Disallow Unused Variables (no-unused-vars)

Variables that are declared and not used anywhere in the code are most likely an error due to incomplete refactoring. Such variables take up space in the code and can lead to confusion by readers.

Rule Details

This rule is aimed at eliminating unused variables, functions, and parameters of functions.

A variable is considered to be used if any of the following are true:

A variable is not considered to be used if it is only ever assigned to (var x = 5) or declared.

Examples of incorrect code for this rule:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: "error"*/
/*global some_unused_var*/

// It checks variables you have defined as global
some_unused_var = 42;

var x;

// Write-only variables are not considered as used.
var y = 10;
y = 5;

// A read for a modification of itself is not considered as used.
var z = 0;
z = z + 1;

// By default, unused arguments cause warnings.
(function(foo) {
    return 5;
})();

// Unused recursive functions also cause warnings.
function fact(n) {
    if (n < 2) return 1;
    return n * fact(n - 1);
}

Examples of correct code for this rule:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: "error"*/

var x = 10;
alert(x);

// foo is considered used here
myFunc(function foo() {
    // ...
}.bind(this));

(function(foo) {
    return foo;
})();

var myFunc;
myFunc = setTimeout(function() {
    // myFunc is considered used
    myFunc();
}, 50);

exported

In environments outside of CommonJS or ECMAScript modules, you may use var to create a global variable that may be used by other scripts. You can use the /* exported variableName */ comment block to indicate that this variable is being exported and therefore should not be considered unused.

Note that /* exported */ has no effect for any of the following:

Options

This rule takes one argument which can be a string or an object. The string settings are the same as those of the vars property (explained below).

By default this rule is enabled with all option for variables and after-used for arguments.

{
    "rules": {
        "no-unused-vars": ["error", { "vars": "all", "args": "after-used" }]
    }
}

vars

The vars option has two settings:

vars: local

Examples of correct code for the { "vars": "local" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "vars": "local" }]*/
/*global some_unused_var */

some_unused_var = 42;

varsIgnorePattern

The varsIgnorePattern option specifies exceptions not to check for usage: variables whose names match a regexp pattern. For example, variables whose names contain ignored or Ignored.

Examples of correct code for the { "varsIgnorePattern": "[iI]gnored" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "varsIgnorePattern": "[iI]gnored" }]*/

var firstVarIgnored = 1;
var secondVar = 2;
console.log(secondVar);

args

The args option has three settings:

args: after-used

Examples of incorrect code for the default { "args": "after-used" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "args": "after-used" }]*/

// 1 error
// "baz" is defined but never used
(function(foo, bar, baz) {
    return bar;
})();

Examples of correct code for the default { "args": "after-used" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", {"args": "after-used"}]*/

(function(foo, bar, baz) {
    return baz;
})();

args: all

Examples of incorrect code for the { "args": "all" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "args": "all" }]*/

// 2 errors
// "foo" is defined but never used
// "baz" is defined but never used
(function(foo, bar, baz) {
    return bar;
})();

args: none

Examples of correct code for the { "args": "none" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "args": "none" }]*/

(function(foo, bar, baz) {
    return bar;
})();

argsIgnorePattern

The argsIgnorePattern option specifies exceptions not to check for usage: arguments whose names match a regexp pattern. For example, variables whose names begin with an underscore.

Examples of correct code for the { "argsIgnorePattern": "^_" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "argsIgnorePattern": "^_" }]*/

function foo(x, _y) {
    return x + 1;
}
foo();

caughtErrors

The caughtErrors option is used for catch block arguments validation.

It has two settings:

caughtErrors: none

Not specifying this rule is equivalent of assigning it to none.

Examples of correct code for the { "caughtErrors": "none" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "caughtErrors": "none" }]*/

try {
    //...
} catch (err) {
    console.error("errors");
}

caughtErrors: all

Examples of incorrect code for the { "caughtErrors": "all" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "caughtErrors": "all" }]*/

// 1 error
// "err" is defined but never used
try {
    //...
} catch (err) {
    console.error("errors");
}

caughtErrorsIgnorePattern

The caughtErrorsIgnorePattern option specifies exceptions not to check for usage: catch arguments whose names match a regexp pattern. For example, variables whose names begin with a string ‘ignore’.

Examples of correct code for the { "caughtErrorsIgnorePattern": "^ignore" } option:

/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "caughtErrorsIgnorePattern": "^ignore" }]*/

try {
    //...
} catch (ignoreErr) {
    console.error("errors");
}

When Not To Use It

If you don’t want to be notified about unused variables or function arguments, you can safely turn this rule off.

Version

This rule was introduced in ESLint 0.0.9.

Resources