Fundamentally, JupyterLab is designed as an extensible environment. JupyterLab extensions can customize or enhance any part of JupyterLab. They can provide new themes, file viewers and editors, or renderers for rich outputs in notebooks. Extensions can add items to the menu or command palette, keyboard shortcuts, or settings in the settings system. Extensions can provide an API for other extensions to use and can depend on other extensions. In fact, the whole of JupyterLab itself is simply a collection of extensions that are no more powerful or privileged than any custom extension.

JupyterLab extensions are npm packages (the standard package format in Javascript development). There are many community-developed extensions being built on GitHub. You can search for the GitHub topic jupyterlab-extension to find extensions. For information about developing extensions, see the developer documentation.


If you are a JupyterLab extension developer, please note that the extension developer API is not stable and will evolve in the near future.

In order to install JupyterLab extensions, you need to have Node.js installed.

If you use conda, you can get it with:

conda install -c conda-forge nodejs

If you use Homebrew on Mac OS X:

brew install node

You can also download Node.js from the Node.js website and install it directly.

Installing Extensions

The base JupyterLab application includes a core set of extensions, which provide the features described in this user guide (notebook, terminal, text editor, etc.) You can install new extensions into the application using the command:

jupyter labextension install my-extension

where my-extension is the name of a valid JupyterLab extension npm package on npm. Use the my-extension@version syntax to install a specific version of an extension, for example:

jupyter labextension install my-extension@1.2.3

You can also install an extension that is not uploaded to npm, i.e., my-extension can be a local directory containing the extension, a gzipped tarball, or a URL to a gzipped tarball.

We encourage extension authors to add the jupyterlab-extension GitHub topic to any repository with a JupyterLab extension to facilitate discovery. You can see a list of extensions by searching GitHub for the jupyterlab-extension topic.

You can list the currently installed extensions by running the command:

jupyter labextension list

Uninstall an extension by running the command:

jupyter labextension uninstall my-extension

where my-extension is the name of the extension, as printed in the extension list. You can also uninstall core extensions using this command (you can always re-install core extensions later).

Installing and uninstalling extensions can take some time, as they are downloaded, bundled with the core extensions, and the whole application is rebuilt. You can install/uninstall more than one extension in the same command by listing their names after the install command.

If you are installing/uninstalling several extensions in several stages, you may want to defer rebuilding the application by including the flag --no-build in the install/uninstall step. Once you are ready to rebuild, you can run the command:

jupyter lab build

Disabling Extensions

You can disable specific JupyterLab extensions (including core extensions) without rebuilding the application by running the command:

jupyter labextension disable my-extension

This will prevent the extension from loading in the browser, but does not require a rebuild.

You can re-enable an extension using the command:

jupyter labextension enable my-extension

Advanced Usage

Any information that JupyterLab persists is stored in its application directory, including settings and built assets. This is separate from where the Python package is installed (like in site_packages) so that the install directory is immutable.

The application directory can be overridden using --app-dir in any of the JupyterLab commands, or by setting the JUPYTERLAB_DIR environment variable. If not specified, it will default to <sys-prefix>/share/jupyter/lab, where <sys-prefix> is the site-specific directory prefix of the current Python environment. You can query the current application path by running jupyter lab path.

JupyterLab Build Process

To rebuild the app directory, run jupyter lab build. By default, the jupyter labextension install command builds the application, so you typically do not need to call build directly.

Building consists of:

  • Populating the staging/ directory using template files

  • Handling any locally installed packages

  • Ensuring all installed assets are available

  • Bundling the assets

  • Copying the bundled assets to the static directory

Note that building will always use the latest JavaScript packages that meet the dependency requirements of JupyterLab itself and any installed extensions. If you wish to run JupyterLab with the set of pinned requirements that was shipped with the Python package, you can launch as jupyter lab –core-mode.

JupyterLab Application Directory

The JupyterLab application directory contains the subdirectories extensions, schemas, settings, staging, static, and themes.


The extensions directory has the packed tarballs for each of the installed extensions for the app. If the application directory is not the same as the sys-prefix directory, the extensions installed in the sys-prefix directory will be used in the app directory. If an extension is installed in the app directory that exists in the sys-prefix directory, it will shadow the sys-prefix version. Uninstalling an extension will first uninstall the shadowed extension, and then attempt to uninstall the sys-prefix version if called again. If the sys-prefix version cannot be uninstalled, its plugins can still be ignored using ignoredPackages metadata in settings.


The schemas directory contains JSON Schemas that describe the settings used by individual extensions. Users may edit these settings using the JupyterLab Settings Editor.


The settings directory contains page_config.json and build_config.json files.


The page_config.json data is used to provide config data to the application environment.

Two important fields in the page_config.json file enable control of which plugins load:

  1. disabledExtensions for extensions that should not load at all.

  2. deferredExtensions for extensions that do not load until they are required by something, irrespective of whether they set autostart to true.

The value for each field is an array of strings. The following sequence of checks are performed against the patterns in disabledExtensions and deferredExtensions.

  • If an identical string match occurs between a config value and a package name (e.g., "@jupyterlab/apputils-extension"), then the entire package is disabled (or deferred).

  • If the string value is compiled as a regular expression and tests positive against a package name (e.g., "disabledExtensions": ["@jupyterlab/apputils*$"]), then the entire package is disabled (or deferred).

  • If an identical string match occurs between a config value and an individual plugin ID within a package (e.g., "disabledExtensions": ["@jupyterlab/apputils-extension:settings"]), then that specific plugin is disabled (or deferred).

  • If the string value is compiled as a regular expression and tests positive against an individual plugin ID within a package (e.g., "disabledExtensions": ["^@jupyterlab/apputils-extension:set.*$"]), then that specific plugin is disabled (or deferred).


The build_config.json file is used to track the local directories that have been installed using jupyter labextension install <directory>, as well as core extensions that have been explicitly uninstalled. An example of a build_config.json file is:

    "uninstalled_core_extensions": [
    "local_extensions": {
        "@jupyterlab/python-tests": "/path/to/my/extension"

staging and static

The static directory contains the assets that will be loaded by the JuptyerLab application. The staging directory is used to create the build and then populate the static directory.

Running jupyter lab will attempt to run the static assets in the application directory if they exist. You can run jupyter lab --core-mode to load the core JupyterLab application (i.e., the application without any extensions) instead.


The themes directory contains assets (such as CSS and icons) for JupyterLab theme extensions.