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:

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

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

But what about public class elements?

How can we detect such element?

  • find a e.g. public method
  • find all public method calls
  • compare those in simple diff
  • 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 open public API that should be used only locally.


composer require tomasvotruba/unused-public --dev

The package is available on PHP 7.2-8.1 versions in tagged releases.


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 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;