Windows 8 has reach end of support, which means Windows 8 devices no longer receive important security updates. We recommend making the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 to continue receiving security updates and support. Upgrading your Windows 8 or Windows RT PC to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 will also bring you enhancements in personalization, search, apps, the Windows Store, and cloud connectivity, all with the security and reliability features you expect from Windows.
Overview of Windows 8.1 ISO
Beginning in July 2019, the Windows 8 Store is officially closed. While you can no longer install or update applications from the Windows 8 Store, you can continue using those already installed. However, since Windows 8 has been out of support since January 2016, we encourage you to update to Windows 8.1 for free.
The system requirements for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 are nearly the same as the requirements for Windows 8—if your PC is already running Windows 8 (or Windows RT), in most cases, you can get the free update to Windows 8.1 (or Windows RT 8.1).
Before you begin, here are some things to keep in mind. Your files, desktop apps, user accounts, and settings come with you. Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 come with some new built-in apps and will update or replace some of your existing built-in apps.
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Your existing Windows Store apps don't come with you, but once the update is complete, you can reinstall all of these apps at once—or just the ones you want.
We'll check your desktop apps and devices for you. As part of the update, we check your current desktop apps and connected devices. We'll let you know what you'll need to do to get them ready for the update or to get them working again after the update.
In most cases, you won't need to do anything—most desktop apps, devices (like printers), and network connections will work normally after the update. Consider using a Microsoft account to sign in to your PC.
If you already use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 8 or Windows RT, you’ll use that same account to sign in to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1.
If you don’t, we recommend that you start using a Microsoft account in Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1.
If you already have an account you use with Outlook.com, Xbox LIVE, Windows Phone, or Skype, then you already have a Microsoft account.
You can keep working while the update is installing. Download and installation times vary from about 30 minutes to several hours, depending on your internet connection speed and the speed and configuration of your PC, but you can still use your PC while the update is installing in the background.
During this time, make sure to save your work and close any apps you have open before leaving your PC unattended in case your PC needs to restart automatically while you’re away.
After it restarts, you won't be able to use your PC for a little while (from about 20 minutes to an hour) while the updates are being applied. After that phase is complete, we'll walk you through choosing a few basic settings and then Windows will finish applying any final updates that are needed.
There are a few things you should do before you start installing:.
Back up your files. Although your files and apps come with you when you update to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, it's a good idea to back up your important files to an external drive or the cloud.
Make sure you have enough free disk space.
If you're currently running Windows 8, you need 3,000 MB of available space to install the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 and 3,850 MB of available space to install the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1.
On a Windows RT device, you need 2,250 MB of available disk space to install Windows RT 8.1.
Plug in your laptop or tablet. It's important to keep your PC plugged in throughout the update process, because if you lose power before it's done, the update might not install properly.
Connect to the internet. It's best to stay connected until the update is done. If you don't, you’ll need to connect again to finish setting up later and setup will take longer. Get the latest critical and important updates.
There are some updates you might need before you can install Windows 8.1.
In most cases, the latest updates will be installed automatically using Windows Update. But if you don’t have automatic updates turned on and you need to check for updates manually, or if you'd like to check to see when the latest updates were installed, you can do this from Windows Update.
The update will download and install in the background while you use your PC to do other things.
The installer will check to make sure you have enough disk space, that your apps and devices will work with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, and that you have all the required updates.
In some cases, the installer might find something you need to take care of before you can continue installing the update.
If so, you'll see a message telling you what you need to do. After the update is downloaded and the first phase of the installation is complete (which could take between 15 minutes and a few hours, depending on your system and your connection speed), you'll see a message telling you that your PC needs to restart. It will give you 15 minutes to finish what you’re working on, save your work, and close your apps, and then it will restart your PC for you.
Or you can restart it yourself. Important: If you leave your PC before it's ready to restart, be sure to save your work and close any desktop apps you're using to make sure you don't lose anything when it restarts automatically.
Your PC might need to restart more than once, depending on how it’s set up and whether additional updates are needed. Restarting will take longer than usual—from 20 minutes to about an hour—while the update is applied. During this time, you won't be able to use your PC. You'll see a list of recommended settings called Express settings.
Next, you'll be asked to sign in. If you already use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 8 or Windows RT, your account name will be filled in for you.
If you previously used a local account, you can still use it to sign in. Enter your Microsoft account email address, if needed, and your password. We'll send a security code to the alternate email address or phone number you've set up for this account, and you'll need to enter that code to verify that you're the owner of the account.