How to Exclude Default Modules and Paths in VSCode Python Intellisense

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will discover how to customize Visual Studio Code’s (VSCode) Python IntelliSense by excluding default modules and paths. By tailoring your coding environment, you can enhance your productivity and efficiency while coding.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When working on Python projects in VSCode, the IntelliSense feature offers valuable support for code completion, definitions, and quick access to documentation. However, at times, it may suggest global modules or paths that are irrelevant to your current project. This can clutter your workspace with unnecessary options, making it challenging to locate relevant information.

To tackle this issue effectively, we will delve into configuring VSCode’s settings.json file to exclude specific directories and modules from Python IntelliSense. This customization empowers you to streamline autocomplete suggestions, ensuring that only pertinent information related to your project is displayed. By implementing these adjustments, not only do you boost productivity but also create a cleaner development environment tailored precisely to your requirements.


    "python.autoComplete.extraPaths": [],
    "python.analysis.excludedPaths": ["**/site-packages/**", "**/node_modules/**"],

# Copyright PHD


To optimize the Python IntelliSense in VSCode, follow these steps within the settings.json file of your workspace:

  • “python.autoComplete.extraPaths”: Specify additional locations for IntelliSense beyond standard libraries and installed packages by setting it as an empty list ([]).

  • “python.analysis.excludedPaths”: Define directories excluded from analysis by IntelliSense using glob patterns (**/directory_name/**). In the provided example, directories like site-packages and node_modules are excluded to declutter suggestions.

By customizing these settings according to your project’s needs, you gain control over the suggestions displayed during coding sessions´┐Żenhancing efficiency by filtering out irrelevant module paths.

    1. How can I access my settings.json file in VSCode? To access settings.json, open Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P or Cmd+Shift+P on Mac), type ‘Preferences: Open Settings (JSON)’, and press Enter.

    2. Can I specify multiple directories in “python.analysis.excludedPaths”? Yes! Add each directory as a string inside the array: “[“path1/”, “path2/”]”.

    3. Will changes made affect global settings? Changes made in the workspace’s settings.json apply only within that workspace; use User Settings for global changes.

    4. Is auto-completion available when editing settings.json? Certainly! VSCode provides auto-completions for known configuration keys while editing JSON files.

    5. Can I revert changes if needed? Absolutely! Simply remove or comment out added lines in settings.json. It’s advisable to backup before significant modifications.

    6. Are these configurations specific only to Python projects? While focusing on Python-specific configurations here, similar principles apply across languages supported by VSCode extensions with language-specific adjustments required.

    7. What about excluding specific files instead of entire directories? You can achieve this through glob patterns focusing on filenames within “python.analysis.excludedPaths” configuration.


Customizing which modules and paths appear in Visual Studio Code’s Python IntelliSense allows for a significant optimization of development workflow. By refining suggestions based on individual project demands through exclusion settings, distractions from unrelated noise are minimized´┐Żresulting in a more focused coding experience enriched with efficiency.

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