Fixing Module Build Failed: Step-by-Step Solution to the 'Couldn't Find Preset Es2015 Relative to Directory' Error

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of resolving the "Module build failed: Error: Couldn't find preset 'es2015' relative to directory" error that you may encounter while working with Babel and Webpack. This error usually occurs when Babel cannot locate the necessary configuration or presets to transpile your code correctly.

Table of Contents

Identifying the Issue

The "Couldn't find preset 'es2015' relative to directory" error arises when you try to build your project using Babel and Webpack. It occurs because Babel cannot locate the es2015 preset, which is required to transpile your ES6 code into ES5.

Here's an example of the error message you may see:

ERROR in ./src/index.js
Module build failed: Error: Couldn't find preset "es2015" relative to directory "/path/to/your/project"

Step-by-Step Solution

To resolve this error, follow these steps:

1. Install Babel Preset

First, ensure that the Babel preset es2015 is installed in your project. You can do this by running the following command in your project directory:

npm install --save-dev babel-preset-es2015

Alternatively, you can use Yarn:

yarn add --dev babel-preset-es2015

2. Configure .babelrc

Next, create a .babelrc file in your project's root directory if you don't have one already. In the .babelrc file, add the es2015 preset like this:

  "presets": ["es2015"]

3. Update Webpack Configuration

Finally, ensure that your Webpack configuration file (webpack.config.js) includes the Babel loader and the presets you have defined in your .babelrc file.

Here's an example webpack.config.js file with the Babel loader configured correctly:

const path = require('path');

module.exports = {
  entry: './src/index.js',
  output: {
    path: path.resolve(__dirname, 'dist'),
    filename: 'bundle.js'
  module: {
    rules: [
        test: /\.js$/,
        exclude: /node_modules/,
        use: {
          loader: 'babel-loader'

With these steps completed, you should no longer encounter the "Couldn't find preset 'es2015' relative to directory" error when building your project.


Why am I still getting the 'Couldn't find preset es2015 relative to directory' error?

If you've followed the steps outlined above and are still experiencing this error, it's possible that your project has multiple .babelrc files or Babel configurations. Make sure that you only have one configuration file and that it contains the correct presets.

Can I use other presets instead of 'es2015'?

Yes, you can use other presets such as babel-preset-env or babel-preset-es2017 depending on your needs. Just make sure to install the necessary preset and update your .babelrc file accordingly.

What is the 'babel-preset-env' preset?

babel-preset-env is a modern, recommended preset that allows you to specify your target environments and automatically determines the necessary plugins and polyfills to use based on your specified targets.

How do I configure 'babel-preset-env'?

To configure babel-preset-env, first install the preset:

npm install --save-dev babel-preset-env

Then, update your .babelrc file with the new preset:

  "presets": ["env"]

Can I use Babel with other build tools besides Webpack?

Yes, Babel can be used with other build tools such as Rollup, Parcel, and Gulp. The configuration and setup may vary depending on the build tool.

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