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no-unused-vars

Disallow unused variables

Recommended

Using the recommended config from @eslint/js in a configuration file enables this rule

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 function parameters.

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

  • It is called (foo()) or constructed (new foo())
  • It is read (var bar = foo)
  • It is passed into a function as an argument (doSomething(foo))
  • It is read inside of a function that is passed to another function (doSomething(function() { foo(); }))

A variable is not considered to be used if it is only ever declared (var foo = 5) or assigned to (foo = 7).

Examples of incorrect code for this rule:

Open in Playground
/*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);
}

// When a function definition destructures an array, unused entries from the array also cause warnings.
function getY([x, y]) {
    return y;
}
getY(["a", "b"]);

Examples of correct code for this rule:

Open in Playground
/*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);

// Only the second argument from the destructured array is used.
function getY([, y]) {
    return y;
}
getY(["a", "b"]);

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:

  • when the environment is node or commonjs
  • when parserOptions.sourceType is module
  • when ecmaFeatures.globalReturn is true

The line comment // exported variableName will not work as exported is not line-specific.

/* exported global_var */

var global_var = 42;

Examples of correct code for /* exported variableName */ operation with no-unused-vars:

Open in Playground
/*eslint no-unused-vars: "error"*/
/* exported global_var */

var global_var = 42;

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 caught errors and variables, and after-used for arguments.

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

vars

The vars option has two settings:

  • all checks all variables for usage, including those in the global scope. However, it excludes variables targeted by other options like args and caughtErrors. This is the default setting.
  • local checks only that locally-declared variables are used but will allow global variables to be unused.

vars: local

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

Open in Playground
/*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. However, it excludes variables targeted by other options like argsIgnorePattern and caughtErrorsIgnorePattern.

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

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

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

args

The args option has three settings:

  • after-used - unused positional arguments that occur before the last used argument will not be checked, but all named arguments and all positional arguments after the last used argument will be checked.
  • all - all named arguments must be used.
  • none - do not check arguments.

args: after-used

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

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

// 2 errors, for the parameters after the last used parameter (bar)
// "baz" is defined but never used
// "qux" is defined but never used
(function(foo, bar, baz, qux) {
    return bar;
})();

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

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

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

args: all

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

Open in Playground
/*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:

Open in Playground
/*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:

Open in Playground
/*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:

  • all - all named arguments must be used. This is the default setting.
  • none - do not check error objects.

caughtErrors: all

Not specifying this option is equivalent of assigning it to all.

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

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

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

caughtErrors: none

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

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

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:

Open in Playground
/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "caughtErrors": "all", "caughtErrorsIgnorePattern": "^ignore" }]*/

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

destructuredArrayIgnorePattern

The destructuredArrayIgnorePattern option specifies exceptions not to check for usage: elements of array destructuring patterns whose names match a regexp pattern. For example, variables whose names begin with an underscore.

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

Open in Playground
/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "destructuredArrayIgnorePattern": "^_" }]*/

const [a, _b, c] = ["a", "b", "c"];
console.log(a+c);

const { x: [_a, foo] } = bar;
console.log(foo);

function baz([_c, x]) {
    x;
}
baz();

function test({p: [_q, r]}) {
    r;
}
test();

let _m, n;
foo.forEach(item => {
    [_m, n] = item;
    console.log(n);
});

let _o, p;
_o = 1;
[_o, p] = foo;
p;

ignoreRestSiblings

The ignoreRestSiblings option is a boolean (default: false). Using a Rest Property it is possible to “omit” properties from an object, but by default the sibling properties are marked as “unused”. With this option enabled the rest property’s siblings are ignored.

Examples of correct code for the { "ignoreRestSiblings": true } option:

Open in Playground
/*eslint no-unused-vars: ["error", { "ignoreRestSiblings": true }]*/

// 'foo' and 'bar' were ignored because they have a rest property sibling.
var { foo, ...rest } = data;
console.log(rest);

// OR

var bar;
({ bar, ...rest } = data);

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 v0.0.9.

Resources

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