Debug Typescript with VSCode

Created: Typescript Debugging using Visual Studio Code and ts-node

Updated: 03 September 2023

It’s possible to debuge any TS file without compiling using ts-node from VSCode

First, init a new npm project with typescript (normally you should already have one):

npm init -y
npm install typescript
npx tsc --init # this isn't needed, but really you should have a tsconfig

Now - time to start: install ts-node:

npm install ts-node

Next, create a .ts file to debug, e.g:


const log = (name: string) => {
  console.log('hello ' + name)


Then create a .vscode/launch.json file:


  // Use IntelliSense to learn about possible attributes.
  // Hover to view descriptions of existing attributes.
  // For more information, visit:
  "version": "0.2.0",
  "configurations": [
      "name": "Current TS File",
      "type": "node",
      "request": "launch",
      "args": ["${relativeFile}"],
      "runtimeArgs": ["--nolazy", "-r", "ts-node/register"],
      "sourceMaps": true,
      "cwd": "${workspaceRoot}",
      "protocol": "inspector"

And that’s about it, you should be able to use the debug config on whatever TS file you’re looking at without any added effort