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This guide should help you migrating to webpack 5 when using webpack directly. If you are using some higher-level tool to run webpack, please refer to the guide on migrating to webpack 5 for the tool you are using.


Upgrade your Node.js version

webpack requires at least 10.13.0, but using Node.js 12 or 14 is recommended.

Newer Node.js version will improve build performance a lot.

Upgrade to latest webpack 4 version

When using webpack < 4 consult the webpack 4 migration guide.

When using webpack >= 4, this should be possible without problems.

Upgrade to latest webpack-cli version (when used)

Upgrade all plugins and loaders to the latest version

Some plugins have a beta version that needs to be used for webpack 5 compatibility. Use them.

Check migration guide when upgrading plugins across the major version.

Make sure your build has no errors or warnings

There might be new errors or warnings because of the upgraded versions of webpack, cli, plugins and loaders.

Check for deprecation warnings during build

You can invoke webpack this way

node --trace-deprecation node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js ...

to get stack traces for deprecation warnings to figure out which plugins are responsible.

webpack 5 removes all deprecated features. You must have no webpack deprecation warning to be able to upgrade.

Make sure you are using entrypoint information from stats

When using html-webpack-plugin you are fine.

When using static html or creating HTML in some other way, make sure you use entrypoints from stats json to generate <script>, <style> and <link> tags.

If this is not possible avoid setting splitChunks.chunks: "all" and splitChunks.maxSize later in this guide. Note that this is sub-optimal.

Make sure to use mode

Set mode correctly to either mode: "production" or mode: "development".

This will make sure you get the correct defaults.

Update outdated options

Update the following options to their new version:

  • optimization.hashedModuleIds: true -> optimization.moduleIds: "hashed"
  • optimization.namedChunks: true -> optimization.chunkIds: "named"
  • optimization.namedModules: true -> optimization.moduleIds: "named"
  • NamedModulesPlugin -> optimization.moduleIds: "named"
  • NamedChunksPlugin -> optimization.chunkIds: "named"
  • HashedModulesPlugin -> optimization.moduleIds: "hashed"
  • optimization.occurrenceOrder: true -> optimization: { chunkIds: "total-size", moduleIds: "size" }

Test webpack 5 compatibility

Try to set the following options in your webpack 4 builds and check if it still works correctly.

  • node.Buffer: false
  • node.process: false

Note: webpack 5 removes these options and will always use false. You have to remove these options again when upgrading to webpack 5.

Upgrade webpack version

Run yarn add webpack@next -D resp. npm install webpack@next --dev.

Cleanup configuration

  • Consider removing optimization.moduleIds and optimization.chunkIds. The defaults are probably perfect. They support Long Term Caching (in production) and debugging (in development)
  • Reconsider optimization.splitChunks.
    • It's recommended to use either the defaults or optimization.splitChunks: { chunks: "all" }
    • When really using a custom configuration replace name with idHint.
    • When used to disable the defaults with default: false, vendors: false: Consider not doing this, but if you really want to default: false, defaultVendors: false.
  • When using the WatchIgnorePlugin, use watchOptions.ignore instead.
  • When using [hash]: Consider changing to [contenthash] (not the same, but better)
  • Using WASM: Set experiments.syncWebAssembly: true (after migration to webpack 5, migrate to experiments: { asyncWebAssembly: true, importAsync: true } instead)
  • Using entry: "./src/index.js: you can omit it, that's the default
  • Using output.path: path.resolve(__dirname, "dist"): you can omit it, that's the default
  • Using output.filename: "[name].js": you can omit it, that's the default
  • Using Yarn PnP and the pnp-resolver-plugin: you must omit it, that's supported by default now.
  • Using IgnorePlugin with a regular expression as argument: It takes an options object now: new IgnorePlugin({ resourceRegExp: /regExp/ }).
  • Need to support an older browser? Add version to target options
    • By default, Webpack's runtime code uses ES2015 syntax to build smaller bundles.
    • If your build targets environments that don't support this syntax (like IE11), you'll need to add "es5" to the target option, e. g. target: ["web", "es5"].
    • For Node.js builds include the supported node.js in the target option and webpack automatically figure out which syntax is supported, e. g. target: "node8.6".

Cleanup code

  • Using /* webpackChunkName: "..." */: Make sure to understand the intention.
    • The name here is intended to be public visible.
    • It's not a development-only name
    • webpack will use it to name files in production and development mode
    • webpack 5 will automatically assign useful file names in development even when not using webpackChunkName
  • Using named exports from JSON modules: This is not supported by the (new) spec and you will get a warning
    • Instead of import { version } from "./package.json"; console.log(version); use import package from "./package.json"; console.log(package.version);

Cleanup build code

  • Using const compiler = webpack(...);: Make sure to close the compiler after use
    • compiler.close(callback)
    • This doesn't apply to the webpack(..., callback) form.
    • This is optional if you use webpack in watching mode until the user ends the process.

Run a single build and follow advises

Please make sure to read errors/warnings carefully.

There is no advise? Please create an issue and we will add one.

Repeat this step until you solved at least level 3. Best continue to solve level 4:

Level 1: Schema validation fails

Some configuration options have changed. There should be a validation error with a BREAKING CHANGE: note, or a hint which option should be used instead.

Level 2: webpack crashes with error

The error message should tell you what needs to be changed.

Level 3: Build Errors

The error message should have a BREAKING CHANGE: note.

Level 4: Build Warnings

The warning message should tell you what can be improved.

There might be some cases where you don't have direct control over the code, like when using packages from NPM. There the new ignoreWarnings configuration option might become handy to temporary hide the warnings, e. g.

ignoreWarnings: [
  { module: /node_modules/, message: /only default export is available soon/ }

Level 5: Runtime errors

This is tricky. You probably have to debug to find the problem. A general advise is difficult here.

Here are some common things:

  • process is not defined.
    • Webpack 5 do no longer include a polyfill for this Node.js variable. Avoid using it in frontend code.
    • Want to support frontend and browser usage? Use the exports or imports package.json field to use different code depending on environment.
      • To support older bundlers use the browser field too.
      • Alternative: Wrap code blocks with typeof process checks. Note that this is worse regarding bundle size.
    • Want to use environment variables with process.env.VARIABLE? You need to use the DefinePlugin or EnvironmentPlugin to define these variables in the configuration.
      • Consider using VARIABLE instead and make sure to check typeof VARIABLE !== "undefined" too. process.env is Node.js specific and should be avoided in frontend code.

Level 6: Deprecation warnings

You probably get a lot of deprecation warnings. This is not directly a problem. Plugins need time to catch up with core changes. Please report these deprecations to the plugins. These deprecations are only warnings and the build will still work with only minor drawbacks (like less performance).

You can hide deprecation warnings with

node --no-deprecation node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js ...

but this should only be a temporary workaround.

Contributors to plugins can follow the advises in the deprecation messages.

Level 7: Performance issues

Usually performance should improve with webpack 5, but there are also a few cases where performance get worse.

  • Profile where the time is spend.
    • --profile --progress displays a very simple performance profile now
    • node --inspect-brk node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js + chrome://inspect / edge://inspect (see profiler tab).
      • You can save these profiles to files and provide them in issues.
      • Add --no-turbo-inlining for better stack traces in some cases
  • Time for building modules in incremental builds can be improved by reverting to unsafe caching like in webpack 4:
    • module.unsafeCache: true
    • But this might affect the ability to handle some of the changes to the code base
  • Full build
    • Backward-compat layer for deprecated things usually have worse performance compared to the new thing.
    • Creating many warnings can affect build performance, even if they are ignored.
    • Source Maps are expensive. Check devtool option in documentation to see a comparison of the different options.
    • Anti-Virus-Protection might affect performance of file system access.
    • Persistent Caching can help to improve repeated full builds.
    • Module Federation allows to split the application into multiple smaller builds.

Everything working?

Tweet that you successfully migrated to webpack 5.

Not working?

Create an issue and tell us about your problems.

Something missing in this guide?

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