Just got a Windows 8 PC? Here's how you can update to Windows 8.1

Just got a Windows 8 PC? Here's how you can update to Windows 8.1

The holiday season is now over and some of you may have managed to snag a brand new Windows 8 PC. For those of you who managed to get a new tablet or desktop computer, complete with the latest Windows 8.1 update, then you are all set and ready to go. However, for those of you who purchased a device that came pre-installed with Windows 8 only, have no fear. Here are a few suggestions to get you updated and running.

First of all, did you know that Windows 8.1 is considered an update to Windows 8 and not an upgrade? This is according to Microsoft. If Windows 8.1 was an upgrade, Microsoft would have deferred revenue or charged consumers for using or purchasing the upgrade. This would ultimately affect the Windows earnings, which we would see during quarterly financial results.

Before you update to Windows 8.1, it is highly recommended that you back up your files and ensure you have at least 3 to 4 GB of free disk space. All the apps you currently have installed on your Windows 8 machine will still be there.

So how do you get the Windows 8.1 update? For those of you on Windows 8, make sure you have installed all the available updates via Windows Update - especially KB2871389. This particular update is required for the Windows 8.1 update to appear via the Windows Store. Here are the steps listed by Microsoft:

  • Open Windows Update by swiping in from the right edge of the screen (or, if you're using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer up), tapping or clicking Settings, tapping or clickingChange PC settings, and then tapping or clicking Windows Update.
  • Tap or click Check for updates now, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your PC. If you don't have automatic installation of important updates turned on, you might need to tap or click Turn on recommended settings before you can check for updates.
  • If updates are found, tap or click the message telling you how many updates will be installed automatically. In the list of updates, look for one that includes (KB2871389) in the name (the exact name will vary, depending on your system.).
  • Tap or click Install to install all the recommended updates in the list.
  • When the updates are done, you’ll need to restart your PC. If you have any desktop apps open, save your work and close them before restarting. To restart, swipe in from the right edge of the screen (or, if you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer up), tap or click Settings, tap or click Power, and then tap or click Restart.
  • After you’ve restarted your PC, on the Start screen, tap or click Store, and you should see the Windows 8.1 update. 

Once you have all the updates installed, head over to the Windows Store and you will be prompted for the update to Windows 8.1. The update is free and weighs in at 3.63GB, so make sure you have a decent internet connection. If for some reason you are not shown the update via the Windows Store, you can simply click this link to force the update to appear.

"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," Microsoft explains.

Congratulations, you are now running Microsoft's latest Windows 8.1 operating system. We recommend checking out our Windows 8.1 review as well as checking out Microsoft's "Welcome to the new Windows" guide here.

There are also other options when it comes to installing Windows 8.1. For example, you can purchase a full version of Windows 8, complete with the Windows 8.1 update, for the same price as Windows 8. With this, you can install Windows 8.1 directly from a DVD! If you are looking for a tutorial on how to download the Windows 8.1 update and install via USB, check out our tutorial here.