Windows 8.1 is now available for download from the Windows Store

Windows 8.1 is now available on the Windows Store. Should you be rocking Windows 8, you'll see a banner for the upgrade when hitting up the store for some more content (see above image). Kicking off the download through the store, consumers will be able to take full advantage of new features and functionality in the latest release of Windows.

While the upgrade will not affect files and installed apps, we do recommend you back up your stuff (which you should already be doing on a regular basis). Some of the included features in Windows 8.1 are displayed on the store before you begin the upgrade. While the update is downloading, you're able to carry on using your PC until the notification pops-up that the next step is unlocked.

Windows 8.1 Store

The upgrade process for those on Windows 8 is relatively painless (as one would expect), but if you've been trying out the Windows 8.1 Preview, there are a few steps published on the Windows Blog that apply to you.

Upgrading from Windows 8.1 Preview

If you fetched the preview of Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store, then you should be able to upgrade without a hitch.

If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview by using a downloaded ISO on a DVD or USB memory drive, you'll be able to upgrade as normal (through the store), but Windows 8.1 won't activate without a valid license (since the preview didn't require you to own a copy of the final product). If you have a Windows 8 key, you won't be able to activate Windows 8.1 using the key (see this page for more details).

You'll be required to reinstall Windows 8 before upgrading, or fork out for a copy of Windows 8.1. For more information regarding the upgrade, be sure to check out Microsoft's FAQ page (opens in new tab). Head on into the Windows Store and hit the rather large Windows 8.1 banner to kick off the download. Surface RT owners: you'll also be able to upgrade (opens in new tab) today too.

Windows 8.1

A quick side note: If you're loving Windows 8.1, Microsoft will also be hosting an IAmA chat on Reddit today with several engineers to answer your questions about Windows 8.1 (10:30am to 12:00pm - PST). After the IAmA on Reddit, the company will host a special Tech Thursday Live Twitter Chat to discuss the upgrade (from 12:00pm to 1:00pm - PST).

Lastly, Microsoft is celebrating the new version of Windows 8. Starting today for the next 8 days, the company will pick 810 random winners per day who tweet and share their new Start screen after updating to Windows 8.1. Take some screen shots and tag them with the #MyStart hashtag. Note sure how to take screenshots? Pull out the charm menu, hit the down arrow and choose "Screenshot" (or simply press the Windows + PrtScn keys)

Upgrade Link for Store (click on link with your Windows 8 PC): ms-windows-store:WindowsUpgrade

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

271 Comments
  • Waiting to get home and do the job :S
  • Same!!!
  • W8.1 RT up and running on my Surface. Upgraded from preview.
    Time to update the desktop now from W8.
  • Me toooo!!! I have a dell 10xps with windows 8 and a laptop with windows 8 preview
  • How do you upgrade from rt 8.1 preview? I cant find any link in the store.
  • Ah, nm. I went to this link http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/update-from-preview?OClD=GA, then clicked 'i installed the preview from the windows store....'. There is a link from there to 8.1 in the store for anyone who cant see 8.1 in the store already.
  • Me too
  • Installed it this morning on my surface pro. Took maybe 30minutes. Download size was about 3.5GB I recall. Went smooth. The one thing that threw me afterwards was finding All Apps. You just swipe up the whole start screen. Overall Very Very nice upgrade.
  • Far more efficient and intuitive way to find the apps imo. I've only ever used 8.1 preview and when I used someone's 8.0 it seemed ridiculous haha.
  • I'd love to know how yu managed that! I've been downloading it over a high speed WiFi connection for over 2 hours and its less than a third done.  Lots of space in my Surface's memory, so I don't know why its taking so long but it'll be tomorrow before I can execute the upgrade!
  • Yayy... Lucky me not having a job... Already upgraded.
  • Same here... Looking at my Surface and wishing I could have a picture behind my Start screen.
  • I upgraded from win7 to win8 and back to win7 where do you download win8 iso? I have win8 serial key, i want to upgrade to 8.1
  • YAY!
  • I'm stuck at work. Stupid job
  • LOL, me too
  • I updated mine over RDP. Then my PC rebooted... Now I can't connect anymore. LOL.
  • haha so sad that you didnt think of it earlier.
  • Niceeee (fabolous's voice)
  • Damn, I thought coming from the release preview (via USB) was going to be easier... =/ I'll try that out tonight as soon as I'm back from work.
  • It is also available for RT. Downloading now.
  • yeah you can just go to settings and upgrade and its all ready to go.
     
  • I went to the Microsoft website and clicked on a link that took me to the store and revealed the update. Mote: Updating Surface RT from 8.1 RT Preview to 8.1 RT.
  • Okay, the settings just updated the 8.1 preview. But to get the real thing you gotta go to the store. It saves all your files and what not. So its not a total clean wipe.
  • I am from India its 17th october 6:55 P.M and when i try to open the store link for windows 8.1 update ...nothing happens no upgrade page for notification ..just the normal page of store apps(spotlight of top apps,etc). :/
  • You should go here http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/home
  • That just opens up the store. But there is nothing there.
  • Are you using a Surface? If so, you need to apply Windows Updates first I think.
  • worker for me, thanks
  • I'm facing the same problem..... i click on the link provided or from windows home site, it just redirects to Store, but it doesn't show up anything regarding windows update. pls help :( .
  • Sorry the link worked for me,
  • its available in store now...
  • I didn't get it at first either
    There's an update you need to install before and if you have automatic update turned off you might need to install it manually. Go the Control Panel > Windows Update and search for the update KB2871389 and install it. Restart your computer and you will find the update to 8.1 thingy in the store
    I'm off to install it now :D
  • Awesome!! Started downloading :) :) Thanks for this Big help!! :)
  • I couldn't see it until I restarted my PC & went to the Store. Voila!!
  • Go to the store.... nothing for me :(
  • FYI - if you're running Windows 8 Enterprise, you won't get the update.  Here is a list of other WIndows 8 license which will not receive the update:
     
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/why-can-t-find-update-store
     
    Shame...
  • Total fail. Now i have to somehow find an ISO for 8.1 Enterprise.... smh
  • Makes perfect sense. Your system admin wouldn't want users to upgrade and change their systems whenever they please... Unless you're abusing a vlk mak key on a personal machine... Then it's your fault. :P
  • I am the Sys Admin. I Installed this from TechNet from an ISO. Problem is we didn't renew it so I no longer have access to ISOs lol smh
  • I'm not running either of those... I have a plain old Windows 8 that I bought as a download from Microsoft. But it doesn't show for me. :(
  • LOL. Microsoft has made a typo on that page... the update required for 8.1 is KB 2871389, they had switched the 3 and the 8 around... no wonder I couldn't find it! Still didn't help though. :(
  • I didn't get it at first either
    There's an update you need to install before and if you have automatic update turned off you might need to install it manually. Go the Control Panel > Windows Update and search for the update KB2871389 and install it. Restart your computer and you will find the update to 8.1 thingy in the store
    I'm off to install it now :D
  • Whoop been downloading already!
  • Great news
  • When I'm home, it's the first thing that will be done. Can't wait for it. ^^
  • Got the toast notification just as i hit the check for updates button.. good timing but not here for me in Aus yet :(
  • I take that back, it shows now in the store!
  • Downloading.
  • http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/update-from-preview?OCID=GA... click that link and there is information, if u downloaded preview fro store then u can do same to full 8.1 but if u had downloaded fro m disc or somethin g else then there is information how to do it
  • Started my rollout on my devices at 6 AM Central, US
  • Wait. What? I am running preview through ISO download. So when the update is completed & when it asks for the license my Windows 8 product key won't work? Is that it?
  • You'll have to reinstall from scratch. The Windows 8 key won't (or shouldn't - we haven't tried yet) work. I'm worse off as I don't have an Acer disk for the Iconia W510 tablet. Having to torrent a disk off the net as the valid Windows 8 key doesn't like a vanilla copy of Windows 8 (something about the key not being retail). They wonder why people download stuff illegally...
  • Yeah, same case with 8.1 RT They made 8.1 Pro RTM available for developers but not 8.1 RTM. So I torrented the leaked RT RTM. And they wonder why people download illegally...
  • If your computer came with Windows 8, pro or you picked up WIn 8 pro that you installed,  you need to reinstall Windows 8 to get the 8.1 update for free....
  • Ok, now I am mad. I thought that we would be able to install 8.1 from ISO and be able to use win8 key since this is a fee upgrade. Does this mean that every time I want to reinstall my OS, I have to install win8 and then upgrade? If its true, I will be disappointed. And once again, I understood this would be different, need to find the article
  • If you're upgrading from Windows 8, you're fine. If you're upgrading from the preview of Windows 8.1, you'll need to check the FAQ page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-8/update-from-preview
  • Purchased 8 pro last year with the serial number. Then pasted 8.1 preview over it. Now I want to do a clean install of 8.1 on a new ssd... Any suggestions?
  • Think of it like installing a service pack, Maybe at some point we'll get some slipstreamed ISO images but, at this point your only option is to install Windows 8 and upgrade to 8.1....Unless you want to pony up the $120 for a new version....
  • I updated preview to final jsut have to tell the store to install apps afterwords if your on preview it saves start screen and settings to the cloud
  • @dancunder
    Microsoft has made is VERY clear you would have to reinstall WIN8 and then update if you installed the preview. Getting angry now is basically saying you did not do _your_ homework. Obviously doing a clean install from ISO would require a new key.. 
  • You didn't do your homework either. People actually read what they download? What are you saying?
  • Well.. Some people like to check the nutritional information of the foods they buy right? It's called precautions. :)
  • It shouldn't be Microsoft's fault people don't read the disclaimer. Nor should Microsoft not release something or make special concessions because they assume disclaimers won't be read.
  • I'm in South Africa, no update yet!
  • I am in Kenya. Also no update as at 21st October
  • Anyone installed gdr3... Have u noticed battery improvement ....?? The drain is almost near to zero .... Maybe i m wrong... Any one else observed...??
  • No GDR3 for Windows 8. However my iPhone seems to lag after downloading GDR3 on it via Zune. You have same issues too my friend?
  • I chuckled :-D
  • Same.. :D
  • :D
  • ???
  • Also for window phone 920
  • And Galaxy Note 1.
  • And Nokia 3310.
  • How do I get this on my 5100 series nokia
    Its the one with the green screen and the swappable face plates
  • I have 8.1 installed and running. But for some reason I am getting a watermark on the bottom of my screen. That says "Windows 8.1 Pro. SecureBoot isn't configured correctly. Build 9600". Does anyone know how to get rid of this? 
  • I have the same thing on mine... it worries me a bit.  Does anyone know anything about this?  Seems like something the previews would have had, but I stuck with 8 until the official 8.1 launch today.
  • What hardware are you using? Is it a surface, tablet, laptop or desktop?
    As far as I can see, you need to enter the BIOS and find your systems Boot security settings and make sure they are set to Standard settings. If you are running Windows 8 on a system not compatible with SecureBoot, you are kinda buggered. (that's the case for my laptop, so it is still running Windows 7)
  • I was following the info on this link.
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1_pr-performance/secureboot-isnt-configured-correctly-though-the/b5f96a61-3b82-4043-b8ef-06896f1947c2 When I go to my MSI BIOS to turn on my SecureBoot I get this error.
    http://imgur.com/Ogal7me
    Anyone have any ideas? My PC Specs are
    i5 3770k 3.2ghz
    16gigs of ram
    Gefore GTX 680 4 gig
  • SAME ISSUE! I've seen a lot of people on the internet having issues with their MSI boards. Let me know if you get a reply for find a solution!
      i5-4570 8 GB RAM Radeon 7850
  • Yup I got this and I managed to get rid of it. Press Windows Key + C > Settings > Change PC Settings > Update and Recovery > Advanced Start Up > Restart Now
    Then follow the steps here http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-access-the-bios-on-a-windows-8-computer/ to access the UEFI bios.
    Once in there, look for Secureboot option and something to do with loading default keys. Once you load default keys, reboot and the watermark goes away.
     
  • I tried what you said. It takes me back to my BIOS. Thats where I try to enable the SecureBoot but then I get this error.
    http://imgur.com/Ogal7me
  • Ah ok. That means your graphics card bios is not a UEFI bios. For Secureboot to work, you'll need a motherboard with UEFI bios, a graphics card with UEFI bios and of course Win8 with GPT partition.
    You have 2 of the 3 already. Anyway, GTX 700 series cards are UEFI ready and will work with secureboot. You'll need to contact your graphics card manufacturer and see if they can provide a UEFI bios for your graphics card. Edit: Try to change Secure Boot Mode to Custom and see if Key Management goes ungreyed. Then try to see if you can load default keys. That's what I did for mine. And I do have a UEFI bios GTX 780 as well.