'webpack' is not recognized as an internal or external command

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Mar 8, 2022

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webpack is not recognized as an internal or external command #

Use npx to solve the error "webpack is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file", e.g. npx webpack or install the package locally by running npm install --save-dev webpack webpack-cli to use the command in your package.json file.

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

shell
npx webpack npx webpack --version

Alternatively, you can install webpack locally. Open your terminal in your project's root directory (where your package.json file is located) and run the following commands:

shell
npm install --save-dev webpack webpack-cli

This will add webpack to the development dependencies of your project.

Now you can use the webpack command in the scripts section of your package.json file.

package.json
{ "scripts": { "build": "webpack --config webpack.config.js" } }

Now you would run the command as npm run build and not use webpack directly in your terminal.

If the error is not resolved, you can try to install webpack globally. Open your terminal in your project's root directory (where your package.json file is located) and run the following commands:

shell
# ✅ Install Webpack globally npm install -g webpack webpack-cli # ✅ Create a symbolic link from the global package # to node_modules/ of current folder npm link webpack

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

Once you run the two commands, the error should be resolved.

If the installation fails, you might have to open your terminal as an administrator or run the command prefixed with sudo.
shell
# 👇️ If you got permissions error, run with sudo sudo npm install -g webpack webpack-cli npm link webpack
Make sure to restart your IDE if the error persists. VSCode often glitches and a reboot solves things sometimes.

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 "webpack 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 webpack globally by running npm install -g webpack webpack-cli.

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
npm install -g webpack webpack-cli
If the global installation of webpack fails, you might have to open your shell as an administrator or run the command prefixed with sudo.
shell
sudo npm install -g webpack webpack-cli

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

Conclusion #

Use npx to solve the error "webpack is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file", e.g. npx webpack or install the package locally by running npm install --save-dev webpack webpack-cli to use the command in your package.json file.

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