How to Upgrade and Remove Windows 8.1 Preview

This tutorial will take you through how to upgrade/update the Windows 8.1 Preview to the final release version of Windows 8.1. Before you start this tutorial you should be aware of the following:

  • You will need to reinstall all your desktop applications that you didn’t install through the Windows Store. This includes Microsoft Office and other software that requires licenses.
  • The upgrade will keep all your personal files including anything located in My Documents, Videos, Pictures…
  • You will have until January 2014 to upgrade; after which point the preview licence will expire and your computer will be unusable.

Despite all the complications in upgrading, the process is actually fairly straight forward.

Step 1 – Backup your Computer

As with any type of major system update, it is always a good idea to fully backup your computer encase something goes wrong in the update process.

Step 2 – Install all Windows Updates

You must make sure that your computer has the latest Windows Updates installed. If you don’t, you may run into issues later on.

Step 3 – Download Update from Windows Store

Downloading the update is as easy as visiting the Windows Store. You will probably see the upgrade button on the homepage, but if you can’t, visit the following URL (this will only work on Windows 8 computers):


ms-windows Store URL

This should display the following page. The next step is obviously to click “download”.

Windows 8.1 Download

Note: The download is over 2GB and might take some time

During the download I couldn’t find any kind of process bar but after about 20 minutes the download completed.

Step 4 – Install the Update

The installation process should begin automatically but if for whatever reason it doesn’t. Click the “download” button again. You will then be presented with the following message:

 Retinstall Your Apps Warning

Warning: Make sure you read this message

Once you are happy that all your programs will be removed, click “Continue”.

Windows 8.1 Restart MessageClick “Restart Now” to start the actual installation.

The installation was relatively quick on my computer; taking around 5 minutes.

 You might be presented with an option to enter your product key. This is shown if you installed Windows 8.1 Preview using an ISO file as Windows isn’t aware of any existing license you had. It is important to note that this upgrade will be installing Windows 8 Pro so if only have a standard license you might need to purchase a new one.

Windows 8.1 Product Key

Enter all the customisation options and wait for the final settings to be applied.

 Windows 8.1 Installing Apps

You have now successfully installed the final version of Windows 8.1.

 Windows 8.1 Start Screen

I have noticed that the watermark in the bottom right of the screen is still there. I’m not sure if this is a bug or what Microsoft are doing, but you remove it by following along with my “Remove Windows 8.1 Preview Watermark”.

 Windows 8.1 Watermark

What did you think of the install process? I personally thought it wasn’t very polished and seemed a bit buggy. Leave a comment below.

Windows 8.1

MyTechBlog was founded back in 2011.

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