Need Help: How to Install npm on MacBook?

Hey everyone, I’m trying to set up npm on my MacBook for a project, but I keep running into issues. I’ve followed a few guides, but nothing seems to work. Can anyone walk me through the steps or point me to a reliable resource? Thanks!

Hey there! I totally get where you’re coming from—setting up npm on a MacBook can sometimes be a bit tricky if you’re running into issues. I’ll walk you through a few different methods and tips to get npm installed and running smoothly. Let’s dive in!

Method 1: Using Node Version Manager (nvm)

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to install npm (and Node.js) on a Mac is by using Node Version Manager (nvm). Nvm lets you install multiple versions of Node.js and switch between them easily. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Install nvm

  1. Open the Terminal application.

  2. Enter the following command to download and install nvm:

    curl -o- | bash
  3. Once the script is done running, you’ll need to restart your terminal or run this command to reload your shell configuration:

    source ~/.bashrc

    If you’re using zsh (which is the default on newer macOS versions), use:

    source ~/.zshrc

Step 2: Verify nvm Installation

Run the following command to ensure nvm was installed correctly:

nvm --version

You should see the version number output, indicating nvm is installed.

Step 3: Install Node.js and npm using nvm

  1. Choose a version of Node.js to install. The latest stable version can usually be installed with this command:

    nvm install node

    This installs both Node.js and npm.

  2. Verify the installation:

    node --version
    npm --version

That’s it! You should have npm up and running at this point.

Method 2: Using Homebrew

Homebrew is a package manager for macOS that makes it easy to install software. If you don’t have Homebrew installed yet, you can install it by running this in your terminal:

Step 1: Install Homebrew

  1. Open Terminal.

  2. Execute the following command:

    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Step 2: Install Node.js (which includes npm) via Homebrew

  1. Once Homebrew is installed, use the following command to install Node.js:

    brew install node
  2. Wait for the installation to complete.

Step 3: Verify Installation

To ensure everything is installed correctly, check the versions of Node.js and npm:

node --version
npm --version

If you see version numbers for both, you’re good to go!

Method 3: Direct Download from Node.js Website

If you prefer a more straightforward approach, you can download the Node.js installer directly from the official Node.js website. The installer includes npm.

Step 1: Go to the Node.js Official Website

  1. Open your web browser and go to Node.js Official Website.

Step 2: Download the macOS Installer

  1. You’ll see two versions available: LTS (Recommended for most users) and Current. Choose the one that suits your needs (LTS if you’re unsure).
  2. Click on the installer to download the .pkg file.

Step 3: Run the Installer

  1. Open the downloaded .pkg file and follow the wizard to install Node.js and npm.

Step 4: Verify Installation

Just like the other methods, check the installation by opening your terminal and running:

node --version
npm --version

If you get version numbers back, you’re all set!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  1. Permissions Issues:
    Sometimes, you might run into permissions issues when trying to install npm packages globally. A simple way to solve this is to use nvm, as it manages versions and permissions well. If you used Homebrew or the Node.js installer, you might need to adjust your npm configurations:

    mkdir ~/.npm-global
    npm config set prefix '~/.npm-global'

    Then add the following line to your ~/.bash_profile or ~/.zshrc:

    export PATH=~/.npm-global/bin:$PATH

    Don’t forget to source your profile again:

    source ~/.bash_profile


    source ~/.zshrc
  2. Outdated npm:
    If npm is outdated, you can update it using this command:

    npm install -g npm
  3. Conflicting Versions:
    If you’ve installed Node.js in multiple ways (e.g., using both Homebrew and nvm), you might run into version conflicts. Stick to one method to avoid these issues.


Installing npm on your MacBook can be done in a few different ways: using nvm for flexibility, Homebrew for ease, or directly downloading from Node.js for simplicity. Each method has its pros and cons, so choose the one that fits your comfort level.

If you run into more issues, don’t hesitate to reach out! There’s a large community of developers who’ve likely encountered and solved the same problems you’re facing.

Good luck with your project, and happy coding!

Hey [username]!

Oh man, setting up npm on a MacBook can feel like wrestling with an octopus sometimes! :joy: But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Let’s dive into this together.

  1. First things first, install Node.js. Go to and download the LTS version. It comes with npm bundled, so it’s like a two-for-one deal. :tada:

  2. Run the installer. Just double-click the .pkg file you downloaded and follow the prompts. It’s like installing any other app on your Mac.

  3. Verify the installation. Open Terminal (you’ll find it in Applications → Utilities, or just use Spotlight) and type:

    node -v

    and then:

    npm -v

    If you see version numbers popping up, congrats! You’ve got Node.js and npm installed. :tada:

  4. Having trouble? If you’re getting errors (ugh, I feel your pain), try installing Node.js using Homebrew. If you don’t have Homebrew yet, install it by running:

    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

    Once that’s set, install Node.js with:

    brew install node

Possible hurdles:

  • Permissions can be a pain. If you hit a permission denied error, you might need to use sudo.

Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes or if npm decides to rage quit again. We can totally troubleshoot together. :muscle: