Node.js is an essential tool for many web developers, providing a powerful JavaScript runtime environment for server-side applications. As with any software, over time, new versions are released, offering improvements, features, and security updates.

To take advantage of these enhancements and ensure that your development environment is up-to-date, it’s essential to know how to update Node.js to the latest version. In this article, we’ll cover various methods to upgrade your Node.js installation so that you can make the most out of the available tools and resources in the Node.js ecosystem.

Choosing the right upgrade method depends on your operating system and personal preferences. We’ll be discussing options such as using the official Node.js download, NPM (Node Package Manager), and other package managers available for different platforms.

Checking the Current Node.js Version

Before updating Node.js to the latest version, it’s important to know the current version installed on your system. To check the version of Node.js installed on your computer, open a command line terminal (or Command Prompt on Windows) and run the following command:

node -v

This command will display the Node.js version number in the terminal, for example: “v16.13.0. Having this information is useful when comparing with the latest release and ensuring compatibility with your existing projects.

To find out about the latest Node.js releases, you can visit the official Node.js GitHub releases page. This page lists different versions and their corresponding release dates, helping you to decide which version to upgrade to.

There are various tools and methods to update Node.js, such as using a Node version manager like NVM. In the next sections, we will cover the different approaches to updating Node.js to the latest version on different operating systems.

Updating Node.js on Windows

To update Node.js on Windows, there are multiple methods that you can follow. One common approach is using the official Node.js installer, which is a simple and straightforward process.

First, visit the Node.js website at and click on the Windows Installer button to download the appropriate installer for your system. After downloading the installer, simply run it and follow the on-screen instructions to update your Node.js installation to the latest version. Once the installation is complete, you can check your updated Node.js version by running the command node -v in your command prompt.

Alternatively, you can also update Node.js using the NVM (Node Version Manager) for Windows. To do so, you’ll first need to download and install the NVM for Windows application. Once NVM is set up on your system, open a command prompt and use the following commands:

  • nvm list – to see your currently installed Node.js versions
  • nvm install latest – to install the latest version of Node.js
  • nvm use <version> – to switch to the desired version

After you have switched to the latest version using NVM, you may run the node -v command to verify that you are now using the updated version of Node.js.

Updating Node.js on macOS

There are several methods to update Node.js to the latest version on macOS. One popular method is using the package manager Homebrew. If you haven’t installed Homebrew, you can follow the instructions on its official website.

Once Homebrew is installed, you can update Node.js by running the following command in the terminal:

brew upgrade node

Another option is to use the n package, which can be installed using npm. First, check your current Node.js version by running node -v in the terminal. Next, install the n package with the following command:

npm install -g n

After installation, you can update Node.js to the latest version by running:

n latest

Alternatively, you can manually update Node.js by downloading the latest version from the Node.js official website and installing it on your system.

Remember to always backup your projects and settings before updating Node.js, as some changes may introduce new features or breaking changes that impact your applications.

Updating Node.js on Linux

One of the most popular methods for updating Node.js on Linux systems is through the Node Version Manager (NVM). This tool is designed to manage multiple active Node.js versions, allowing you to easily install, update, and switch between them as needed.

To update Node.js using NVM, first ensure you have NVM installed on your system. If you haven’t, follow the installation instructions provided on the NVM GitHub repository. Once installed, you may proceed with the following steps:

  1. Update your package repository by running: sudo apt update
  2. Check the available Node.js versions with the command: nvm ls-remote
  3. Select the desired version and install it using: nvm install [version], replacing [version] with the desired version number.
  4. Verify the installation by running: node -v. This will display the current Node.js version.

Another way to update Node.js on Linux is using the Node.js binary packages available on the official Node.js downloads site. Simply choose the appropriate installer or source for your system and follow the provided instructions.

Remember to periodically check for Node.js updates and stay up-to-date, as newer versions often include performance improvements, security patches, and new features that can benefit your projects.

Using Package Managers to Update Node.js

Package managers are helpful utilities to simplify the process of updating Node.js. Two popular options for updating Node.js are npm and nvm.

NPM: NPM is the default package manager for Node.js, and it can be used to update Node.js easily. To update Node with npm, you’ll have to install the n package, which is used to manage Node.js versions interactively. You can install and update Node.js by running the following commands:

npm install -g n
n latest

These commands will install the n package globally and update Node.js to the latest version. To update to a specific version, you can use:

n x.y.z

Where “x.y.z” represents the desired version number. Learn more about updating Node.js with npm from the freeCodeCamp guide.

NVM: Node Version Manager (NVM) is another popular choice for managing Node.js versions. NVM allows you to easily switch between different versions, making it an excellent tool for developers working with multiple projects. To update Node.js using NVM:

  1. Ensure you have NVM installed on your system. If not, follow the installation instructions provided in the NVM repository.
  2. Update the installed versions list by running the command:
    nvm ls-remote
  3. Install the latest version by typing:
    nvm install node
  4. Switch to the newly installed version using:
    nvm use node

For more detailed instructions on using NVM to update Node.js, consult the phoenixNAP guide.

Verifying the Update

Once you have completed the process of updating Node.js to the latest version, it is essential to verify that the update was successful. To do this, you will need to check the installed version of Node.js on your system.

Open a new terminal or command prompt window, as the version number displayed in the current terminal may still show the old version. In the new terminal window, run the following command to check the updated Node.js version:

node -v

This command will display the installed version of Node.js on your system. If the version matches the latest one available on the official Node.js website, the update was successful.

Additionally, you can also verify the updated version of NPM (Node Package Manager) by running the following command:

npm -v

By comparing the output of this command with the latest NPM version listed on the NPM package page, you can confirm that both Node.js and NPM have been updated successfully.


In this article, we have explored various methods to update Node.js to the latest version. Using a Node version manager like NVM can provide you with an easier way of managing multiple Node.js versions.

Alternatively, installing Node.js through an official installer from the Node.js website ensures that you are using the most recent version. It is crucial to keep your Node.js environment up to date for better performance, security, and access to new features.

Maintaining an updated Node.js across different platforms like macOS, Linux, and Windows is essential when working in diverse development environments. No matter which method you choose, consistently updating Node.js will help streamline your projects and optimize your development experience.