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php – Visual Studio Code: Unable to locate phpcs

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I am facing this issue in Visual Studio Code. I have already tried reinstalling the phpcs extension but still facing this issue.

this is the image

Unable to locate phpcs

Please add phpcs to your global path or use the composer dependency manager to install it in your project locally in Visual studio Code

How to&Answers:

I had the same issue, I did the following to fix it:

  1. Install the phpcs by using composer with composer global require squizlabs/php_codesniffer

  2. Press Command + , (Click Code -> Preferences -> Settings)

  3. Select User Settings and locate ‘PHP CodeSniffer
  4. Scroll to ‘Executatble Path‘ and put


This fixed the issue for me, I hope it does for you too. Cheers!


open the project in the terminal and run this command

composer global require squizlabs/php_codesniffer

Hope that helps!


I think uninstalling it does not solve the issue.

i had the same issue. So,

  1. Go to extensions and install the plugin….”phpcs”.
  2. Search for the extension if you had install it.
  3. Disable the extension.

it resolved the issue in my VS code.


On Debian based systems run as root:

apt-get install php-codesniffer


From a GitHub comment.

If someone still needs help about this “Unable to locate phpcs …”
error message, try this: you just need to install phpcs globally
via Composer.

  1. Install Composer from this resource if you don’t have it,
  2. After Composer is installed, open a command prompt wherever you want and run this command

    composer global require squizlabs/php_codesniffer


My solution without the need to install php_codesniffer globally.

Just go to VSCode settings and define the local path ./vendor/squizlabs/php_codesniffer/bin/phpcs

enter image description here

Or you can set the path directly in your settings.json

"phpcs.executablePath": "./vendor/squizlabs/php_codesniffer/bin/phpcs"


paste the following in your terminal for system-wide installation

composer global require squizlabs/php_codesniffer

This stopped the error message from popping up in mine.


Install PHP Sniffer
instead of phpcs

PHP Sniffer worked on the fly without any extra configuration

phpcs could not recognize my commands, despite a configured PATH, Composer & PHPCS installed.

The commands were recognized in the terminal, but not by the plugin
(under windows 10)


In my case and in Windows 10, composer located at:


and when i added this to VSCode settings at PHP CodeSniffer section this solve my problem.


I had the same issue on my Mac in Visual Studio Code (I used PEAR to install PHPCS).
I do not know why but PHPCS couldn’t find autoload.php of CodeSniffer.
You can try to type on terminal command line:

$ phpcs

I got an error:

Warning: include_once(PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php): failed to open
stream: No such file or directory in /Users/david/pear/bin/phpcs on
line 14

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening ‘PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php’
for inclusion (include_path=’.:’) in /Users/david/pear/bin/phpcs on
line 14


Open Pear Bin folder in your user folder, e.g. in my case: /Users/david/pear/bin/ in Finder,

Find phpcs file inside and edit it (e.g. in Visual Studio Code :),

You will find these lines there:

if (is_file(__DIR__.'/../autoload.php') === true) {
    include_once __DIR__.'/../autoload.php';
} else {
    include_once 'PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php';

Add two new lines there with the proper location of CodeSniffer/autoload.php file (place it before } else { line and modify the path according to your needs – replace “david” with your user name…):

} else if (is_file('/users/david/pear/share/pear/PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php')) {
    include_once '/users/david/pear/share/pear/PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php';

So the final code of the condition is:

if (is_file(__DIR__.'/../autoload.php') === true) {
    include_once __DIR__.'/../autoload.php';
} else if (is_file('/users/david/pear/share/pear/PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php')) {
    include_once '/users/david/pear/share/pear/PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php';
} else {
    include_once 'PHP/CodeSniffer/autoload.php';

Then save it and restart Visual Studio Code. That’s it.


I had the same problem with Drupal, the solutions is specify coding standards.
So create phpcs.xml and enable the next options.

enter image description here


You stated that you already uninstalled it, so i’m assuming your trying to get rid of the extension and error.

How to fix:

  1. Uninstall extension.
  2. Delete the entire phpcs folder from the VS Code folder.

From the VS Code Docs:

Q: Where are extensions installed?

A: Depending on your platform, the global location is in the following folders:

Windows %USERPROFILE%\.vscode\extensions

Mac ~/.vscode/extensions

Linux ~/.vscode/extensions