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16 Common Errors in Node.js and How to Fix Them

Ayooluwa Isaiah
Updated on January 9, 2024

While developing Node.js applications, you're bound to encounter various errors. However, many of these can be prevented or quickly resolved with good coding practices.

Finding solutions to Node.js errors can be time-consuming as they're often scattered across forums and GitHub issues. To help streamline this process, I've compiled this list of 16 common Node.js errors and strategies to fix them.

Although this guide isn't exhaustive, it discusses the common reasons why each error occurs and offers practical solutions to help you avoid these issues going forward.

Let's dive in!

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1. Node.js heap out of memory

The Node.js "Heap Out of Memory" error occurs when your program exceeds the available memory limit of the V8 JavaScript engine's heap space. This heap space is where dynamic memory allocation happens for JavaScript objects.

It could be caused by one of the following:

  1. Memory leaks: Commonly caused by accumulating unused or unreferenced objects in memory, without being properly released.
  2. Reading large datasets: Handling large amounts of data in memory at once without efficient memory management or pagination.
  3. Default memory limit: Node.js has a default memory limit which may not be sufficient for all applications.

To fix these issues, profile your application to identify memory leaks and refactor your code to be more memory efficient. You can also use the --max-old-space-size flag to increase the V8 heap memory limit to a more appropriate value for your application:

node --max-old-space-size=4096 server.js

Or you can do it globally for all your Node.js scripts like this:

export NODE_OPTIONS=--max_old_space_size=4096

When working with large datasets, ensure not to read everything into memory but use Node.js streams to process them in chunks. In some cases, regular application restarts can help clear the heap space, but this is a temporary workaround.

Learn more: Preventing and Debugging Memory Leaks in Node.js


The ECONNRESET exception occurs when a TCP connection is unexpectedly terminated by the client or server. This issue could arise when you send an external request but do not receive a timely response. It could also occur when you try to respond to a client request, but the connection has already been closed.

The error usually manifests as a "socket hang up" and displays various details depending on your Node.js version:

Error: socket hang up
    at connResetException (node:internal/errors:691:14)
    at Socket.socketOnEnd (node:_http_client:466:23)
    at Socket.emit (node:events:532:35)
    at endReadableNT (node:internal/streams/readable:1346:12)
    at processTicksAndRejections (node:internal/process/task_queues:83:21) {
  code: 'ECONNRESET'

When this error occurs during an external request, you could retry it or queue it for later. You could also adjust your timeout settings for longer waits. For instance:

const response = await axios.get(
timeout: 5000, // 5 seconds
} );

If the error results from a client intentionally closing a request to your server, terminate the connection (using res.end() or similar), and stop any ongoing response generation processes (like database queries).

You can detect closed client sockets by monitoring the close event on the request and checking res.socket.destroyed:

app.get("/", (req, res) => {
  // listen for the 'close' event on the request
  req.on("close", () => {
    console.log("closed connection");

  console.log(res.socket.destroyed); // true if socket is closed


The ENOTFOUND exception in Node.js arises when it's unable to establish a connection to a domain due to a DNS error. It is commonly caused by incorrect host values, improper mapping of localhost to, or a typo in the domain name.

This error typically presents itself in the Node.js console as follows:

Error: getaddrinfo ENOTFOUND http://localhost
    at GetAddrInfoReqWrap.onlookup [as oncomplete] (node:dns:71:26) {
  errno: -3008,
  code: 'ENOTFOUND',
  syscall: 'getaddrinfo',
  hostname: 'http://localhost'

If you get this error in your Node.js program, try the following strategies to fix it:

1. Verify the domain name

First, ensure that the domain name is entered correctly without typos. You can also use a tool like DNS Checker to confirm that the domain is resolving successfully in your location or region.

DNS Checker

2. Inspect the host value

When using http.request() or https.request(), the provided host property should only include the domain name or IP address, not the protocol, port, or path.

// Incorrect use
const options = {
  host: '',

// Correct use
const options = {
  host: '',
  path: '/path/to/resource',

http.request(options, (res) => {});

3. Check your localhost mapping

If attempting to connect to localhost leads to an ENOTFOUND error, your /etc/hosts file might not include the necessary mapping. For Linux and macOS, check that the file contains the following:

/etc/hosts   localhost

After updating, flush your DNS cache. The command varies by system, so ensure you use the correct one for your OS. For macOS:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

On Linux, refer to your specific distribution and DNS service to determine the right command.


The ETIMEDOUT error in Node.js indicates an ongoing connection or HTTP request was aborted due to a timeout. This error is common if you have specific timeout settings for your outgoing HTTP requests.

To address this, intercept the error and retry the request, ideally employing an exponential backoff method. This approach gradually increases the wait time between retries, improving the chances of success over time or until a maximum retry limit is hit. The fetch-retry package can help you with this.

If ETIMEDOUT errors are a regular occurrence, reassess your request timeout settings to ensure they're optimally configured for the target URL. You should also ensure that your server's keepAliveTimeout value is greater than your client timeout. If a client's timeout exceeds the server's, it might mistakenly perceive a dead socket as active.

import express from 'express';
const app = express();
const server = app.listen(8080);

server.keepAliveTimeout = 15 * 1000;
server.headersTimeout = 16 * 1000;


The ECONNREFUSED error occurs when Node.js attempts to establish a connection to a specified address but fails because the endpoint is unreachable, typically due to the target service being inactive. An example of this error is trying to connect to http://localhost:8000 without an active listener at that port:

Error: connect ECONNREFUSED
    at TCPConnectWrap.afterConnect [as oncomplete] (node:net:1157:16)
Emitted 'error' event on ClientRequest instance at:
    at Socket.socketErrorListener (node:_http_client:442:9)
    at Socket.emit (node:events:526:28)
    at emitErrorNT (node:internal/streams/destroy:157:8)
    at emitErrorCloseNT (node:internal/streams/destroy:122:3)
    at processTicksAndRejections (node:internal/process/task_queues:83:21) {
  errno: -111,
  syscall: 'connect',
  address: '',
  port: 8000

To resolve this issue, confirm that the target service is operational and ready to accept connections at the specified endpoint.


The ERRADDRINUSE error arises when a web server tries to bind to a port already used by another application. This often happens during the initiation or restart of a server, and it typically looks like this:

Error: listen EADDRINUSE: address already in use :::3001
    at Server.setupListenHandle [as _listen2] (node:net:1330:16)
    at listenInCluster (node:net:1378:12)
    at Server.listen (node:net:1465:7)
    at Function.listen (/home/ayo/dev/demo/node_modules/express/lib/application.js:618:24)
    at Object.<anonymous> (/home/ayo/dev/demo/main.js:16:18)
    at Module._compile (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1103:14)
    at Object.Module._extensions..js (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1157:10)
    at Module.load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:981:32)
    at Function.Module._load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:822:12)
    at Function.executeUserEntryPoint [as runMain] (node:internal/modules/run_main:77:12)
Emitted 'error' event on Server instance at:
    at emitErrorNT (node:net:1357:8)
    at processTicksAndRejections (node:internal/process/task_queues:83:21) {
  code: 'EADDRINUSE',
  errno: -98,
  syscall: 'listen',
  address: '::',
  port: 3001

To resolve this, consider changing your application to listen on a different port, ideally by adjusting an environment variable. If you specifically require the port currently in use, determine the process ID of the offending service using:

lsof -i tcp:<target_port>

As in:

lsof -i tcp:3001

You'll see output like:

node    2902  ayo   19u  IPv6 781904      0t0  TCP *:3001 (LISTEN)

Terminate the process occupying the port with the kill command and the PID number:

kill -9 2902

Executing the command above will forcefully close the application, freeing the port for your use.


The EADDRNOTAVAIL error occurs when attempting to run a Node.js server on a specific port and IP address configuration that isn't available. It often points to an issue with the IP address setup, like trying to bind the server to an unavailable static IP:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();

const server = app.listen(3000, '', function () {
  console.log('server listening at port 3000......');
Error: listen EADDRNOTAVAIL: address not available
    at Server.setupListenHandle [as _listen2] (node:net:1313:21)
    at listenInCluster (node:net:1378:12)
    at doListen (node:net:1516:7)
    at processTicksAndRejections (node:internal/process/task_queues:84:21)
Emitted 'error' event on Server instance at:
    at emitErrorNT (node:net:1357:8)
    at processTicksAndRejections (node:internal/process/task_queues:83:21) {
  errno: -99,
  syscall: 'listen',
  address: '',
  port: 3000

To fix this, confirm that the IP address is correct and currently assigned to your machine (it might have changed). Alternatively, bind the server to all available IP addresses using, which allows it to listen on any network interface:

const server = app.listen(3000, '', function () {
  console.log('server listening at port 3000......');


The ECONNABORTED exception occurs in Node.js when a server prematurely aborts an active network connection before it finishes reading from the request body or writing to the response body. Below is an example of how this issue might manifest in a Node.js application:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const path = require('path');

app.get('/', function (req, res, next) {
  res.sendFile(path.join(__dirname, 'new.txt'), null, (err) => {

const server = app.listen(3000, () => {
  console.log('server listening at port 3001......');
Error: Request aborted
    at onaborted (/home/ayo/dev/demo/node_modules/express/lib/response.js:1030:15)
    at Immediate._onImmediate (/home/ayo/dev/demo/node_modules/express/lib/response.js:1072:9)
    at processImmediate (node:internal/timers:466:21) {

The issue arises because res.end() is called before res.sendFile() can complete due to its asynchronous nature. To resolve this, ensure res.end() is only called after the file-sending process is complete by placing it inside the callback function:

app.get('/', function (req, res, next) {
  res.sendFile(path.join(__dirname, 'new.txt'), null, (err) => {


The EHOSTUNREACH exception in Node.js signifies a TCP connection attempt's failure due to the absence of any route to the desired network or host. This issue might arise from the routing protocols in the operating system, blockages by firewalls, or signals from intermediate gateways or nodes indicating inaccessibility.

If you encounter this error, it's advisable to inspect and adjust your system's routing tables or firewall configurations to establish a clear path to the target host or network.


The EAI_AGAIN error in Node.js is thrown when there's a temporary failure in resolving domain names, often due to a DNS lookup timeout. This indicates potential issues with your network connection or proxy settings and might occur when performing tasks like installing an npm package:

npm ERR! code EAI_AGAIN
npm ERR! syscall getaddrinfo
npm ERR! errno EAI_AGAIN
npm ERR! request to failed, reason: getaddrinfo EAI_AGAIN

If your internet connection is stable, the next steps involve checking your DNS resolver settings, typically found in /etc/resolv.conf, and ensuring your /etc/hosts file is correctly configured. These actions can help address and resolve the temporary DNS resolution failure.


The ENOENT error, standing for "Error No Entity", indicates that the specified path for a file or directory does not exist in the filesystem. This error is commonly encountered when using the fs module or when a script operates under an expected directory structure that isn't present.'non-existent-file.txt', (err, fd) => {
  if (err) {
[Error: ENOENT: no such file or directory, open 'non-existent-file.txt'] {
  errno: -2,
  code: 'ENOENT',
  syscall: 'open',
  path: 'non-existent-file.txt'

Ensure the file or directory you're attempting to access exists to resolve this error. This might involve creating the missing entities or correcting the script's path to point to the right location.

When working with user-supplied paths, ensure that your program handles such errors gracefully by reporting the problem in a user-friendly manner or activating fallback behavior.


The EISDIR error occurs when a Node.js operation expects a file but receives a directory instead. This typically happens during file system operations where the target should be a file, but a directory path is provided.

// config is a directory
fs.readFile('config', (err, data) => {
  if (err) throw err;
[Error: EISDIR: illegal operation on a directory, read] {
  errno: -21,
  code: 'EISDIR',
  syscall: 'read'

To remedy this, ensure the path you're using in your operation points to a file rather than a directory. Adjusting the path to reference a valid file should resolve the EISDIR error.


The ENOTDIR error is the opposite of the EISDIR error; it occurs when a directory is expected, but a file path is provided instead.

fs.opendir('/etc/passwd', (err, _dir) => {
  if (err) throw err;
[Error: ENOTDIR: not a directory, opendir '/etc/passwd'] {
  errno: -20,
  code: 'ENOTDIR',
  syscall: 'opendir',
  path: '/etc/passwd'

To resolve the ENOTDIR error, verify that the path you're referencing in your operation points to a directory, not a file. Correcting the path to target an actual directory should eliminate the issue.


The EACCES error occurs when an operation attempts to access a file or resource without the necessary permissions. It's common when trying to read or modify protected files, install global packages in restricted directories, or run servers on ports below 1024.

For example, running this program:

import fs from 'node:fs';

fs.readFile('/etc/sudoers', (err, data) => {
  if (err) throw err;

Results in:

[Error: EACCES: permission denied, open '/etc/sudoers'] {
  errno: -13,
  code: 'EACCES',
  syscall: 'open',
  path: '/etc/sudoers'

This error means the user lacks the necessary permissions. While using sudo for script execution can bypass this, it's not recommended due to security concerns. Instead, adjust the permissions with the chown command for files or directories as needed:

sudo chown -R $(whoami) /path/to/directory

For EACCES errors on ports below 1024, consider using a higher port and redirect traffic using iptables:

Essentially, this error indicates that the user executing the script does not have the required permission to access a resource. A quick fix is to prefix the script execution command with sudo so that it is executed as root, but this is a bad idea for security reasons.

The correct fix for this error is to give the user executing the script the required permissions to access the resource through the chown command on Linux in the case of a file or directory.

sudo chown -R $(whoami) /path/to/directory

For EACCES errors on ports below 1024, consider using a higher port and redirect traffic using iptables. The following command forwards HTTP traffic going from port 80 to port 8080 (assuming your application is listening on port 8080):

sudo iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8080

For issues with global installations, it's likely due to the system versions of Node.js and npm. Uninstall these and use a version manager like FNM or Volta for a safer and more flexible setup.


The EEXIST error in Node.js is a filesystem error that occurs when an operation is attempted on a file or directory that already exists, but the operation requires that the entity not exist. A typical scenario is trying to create a directory with a name that is already taken:

import fs from 'node:fs';

fs.mkdirSync('temp', (err) => {
  if (err) throw err;
Error: EEXIST: file already exists, mkdir 'temp'
    at Object.mkdirSync (node:fs:1349:3)
    at Object.<anonymous> (/home/ayo/dev/demo/main.js:3:4)
    at Module._compile (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1099:14)
    at Object.Module._extensions..js (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1153:10)
    at Module.load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:975:32)
    at Function.Module._load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:822:12)
    at Function.executeUserEntryPoint [as runMain] (node:internal/modules/run_main:77:12)
    at node:internal/main/run_main_module:17:47 {
  errno: -17,
  syscall: 'mkdir',
  code: 'EEXIST',
  path: 'temp'

To avoid this error, it's a good practice to check for the existence of a path before attempting to create it. Use fs.existsSync() to verify if the directory already exists and proceed accordingly:

import fs from 'node:fs';

if (!fs.existsSync('temp')) {
fs.mkdirSync('temp', (err) => { if (err) throw err; }); }


The EPERM error is typically encountered during operations like installing an NPM package and signals that the operation couldn't be completed due to insufficient permissions. It's often seen when an attempt is made to write to a file that is in a read-only state, and it might sometimes overlap with an EACCES error.

To resolve this issue, consider the following solutions:

  1. Close your editor: Ensure all instances of your code editor are closed, as they might be locking certain files.
  2. Clean the NPM cache: Run npm cache clean --force to clear any corrupted or locked cache files.
  3. Disable anti-virus software: Temporarily turn off any anti-virus software that might prevent file access.
  4. Stop development server: If a server running, shut it down before attempting the installation again.
  5. Force installation: Use the --force flag, like npm install --force, to override minor errors.
  6. Reinstall Node modules: Remove the node_modules directory using rm -rf node_modules and then reinstall dependencies with npm install.

These steps address common permission-related issues that might cause the EPERM error during file operations or package installations.

Dealing with Node.js errors in production

When programming in Node.js, anticipating and planning for potential errors is crucial. For example, network requests might fail, so having a contingency plan, such as retrying the request or informing the user of the error, is essential.

To handle operations that may throw exceptions, you can use try/catch blocks, error callbacks, failure event listeners, or catch promise rejections, depending on the situation.

Logging unexpected errors is vital for diagnosing and preventing recurrences. Utilizing logging frameworks like Pino or Winston allows you to track and record errors effectively. For instance, this program:

import pino from 'pino';

const logger = pino();

function alwaysThrowError() {
  throw new Error('processing error');

try {
} catch (err) {
    'An unexpected error occurred while processing the request'

Produces the output below:

  "level": 50,
  "time": 1703627326917,
  "pid": 228875,
  "hostname": "fedora",
  "err": {
    "type": "Error",
    "message": "processing error",
    "stack": "Error: processing error\n    at alwaysThrowError (file:///home/ayo/dev/betterstack/demo/nodejs-logging/index.js:6:9)\n    at file:///home/ayo/dev/betterstack/demo/nodejs-logging/index.js:10:3\n    at (node:internal/modules/esm/module_job:218:25)\n    at async ModuleLoader.import (node:internal/modules/esm/loader:329:24)\n    at async loadESM (node:internal/process/esm_loader:34:7)\n    at async handleMainPromise (node:internal/modules/run_main:113:12)"
  "msg": "An unexpected error occurred while processing the request"

This record provides detailed information about the error, including its type, message, stack trace, and other relevant information to help you understand and diagnose the underlying issue quickly.


After setting up logging, centralizing your logs is the next step to allow for easier search and management. Better Stack, for example, offers a comprehensive log management solution that not only stores and monitors logs but also provides advanced search, visualization, and alerting capabilities.

With centralized logging, you can set up alerts to notify you of errors or other significant events, helping you respond to production issues promptly.


Final thoughts

In this article, we explored 16 of the most common Node.js errors you are likely to encounter when developing applications or utilizing Node.js-based tools and we discussed possible solutions to each one.

This by no means an exhaustive list so ensure to check out the Node.js errors documentation or the errno(3) man page for a more comprehensive listing.

Thanks for reading, and happy coding!

Author's avatar
Article by
Ayooluwa Isaiah
Ayo is the Head of Content at Better Stack. His passion is simplifying and communicating complex technical ideas effectively. His work was featured on several esteemed publications including, Digital Ocean, and CSS-Tricks. When he’s not writing or coding, he loves to travel, bike, and play tennis.
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