Jan 11, 2021 2 mins

Resolving “npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE” Error

Resolving Resolving "npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE" Error

When working with Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) for JavaScript projects, encountering errors is not uncommon. One such error that developers may come across is the "npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE" error. This error message suggests that there was an issue with a script defined in the `package.json` file, specifically during the execution of a lifecycle event.

Reasons for “npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE” Error

Script Issues
The primary cause of this error is often related to a problem within the script defined in the package.json file. It occurs when a command associated with a specific lifecycle event (e.g., “start,” “test”) encounters an error. Developers should carefully review the script syntax and commands to identify and correct any issues.

"scripts": {
   "start": "node server.js",
   "test": "mocha tests/"

Dependency Problems

Another common source of this error is related to dependencies. It’s possible that there are issues with the installation of dependencies or their versions. In such cases, removing the node_modules directory and reinstalling dependencies using npm install may resolve the problem.

rm -rf node_modules
npm install

Node.js and npm Versions

Compatibility issues between Node.js and npm versions can also trigger the “npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE” error. Ensure that you are using compatible versions and update them if necessary. Checking the current versions and updating npm can be done using the following commands:

node -v
npm -v

Update npm with,

npm install -g npm

Typos and Syntax Errors

Simple typos or syntax errors in the command or script can lead to this error. Developers should meticulously review the commands and scripts for any mistakes that might cause the failure.

Resolving “npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE” Error

Inspect the Script

Begin the troubleshooting process by closely examining the script associated with the lifecycle event mentioned in the error message. Ensure that the commands are correct and that there are no syntax errors in the package.json file.

Update Dependencies
If the error persists, consider updating dependencies. Remove the node_modules directory and run npm install to reinstall dependencies. This helps ensure that you have the latest versions of your project’s dependencies.

rm -rf node_modules
npm install

Check Node.js and npm Versions

Verify that you are using compatible versions of Node.js and npm. Some packages may require specific versions to function correctly. Use the below commands to check the versions.

node -v
npm -v

If necessary, update npm to the latest version,

npm install -g npm

Review for Typos and Syntax Errors

Double-check the commands and scripts for any typos or syntax errors. Even a small mistake can lead to the “npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE” error, so double check commands and scripts.

Consult Documentation and Community

If all else fails, consult the documentation of the specific packages you are using and check community forums for any reported issues. Other developers may have faced similar problems and could provide insights or solutions.


The “npm ERR! code ELIFECYCLE” error is common in Node.js and npm projects. It is often stemming from script issues, version conflicts or dependency problems. By systematically inspecting and addressing these potential causes, developers can resolve the error and ensure the smooth execution of their JavaScript applications. Always remember to keep dependencies up-to-date, maintain compatibility between Node.js and npm versions, and thoroughly review scripts for any errors or typos. With careful troubleshooting, developers can overcome this error and continue building robust and error-free applications.


There are no comments yet.

Write a comment

You can use the Markdown syntax to format your comment.

  • Tags:
  • elifecycle
  • Share: