In Npm version 3 we finally got what we had been asking for the last few years: a flattened module structure for Node modules. Unfortunately as a result Npm has slowed to a crawl when installing or updating Node modules, well mostly just installing.
Recently it was circulating that disabling the progress bar resulted in at least a three times speed increase. I first saw it on Twitter and dismissed it initially.
Could a loading bar really be the cause of the slowness? By itself, not entirely. But disabling it will result in a lot less banging your head against the desk while you wait for Node modules to take 20 minutes to install.
Open up a terminal prompt and type the following to globally set Npm to disable the progress bar and feel the speed:
npm set progress=false
If you are interested in knowing why Npm 3 slows down, someone over at Github has done a tremendous in-depth investigation into the slowness issues and you would be surprised.