Detect unused public properties, constants and methods in your code

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It's easy to find unused private class elements, because they're not used in the class itself. But what about public methods/properties/constants?

 final class Book
     public function getTitle(): string
         // ...

-    public function getSubtitle(): string
-    {
-        // ...
-    }

How can we detect unused public element?

  • find a public method
  • find all public method calls in code and templates
  • if the public method is not found, it probably unused

That's exactly what this package does.

This technique is very useful for private projects and to detect accidentally used public modifier that should be changed to private as called locally only.


composer require tomasvotruba/unused-public --dev

The package is available for PHP 7.2+ version.


With PHPStan extension installer, everything is ready to run.

Enable each item on their own with simple configuration:

# phpstan.neon
        methods: true
        properties: true
        constants: true

Do you have hundreds of reported public method? You don't have time to check them all, but want to handle them gradually?

Set maximum allowed % configuration instead:

# phpstan.neon
        methods: 2.5

This means maximum 2.5 % of all public methods is allowed as unused:

  • If it's 5 %, you'll be alerted.
  • If it's 1 %, it will be skipped as tolerated.

Do you want to check local-only method calls that should not be removed, but be turned into private/protected instead?

# phpstan.neon
        local_methods: true

Exclude methods called in templates

Some methods are used only in TWIG or Blade templates, and could be reported false positively as unused.

{{ book.getTitle() }}

How can we exclude them? Add your TWIG or Blade template directories in config to exclude methods names:

# phpstan.neon
            - templates

Known Limitations

In some cases, the rules report false positives:

  • when used only in templates, apart Twig paths, it's not possible to detect them

Skip Public-Only Methods

Open-source vendors design public API to be used by projects. Is element reported as unused, but it's actually designed to be used public?

Mark the class or element with @api annotation to skip it:

final class Book
     * @api
    public function getName()
        return $this->name;