How to fix: npm ERR! enoent ENOENT: no such file or directory, rename

I recently struggled for a while with an npm error thrown when executing npm install of some package. The error message was npm ERR! enoent ENOENT: no such file or directory, rename 'D:\\WebApp\\node_modules\\lz-string' -> 'D:\\WebApp\\node_modules.lz-string.DELETE'

Finally, I found a solution and a reason for that issue.

The error occurred when I was trying to install @testing-library/react npm package. It looked like that:

npm ERR! enoent ENOENT error in Visual Studio Code


If you ever get this error, the hotfix is to follow these steps:

  • delete node-modules folder
  • run command npm cache clean --force
  • run command npm install
  • install the package again with npm install your-package-name

It should all work fine after that. But it’s only a hotfix, a solution for now to unblock you.

Coldfix (solution)

The real reason for this issue in my case turned out to be related to jest. However, not to the testing library itself, but to jest extension for Visual Studio Code.

The reason for the issue is the jest tests runner working in the background. You can see that in the VS Code bottom bar:

Visual Studio Code - jest runner

The real solution is to disable jest runner when installing new packages. You can do it with a Jest: Stop Runner command in Ctrl+Shift+P:

npm ERR! enoent ENOENT fix in Visual Studio by stopping jest runner

I don’t know exactly why this is an issue. I guess jest runner is blocking some files in node-modules, so they cannot be renamed/processed. I hope it helps you too 😉

.NET/Full Stack Developer, traveling lover
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