How To Remove Unnecessary Modules in jQuery

By . Filed in Web Design

jQuery is undoubtedly the most popular JavaScript library, (almost) every website on this planet is using it. This affects jQuery to include all the functionalities within the library to cover every instance and possibility.

However, when we work on a simple website, we might only use a few of the functions. Thus, it would be more efficient if we were able to run only that necessary function and not everything other unused function as well. As of version 1.8, jQuery allows us to do this. We are able to exclude some jQuery modules that are not necessary in your project. So, let’s see how we can do it.

First thing first

First, we need to install some tools required to do the job. These tools are Git, Grunt, and Node.js. If you running on OS X, the easiest way to install all these tools is through an OS X Package Manager called Homebrew.

Install Homebrew

So, let’s open up your Terminal and run the following command to install Homebrew. As said, Homebrew will let us install the other mentioned tools more easily.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Install Git

After the Homebrew installation completed, run the following command to install Git.

brew install git

Install Node.js

Run the following line to install Node.js

brew install node

Install Grunt

Lastly, we need to install Grunt. Run this command.

npm install -g grunt-cli

Build jQuery

Currently, jQuery allows the following modules to be excluded.

Modules Command Description
Ajax -ajax This specifies the jQuery AJAX API that includes jQuery.ajax(). jQuery.get(), and .load() function
CSS -css This specifies the functions from jQuery CSS Category that includes .addClass(), .css(), and .hasClass().
Deprecated -deprecated This specifies the deprecated modules or functions.
Event Alias -event-alias This specifies the event functions like .click(), .focus(), and .hover().
Dimensions -dimensions This specifies the functions to set CSS dimension. Such functions include .height(), .innerHeight(), and .innerWidth().
Effects -effects This specifes the functions that set animation effects, such as .slideToggle(), .animate() and .fadeIn()
Offset -offset This specifies the functions that retrieve45 coordinates and position. Such funtions include .offset() and .position().

Before we are able to customize the jQuery, we need to clone it from the Github repo by running this command in the Terminal.

git clone git://

You should then find a new folder named jquery created under your user folder. Navigate to that directory using this command.

cd jquery

Next, we need to install Node dependencies modules to run our project.

npm install

We then build our jQuery by simply running Grunt command (and hit enter)


It will return the following report, if the operation succeeds.

And as we can see from the report, our jQuery is saved within the dist/ folder. Our jQuery is, at this point, set with all the functionalities, thus the size is quite large, 239kb. The minified version is at 83kb.

Removing Modules

Let’s say, we want to remove the Effect modules from jQuery; we can run this command.

grunt custom:-effects

If we take a look back at the file size, it is now decreased to 220 kb.

To exclude multiple modules, separate each module with a comma, for example:

grunt custom:-effects,-ajax,-deprecated

Final Thought

jQuery can help us manipulate DOM easily, but with 200 kb more at the size, it could affect your website performance. So, by eliminating some unnecessary jQuery modules, your jQuery script will certainly run faster and more efficient. We hope that this little tip would be useful for your next project.


Thoriq has been dabbling in Web Design for 5 years and appreciates the giving nature of the web design community at large. He loves trying new things in CSS3 and HTML5. Apart from writing on he also maintains creatiface.