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Checks for outdated targets in the pipeline, targets that will be rerun automatically if you call tar_make() or similar. See tar_cue() for the rules that decide whether a target needs to rerun.


  names = NULL,
  shortcut = targets::tar_config_get("shortcut"),
  branches = FALSE,
  targets_only = TRUE,
  reporter = targets::tar_config_get("reporter_outdated"),
  callr_function = callr::r,
  callr_arguments = targets::tar_callr_args_default(callr_function, reporter),
  envir = parent.frame(),
  script = targets::tar_config_get("script"),
  store = targets::tar_config_get("store")



Names of the targets. tar_outdated() will check these targets and all upstream ancestors in the dependency graph. Set names to NULL to check/build all the targets (default). Otherwise, you can supply symbols or tidyselect helpers like any_of() and starts_with(). Applies to ordinary targets (stem) and whole dynamic branching targets (patterns) but not to individual dynamic branches.


Logical of length 1, how to interpret the names argument. If shortcut is FALSE (default) then the function checks all targets upstream of names as far back as the dependency graph goes. If TRUE, then the function only checks the targets in names and uses stored metadata for information about upstream dependencies as needed. shortcut = TRUE increases speed if there are a lot of up-to-date targets, but it assumes all the dependencies are up to date, so please use with caution. Also, shortcut = TRUE only works if you set names.


Logical of length 1, whether to include branch names. Including branches could get cumbersome for large pipelines. Individual branch names are still omitted when branch-specific information is not reliable: for example, when a pattern branches over an outdated target.


Logical of length 1, whether to just restrict to targets or to include functions and other global objects from the environment created by running the target script file (default: _targets.R).


Character of length 1, name of the reporter to user. Controls how messages are printed as targets are checked. Choices:

  • "silent": print nothing.

  • "forecast": print running totals of the checked and outdated targets found so far.


A function from callr to start a fresh clean R process to do the work. Set to NULL to run in the current session instead of an external process (but restart your R session just before you do in order to clear debris out of the global environment). callr_function needs to be NULL for interactive debugging, e.g. tar_option_set(debug = "your_target"). However, callr_function should not be NULL for serious reproducible work.


A list of arguments to callr_function.


An environment, where to run the target R script (default: _targets.R) if callr_function is NULL. Ignored if callr_function is anything other than NULL. callr_function should only be NULL for debugging and testing purposes, not for serious runs of a pipeline, etc.

The envir argument of tar_make() and related functions always overrides the current value of tar_option_get("envir") in the current R session just before running the target script file, so whenever you need to set an alternative envir, you should always set it with tar_option_set() from within the target script file. In other words, if you call tar_option_set(envir = envir1) in an interactive session and then tar_make(envir = envir2, callr_function = NULL), then envir2 will be used.


Character of length 1, path to the target script file. Defaults to tar_config_get("script"), which in turn defaults to _targets.R. When you set this argument, the value of tar_config_get("script") is temporarily changed for the current function call. See tar_script(), tar_config_get(), and tar_config_set() for details about the target script file and how to set it persistently for a project.


Character of length 1, path to the targets data store. Defaults to tar_config_get("store"), which in turn defaults to _targets/. When you set this argument, the value of tar_config_get("store") is temporarily changed for the current function call. See tar_config_get() and tar_config_set() for details about how to set the data store path persistently for a project.


Names of the outdated targets.


Requires that you define a pipeline with a target script file (default: _targets.R). (See tar_script() for details.)

See also


if (identical(Sys.getenv("TAR_EXAMPLES"), "true")) {
tar_dir({ # tar_dir() runs code from a temporary directory.
tar_script(list(tar_target(x, 1 + 1)))
    tar_target(y1, 1 + 1),
    tar_target(y2, 1 + 1),
    tar_target(z, y1 + y2)
}, ask = FALSE)