How to Update to the Latest Release of Hugo

Posted on Jan 11, 2023
tl;dr: On the Hugo latest releases web page, choose the asset, download it, extract the ZIP folder, and confirm the Hugo version in the CLI.

Get and download the latest release
Extract the downloaded ZIP folder
Confirm Hugo version
Helpful Links


Why am I installing the latest release?

My Hugo website, which I built in the Summer of 2022, was dormant during my Fall Semester coursework.

I looked at my website again after the Fall Semester ended and wanted to update it. I wanted a clean, simple minimal theme. I noticed, too, that I had to get the latest release of Hugo.

So, I wanted a brand-new theme and an update to the latest release.

This article is about updating your Hugo website to the latest release of Hugo on the Windows operating system (OS).

Later I will write about how to change your website’s current Hugo theme to the theme you prefer.

When Hugo has a new release, my computer doesn’t automatically receive the latest release like the Windows operating system, where I click the Check for updates button, and my computer downloads and installs the update.

I must go to the Hugo website, download the latest release, and install it.

The process of updating to the latest release of Hugo is like downloading and installing Hugo for the first time but minus the first steps of creating the site, adding content, configuring, and publishing the site.

The easiest method, and I recommend this because I’m not CLI savvy 😭, to update your Hugo website’s version is to get and download your prebuilt binary from Hugo’s latest releases GitHub page.

Since I’m not CLI savvy, I’m not using package managers (Chocolatey, Scoop), Docker, or building from source. For more on these install methods, go to Windows | Hugo.

What is a prebuilt binary?

I searched for the word prebuilt in Merriam-Webster, and prebuilt doesn’t exist in the dictionary and thesaurus pages.

In the Cambridge dictionary, prebuilt means prefabricated, as in a prefabricated building.

I can see why the developers didn’t call the Hugo file prefabricated binary. 😆

Anyway, a binary is something that has two parts. In computing, it’s a number system that involves 0 and 1 and values involving a mix of just 0s and 1s.

Binary is a character in the film The Matrix Reloaded.

I also remember the binary digital code rain in The Matrix.

If I were to explain binary code in a simple sentence, I would say “Binary code is how computers talk and represent information.”

A Hugo prebuilt binary is just a Hugo file in a ZIP file format that you download and extract to a target (specific) folder on your computer. And you can run the extracted files as is.

There’re prebuilt binaries for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. 🙌🏼


Get and download the latest release

  1. Go to Hugo’s latest releases page in GitHub.

    There’s essential information (recommended reading 😂) about the latest release that’ll give you new features, notes, bug fixes, and improvements. 🤓

  2. Scroll down to the end of the latest release’s module to the Assets section that lists the links to the archives of the prebuilt binaries editions for specific operating systems and architecture.

    Architecture in computer engineering is “the conceptual design and fundamental operational structure of a computer system”.

  3. Click the Show all 23 assets link to view the complete list.

    This link appeared when I visited the page after not having visited it since my last download/install last summer. Still, it hasn’t appeared since I’ve been on the page a lot drafting this article, and I see the complete list every time.

    The Show all 23 assets link might not show up for you. So, ignore this step.

  4. Look for the link to the edition you need and for your computer’s OS.

    Hugo has two editions: extended and standard.

    The extended edition supports SCSS/SASS and decodes and encodes WebP images.
    The standard edition decodes WebP images.

    I decided on the standard edition because I don’t use SCSS/SASS and WebP.

    The Hugo Installation Windows web page recommends installing the extended version, but you decide.

  5. Next, check that your computer’s OS is 64-bit.

    How to find your Windows system details

    • On the taskbar, right-click the Windows Start icon.
    • A Power User Menu (PUM) pops up. On the PUM, click on System.
    • In the Settings window, see an About header, and below this header is the Device specifications.
    • Under device specs, you’ll see something like System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor.
  6. In the latest release’s Assets section, there’re three zip folders that you can choose one to download based on your computer’s OS and architecture and your edition preference:


    What’s the difference between amd64 and arm64?

    Both are central processing unit (CPU) architectures.

    ARM64 is the 64-bit version of the Advanced RISC Machine (ARM) architecture used on smartphones and computer operating systems.

    AMD64 is the 64-bit version of the x86 architecture, which Intel developed and later extended to 64-bit by AMD and is the architecture for personal computers and servers.

    So as an example, based on my following requirements:

    • My Windows OS has a 64-bit operating system
    • My computer’s CPU architecture is AMD64
    • I don’t use SCSS/SASS and WebP

    I needed to download the folder. Note that this asset’s version was the latest release at the time of this writing.

    So, select the asset suited for your computer’s OS, architecture, and edition preference.

  7. Download your selected latest release ZIP folder to the Downloads directory in your Local Disk (C:).


Extract the downloaded ZIP folder

Now that you’ve downloaded the ZIP folder, the next step is to extract the contents of this ZIP folder to the bin folder.

You must already have the following Hugo bin folder on your Local Disk (C:):


First, I recommend this critical File Explorer tip.

In my File Explorer in the View tab in the Show/hide group, I’ve checked the Item check boxes because this view preference makes it easy for me to select my folders and files carefully when I want to open, move, or remove them.

Without the checked Item check boxes preference, I’ve often clicked on a folder or file by mistake, producing outcomes that annoy me, like removing a file by mistake or moving a file to the wrong folder.

So having the Item check boxes permanently checked has kept my File Explorer folder/file selection activities stress-free.

If you’re up for the same, keep your Item check boxes checked.

Extract all the contents of your downloaded ZIP folder into your bin folder by doing the following steps:

  1. In the File Explorer window, click on the Downloads folder that holds the Hugo release ZIP folder.

  2. Move the mouse pointer over to the Hugo ZIP folder and click its checkbox to select it.

    The Extract tab should appear at the top of the Downloads window.

  3. Click on the Extract tab.

  4. See a folder icon right below the Extract tab that says Extract all. Click on the folder icon.

    An Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders window appears where you can Select a Destination and Extract Files.

  5. Click the Browse button and find the bin folder in the Hugo folder.

    You’ll see something like what’s depicted in the images below.

    Select a destination

    Select a destination

  6. Click on the Select Folder button.

    You’ll see something like what’s depicted in the image below.

    Select a destination

    I recommend keeping the Show extracted files when complete checked.

  7. Click the Extract button.

    The ZIP folder will extract all its contents in your bin folder, replacing the hugo.exe, LICENSE, and files already in there.

    A Replace or Skip Files window pops up.

  8. Click on Replace the files in the destination.

    The replacement process is quick, and you’ll see a window displaying the files of your bin folder and a date modified column (if you have that column set up in your folder’s view).

The next step is to confirm that your computer has the latest release.


Confirm Hugo version

Confirm that your computer has the latest release by following the below steps.

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start icon on the taskbar.

  2. Click on Command Prompt (Admin).

  3. Type the following command at the command prompt to go to your Hugo website’s folder in the Local Disk (C:).

     cd C:\Hugo\Sites\your-sites-name

    The cd command stands for change directory.

    your-sites-name stands for your website’s name.

  4. Then type…

     hugo version
  5. You’ll see a message like the one below that tells you that you have the latest Hugo release.

     C:\Hugo\Sites\your-sites-name>hugo version
     hugo v0.109.0-47b12b83e636224e5e601813ff3e6790c191e371 windows/amd64 BuildDate=2022-12-23T10:38:11Z VendorInfo=gohugoio



Now you know how to update to the latest release of Hugo. How do you feel? Good, I hope.

It’s time for some ice cream. 🙏🏼🍨

Take a break and play a video game. 🎮



Hugo Releases

Hugo Installation Windows

Installing and updating Hugo on Windows


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