Howto: Install Hugo on Windows

Step 0: My Assumptions

  1. You know how to open a command prompt window.
  2. You’re running a 64-bit version of Windows.
  3. Your website is
  4. You will use D:\Hugo\Sites as the starting point for your site.

Step 1: Setup Your Directories

You will need a place to store the Hugo executable, your content (the files that you build), and the generated files (the HTML that Hugo builds for you).

  1. Open up Windows Explorer.
  2. Create a new folder, D:\Hugo.
  3. Create a new folder, D:\Hugo\bin.
  4. Create a new folder, D:\Hugo\Sites.

Step 2: Download the pre-built Hugo executable for Windows

  1. Open in your browser.
  2. The current version is
  3. Download that ZIP file and save it in your D:\Hugo\bin folder.
  4. Find that ZIP file in Windows Explorer and extract all the files from it.
  5. You should see a .exe file with the same name as the ZIP file.
  6. Rename that .exe file to hugo.exe.
  7. Verify that the hugo.exe file is in the D:\Hugo\bin folder. (It’s possible that the extract put it in a sub-directory. If it did, use Windows Explorer to move it to D:\Hugo\bin.)

Step 3: Verify the executable.

  1. Open a command prompt window.
  2. At the prompt, type D:\Hugo\bin\hugo help and press the Enter key. You should see output that starts with:
A Fast and Flexible Static Site Generator built with
love by spf13 and friends in Go.

Complete documentation is available at

If you do, then the installation is complete. If you don’t, double-check the path that you placed the hugo.exe file in and that you typed that path correctly. If you’re still not getting the output, post a note on the Hugo discussion list (in the Support topic) with your command and the output.

Step 4: Generate your first site

  1. Open a command prompt window.
  2. At the prompt, change your directory to the Sites directory.
C:\Program Files> cd D:\Hugo\Sites
C:\Program Files> D:
  1. Run the command to generate a new site. I’m using as the name of the site.
D:\Hugo\Sites> D:\Hugo\bin\hugo new site

Note that you must type the full path to hugo unless you’ve updated your system PATH variable!
4. You should get output similar to the following: TODO: grab output and put here

You now have Hugo installed and a site to work with. You need to add a layout (or theme), then create some content. Go to for steps on doing that.


@dhersam has a nice video on common issues at

Future Steps

Consider adding D:\Hugo\bin to your system PATH. TODO: add link to article on updating PATH in Windows.

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