Swift: Find Unused Code

Want to find all the unused Swift code in your Xcode project?

No problem.

We’re going to use Periphery. It’s a free tool, and extremely accurate.


Install Periphery

First we need to install Homebrew — if you already have Homebrew installed, you can skip this step.

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Next, we need to tell Homebrew where to find Periphery releases.

brew tap peripheryapp/periphery

And finally, install Periphery itself.

brew cask install periphery

Scan your project

Now that Periphery is installed, we’re ready to let it scan our Xcode project. Change to your project directory and run:

periphery scan

This will begin a guided setup. The first step is to choose the build targets you want to analyze. It’s important you choose the right targets. Let’s say ClassA is a member of the target AcmeKit, and it’s only used in once place: by ClassB in target AcmeApp. If you choose to only analyze AcmeKit, Periphery will not be able to identify that it’s used by AcmeApp. So in this example it’s important we analyze both AcmeApp & AcmeKit.

Step 1 — Choose build targets

Next, we need to tell Periphery which schemes are needed to build our chosen targets.

Step 2 — Choose schemes

Now we need to decide if classes, functions, enums, etc... that are marked public should be assumed to be in use, or not. If your project contains an application that consumes all public interfaces choose No, or if your project is just a framework choose Yes.

Step 3 — Public declarations

Finally we need to tell Periphery to assume that anything annotated with @objc is in use, so for now just choose Yes. You can always come back later and experiment with different options when you’re feeling a little more adventurous.

Hit enter, Periphery will begin scanning your project and finish with a list of unused declarations.

Step 4 — @objc annotated declarations

Congratulations! You can now start removing the unused code from your project. But first, let’s make this a much nicer experience by integrating Periphery into Xcode.

Step 5 — Results!

Xcode Integration

The first step is to create a new Aggregate target, listed under Cross-platform in the new target popover. Name it Periphery, click the Finish button and select the Build Phases tab.

Next we need to create a new Run Script Phase. Once created, simply copy and paste the command output previously by Periphery’s guided setup.

If needed, you can find a more detailed guide here: Periphery Xcode Integration.

Aggregate target

Now select the new Periphery scheme and click run. Once periphery has analyzed your project, you will see unused code warnings just like regular build warnings.

Unused code warnings

Next steps

Now you’ve got Periphery up and running you should familiarize yourself with all the available features. periphery help scan will give you a list of available options, and the documentation will help you get the most out of Periphery.

Happy unused code hunting!

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