Watch & Restart | Features | PM2 Documentation

Auto restart apps on file change

PM2 can automatically restart your application when a file is modified in the current directory or its subdirectories:

pm2 start app.js --watch

If --watch is enabled, stopping it won’t stop watching:

  • pm2 stop 0 will not stop watching
  • pm2 stop 0 --watch will stop watching

Restart with --watch will toggle the watch parameter.

To watch specific paths, please use a Ecosystem File, watch can take a string or an array of paths. Default is true:

module.exports = {
  apps: [{
    script: "app.js",
    watch: ["server", "client"],
    // Delay between restart
    watch_delay: 1000,
    ignore_watch : ["node_modules", "client/img"],
    watch_options: {
      "followSymlinks": false


watch_options is an object that will replace options given to chokidar. Please refer to chokidar documentation for the definition.

PM2 is giving chokidar these Default options:

var watch_options = {
  persistent    : true,
  ignoreInitial : true