How to Run JavaScript in Visual Studio Code: A Step-by-Step Guide Best In 2023

Are you an aspiring web developer looking to harness the power of JavaScript in Visual Studio Code?

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced coder, running JavaScript in Visual Studio Code (VS Code) can greatly enhance your coding experience.How to Run JavaScript in Visual Studio Code

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of setting up and running JavaScript code in VS Code. Let’s dive in!

1. Introduction to Running JavaScript in Visual Studio Code

JavaScript is a versatile programming language commonly used for adding interactivity to web pages. Visual Studio Code,

developed by Microsoft, is a powerful and lightweight code editor that’s popular among developers for its features and extensibility.

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2. Installing Visual Studio Code

Before you begin, you need to install Visual Studio Code. Visit the official VS Code website, download the appropriate version for your operating system, and follow the installation instructions.

3. Setting Up a JavaScript Project

To get started with running JavaScript in VS Code, follow these steps:

Creating a New Folder

Create a new folder on your computer where you’ll organize your JavaScript projects.

Opening the Folder in VS Code

Launch VS Code and open the newly created folder using the “Open Folder” option on the welcome screen.

Installing Node.js (if needed)

If your JavaScript code involves server-side operations, it’s recommended to install Node.js. Visit the Node.js website, download the installer, and follow the installation process.

4. Writing Your First JavaScript Code

Create a new JavaScript file within your project folder and start writing your code. VS Code offers intelligent code completion and suggestions as you type, making the coding process smoother.

In this section, we’ll walk you through the essential features and steps to create your inaugural JavaScript code.

1. Text Editor or Integrated Development Environment (IDE):

Start by choosing a text editor or IDE where you’ll write your code. Many beginners find Visual Studio Code (VS Code) to be a user-friendly and powerful option. Download and install your chosen editor.

2. Creating a JavaScript File:

Open your text editor or IDE and create a new file with the “.js” extension. This extension indicates that the file contains JavaScript code.

3. Understanding the Basics:

JavaScript is a versatile programming language used for adding interactivity to web pages.

At its core, it’s about manipulating the Document Object Model (DOM) of a webpage to create dynamic and interactive content.

4. Writing Your First Code:

Let’s start with a simple “Hello, World!” program. Type the following code into your “.js” file:

console.log("Hello, World!");

5. Saving the File:

Save the file with a meaningful name, such as “hello.js.” Choose a location where you can easily find it later.

6. Running the Code:

Open your terminal within your text editor or IDE and navigate to the folder where you saved your “hello.js” file. Then, execute the following command:

node hello.js

You should see “Hello, World!” displayed in the terminal, indicating that your JavaScript code has been successfully executed.

5. Running JavaScript Code in the Integrated Terminal

VS Code features an integrated terminal that allows you to execute commands directly within the editor.

To run your JavaScript code, open the terminal, navigate to your project folder, and use the appropriate command.

Let’s explore the key features and benefits of running JavaScript code in the integrated terminal of VS Code.

1. Direct Execution:

The integrated terminal in VS Code enables you to execute JavaScript code without the need for an external command-line interface.

This streamlines the coding process by eliminating the need to switch between different applications.

2. Convenient Setup:

Setting up the integrated terminal to run JavaScript code is straightforward.

Once you have your JavaScript file open in VS Code, you can easily access the terminal by clicking on the integrated terminal icon at the bottom of the screen.

3. Customizable Environment:

The terminal in VS Code allows you to choose the environment in which your JavaScript code will be executed.

This flexibility is particularly useful when working with different versions of Node.js or specific runtime environments.

4. Quick Debugging:

If you encounter any errors or unexpected behavior in your JavaScript code, you can quickly switch to the integrated terminal to execute specific portions of code for debugging purposes.

This on-the-fly approach enhances your ability to identify and fix issues.

5. Access to External Libraries:

Through the terminal, you can easily access and utilize external JavaScript libraries and packages using package managers like npm (Node Package Manager).

This ensures that your code can take advantage of various functionalities without leaving the editor.

6. Debugging JavaScript in VS Code

Debugging is a crucial aspect of coding. VS Code provides robust debugging tools for JavaScript.

Setting Breakpoints

Place breakpoints in your code to pause execution at specific points and examine variables and code flow.

Using the Debugger

Utilize the debugger to step through your code, inspect variables, and identify and fix issues.

7. Installing Useful Extensions

Enhance your VS Code experience with extensions. Here are two essential ones for JavaScript development:


ESLint extension helps you maintain a consistent code style and identifies potential errors in your code.


The prettier extension automatically formats your code to ensure uniformity and readability.

8. Version Control with Git

Version control is essential for tracking changes and collaborating with others.

Initializing a Git Repository

Set up a Git repository within your project folder to track changes over time.

Committing Changes

Regularly commit your code changes to document your progress and work collaboratively.

9. Collaborative Coding with Live Share

VS Code’s Live Share feature enables real-time collaboration with other developers. Share your project and code with team members for seamless pair programming.

Let’s delve into the features and benefits of collaborative coding with Live Share.

1. Real-Time Collaboration:

Live Share allows developers to share their coding environment with others in real-time.

This means that team members can collaborate on the same codebase simultaneously, making it easier to troubleshoot, brainstorm, and write code together.

2. Seamless Setup:

Setting up a Live Share session in VS Code is hassle-free. With just a few clicks, you can initiate a collaboration session and invite others to join.

This eliminates the need for complex setup processes and enables you to start collaborating quickly.

3. Cross-Platform Compatibility:

Live Share works across different operating systems and programming languages supported by VS Code.

This cross-platform compatibility ensures that developers can collaborate seamlessly regardless of their preferred development environment.

4. Read and Write Access:

During a Live Share session, participants can choose to grant read-only or read-and-write access to their code.

This level of control ensures that collaborators can contribute effectively while maintaining the owner’s permissions.

5. Interactive Debugging:

Debugging is a crucial aspect of coding, and Live Share extends its capabilities to collaborative sessions.

Team members can collectively debug code, set breakpoints, inspect variables, and step through the code as if they were working on their local machines.

10. Building and Running JavaScript Web Applications

Learn to build and run web applications using JavaScript with these steps:

Using a Local Server

Set up a local server to serve your web application and test it in a browser.

Debugging Web Applications

Debug web applications running in a browser using VS Code’s powerful tools.

11. Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to run JavaScript in Visual Studio Code. This newfound knowledge will undoubtedly elevate your coding efficiency and effectiveness.


Q: Is Visual Studio Code free to use?

A: Yes, Visual Studio Code is completely free and open-source.

Q: Can I run JavaScript in the browser directly from VS Code?

A: While you can’t run JavaScript directly in the browser from VS Code, you can build and test web applications in VS Code and then run them in a browser.

Q: What is ESLint, and why should I use it?

A: ESLint is a linting tool that helps you maintain code quality and adhere to coding standards. It can catch errors and enforce a consistent code style.

Q: Does Live Share work with all programming languages?

Yes, Live Share is designed to work with various programming languages, making it a versatile collaboration tool.

Q: Where can I access more resources for learning JavaScript and VS Code?

A: You can find numerous online tutorials, courses, and documentation to further enhance your skills in JavaScript and Visual Studio Code.

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