Important: This documentation covers Yarn 1 (Classic).
For Yarn 2+ docs and migration guide, see

yarn autoclean

Cleans and removes unnecessary files from package dependencies.

yarn autoclean [-I/--init] [-F/--force]

The autoclean command frees up space by removing unnecessary files and folders from dependencies. It reduces the number of files in your project’s node_modules folder which is useful in an environment where packages are checked into version control directly.

Note: This command is considered for advanced use cases only. Unless you are experiencing issues with the amount of files that are installed as part of node_modules it is not recommended to use this command. It will permanently delete files in node_modules which could cause packages to stop working.

Autoclean functionality is disabled by default. To enable it, manually create a .yarnclean file, or run yarn autoclean --init to create the file with default entries. The .yarnclean file should be added to version control.

When the .yarnclean file exists in a package, autoclean functionality will be enabled. The clean will be performed:

  • After an install
  • After an add
  • If yarn autoclean --force is run

The clean is performed by reading each line of the .yarnclean file and using each as a glob pattern of files to delete.


-I/--init : Creates the .yarnclean file if it does not exist, and adds the default entries. This file should then be reviewed and edited to customize which files will be cleaned. If the file already exists, it will not be overwritten.

-F/--force : If a .yarnclean file exists, run the clean process. If the file does not exist, do nothing.


When the yarn autoclean --init command is used to create a .yarnclean file, it will be pre-populated with a set of default items for deletion. This default list is a guess at what is likely not needed. It is impossible to predict all directories and files that are actually unnecessary for all existing and future NPM packages, so this default list may cause a package to no longer work.

It is highly recommended that you manually review the default entries in .yarnclean and customize them to fit your needs.

If you discover the autoclean process is deleting files that are needed for a package to work properly, then you should remove the corresponding entry from the .yarnclean file.


You decide all YAML and Markdown files in all your dependencies installed in node_modules can be safely deleted. You make a .yarnclean file containing:


You then run yarn install or yarn autoclean --force. The clean process will delete all *.yaml and *.md files within node_modules/ recursively (including nested transitive dependencies).