globally (can run from any directory) npm install -g jest # 👇️ installs jest locally to the project (must be ran from root directory) npm install --save-dev jest
If the global installation of jest fails, you have to open your shell as an administrator or run the command prefixed with sudo.
shell
# 👇️ if you got permissions error sudo npm install -g jest jest --version

Alternatively, you can see how you can fix the permissions error on this page in the official npm docs.

Use the search field on my Home Page to filter through my more than 1,000 articles.