Watch for TypeScript errors in VSCode in 3 steps

28 May, 2019
2 min read

Visual Studio Code is my go-to editor for working with TypeScript. You just can’t go wrong with intellisense, auto-complete and errors from open files printed in the problems tab.

Up until last week though, I would still have a terminal window open, running a task that would watch for TS errors. This is because without configuration, VSCode’s Problems tab only prints TS errors from open files, resulting in missed type errors — unless of-course, you just enjoy utilising all of that RAM to keep every file in your project open at all times 😱.

For those of us who would like to keep whatever sanity we may have left after working with JS and TS, here is a 3 step configuration that results in all your project’s TS type errors printed to the problems console, without keeping open every file in your project.

3 easy steps to success

  1. Add a watch script to your package.json:
"scripts": {
    "watch": "tsc --watch --noEmit --project './tsconfig.json'"
  1. Create a tasks.json file in your .vscode folder:
  "version": "2.0.0",
  "tasks": [
      "type": "npm",
      "script": "watch",
      "problemMatcher": "$tsc-watch",
      "isBackground": true,
      "presentation": {
        "reveal": "always",
        "revealProblems": "onProblem"
  1. In VSCode, open the Command Palette, search for and select Tasks: Run Task, and finally choose npm: watch.

And voila! VSCode opens a terminal with the running task, and all type errors are sent through to the Problems tab. No more missed type errors 🙌

Performance issues

VSCode settings such as autoSave can cause performance issues, especially on larger projects. This is because the type check task will re-run on every save, and those changes have to then be filtered and propagated to VSCode's Problems tab each time. To prevent this, set autoSave to false in your workspace settings.