How To Find Where R Keep The Packages

How To Articles

When working with R, it’s essential to know where it keeps its packages. The packages are crucial for expanding R’s functionality, and understanding their location can help troubleshoot issues and manage packages efficiently.

Finding the Default Library Location

To begin, let’s find the default library location using R itself. In R, the .libPaths() function will display the default location where R installs packages. Simply enter .libPaths() in the R console, and it will return the file path to the default library location. This is where R packages are installed by default.

Customizing the Library Location

Sometimes, you may want to specify a different location to store your R packages. This can be accomplished by setting the .libPaths() to a different directory. For example, I prefer to keep my R packages in a specific folder on my system for easier management. To do this, I use the following command:


Replace the file path with your preferred directory. This allows me to keep my R packages organized and separate from the default location, making it easier to back up or transfer my packages when needed.

Checking Installed Packages

Now that we’ve located our R package library, it’s helpful to know what packages are already installed. To do this, I use the library() function without specifying a package. This returns a list of all installed packages, giving me a quick overview of what is available in my library.


Understanding where R keeps its packages is fundamental for any R user. Whether you stick with the default location or customize it to suit your needs, knowing the ins and outs of package management can greatly enhance your R experience.