TypeScript error: ‘ts-node’ is not recognized as an internal or external command

Updated: January 8, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


If you’re working with TypeScript, ‘ts-node’ is a valuable tool for executing TypeScript (.ts) files directly without having to compile them to JavaScript (.js) files. However, you might occasionally run into the error message: ‘ts-node’ is not recognized as an internal or external command. This error can be frustrating, but it’s usually due to a few common issues that are relatively straightforward to resolve.

Understanding the Error

The error message indicates that the command line doesn’t recognize ‘ts-node’ as a command. This typically means that ‘ts-node’ is not installed globally on your machine, or it’s not properly included in your project’s local node_modules folder, or the system PATH variable does not reference the location where ‘ts-node’ is installed.

Solution 1: Install ‘ts-node’ Globally

Install ‘ts-node’ using npm or yarn:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Type npm install -g ts-node to install ‘ts-node’ globally using npm, or use yarn global add ts-node if you prefer yarn.
  3. Confirm installation by running ts-node -v to see the installed version.

No code modification is necessary for this solution since the issue relates to the installation rather than the code itself.

Pros: Easy to do and makes ‘ts-node’ accessible from any project on your computer.

Cons: May lead to version conflicts if different projects require different versions of ‘ts-node’.

Solution 2: Local Project Installation

Installing ‘ts-node’ as a dev dependency in your local project:

  1. Navigate to your project directory in the terminal or command prompt.
  2. Run npm install --save-dev ts-node or yarn add --dev ts-node.
  3. To ensure ‘ts-node’ can be used in npm scripts, add a script to your package.json: {"scripts": { "start": "ts-node src/index.ts" }}.
  4. Run your script using npm run start or yarn start.

This point of this solution is about correcting the environment setup.

Pros: Avoids potential conflicts with versioning specific to the project.

Cons: ‘ts-node’ will only be available in the project’s context, not system-wide.

Solution 3: Configure System PATH

Adding ‘ts-node’ to your system PATH environment variable:

  1. Locate where ‘ts-node’ is installed. You can find this by running npm list -g ts-node or for a local install npm list ts-node.
  2. Copy the path to ‘ts-node’.
  3. On Windows, go to System Properties > Environment Variables, and edit the ‘PATH’ variable to include the path to ‘ts-node’. On macOS or Linux, edit your shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc) and append export PATH="\$PATH:/path/to/ts-node" to it.
  4. Restart your terminal or command prompt and try running ‘ts-node’ again.

This approach is a matter of system configuration.

Pros: Ensures that ‘ts-node’ is recognized in the terminal without needing to install it globally.

Cons: Can be complex for users unfamiliar with system environments and requires maintenance if paths change.


The ‘ts-node’ not recognized error can be a minor obstacle in your TypeScript development workflow but can generally be fixed with correct installation and configuration. Each solution provided has its uses depending on whether you need a system-wide or project-specific fix. Considering the trade-offs between global and local installations will help you maintain a functional development environment while avoiding version conflicts.