Upgrading to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8

Windows 8.1 Logo

Before you start!

  • First off you will not lose any data.
  • Make sure Windows is up to date.
  • Close all running programs/save all your work

Keeping Up-To-Date

Most people don’t know what version of Windows 8 they are running, but as it turns out far too many people are using Windows 8 still, and Microsoft no longer offer support for Windows 8 Computers. The answer to this? A simple update to Windows 8.1. And don’t worry, its FREE.

w8-backup-1But first we need to make sure you are running the latest version before we can update to Windows 8.1. To do this it very simple. First we need to get you to the Windows Search screen. To do this, move the mouse to the very top right of the computers screen until you can no longer see it, then slowly move it down until you see something similar to the picture on the right. From here click the cog wheel that is under the Start button. You will be shown another screen and at the bottom of that it will say “Change PC Settings”. Click this.

Now that we have the settings screen open we can check for updates on the computer. To do this scroll down the list and at the very bottom it will show Windows Update. Click this and the screen on the right will change to the Windows Update section. Here you may be given a few different options but the one you should click if it is there is “Check for Updates”. The screen will then inform you that it is checking for updates. Depending on your settings you will be given the option to install updates or it will be done automatically.

This part can take some time, so let the updates install and you will need to restart your computer if any updates are done. Once it is finished or if it tells you there are no updates to be done, you are ready to start updating to Windows 8.1.

Updating to Windows 8.1

Windows Store on Windows 8The actual update to Windows 8.1 is very simple. First you will need to open the Microsoft Store. You can find this on the main Windows 8 tiles screen like the picture to the left. To find this you can press the Windows button located between the ALT and CTRL keys on most keyboards.

Once you are in the Microsoft Store program, just click the Windows 8.1 button on your screen. It is a very big button so it hard to miss. If you don’t see the button there are a number of reasons. The first being that you did not update your Windows 8 operating system. To do this follow the instructions above. if you have and it is telling you there are no more updates then follow this guide from Microsoft for dealing with this problem.

The update will then begin downloading. This will take quite a long time (1-2 hours or even more) depending on your internet speed. Once the download is finished your computer will be restarted, so make sure you have saved all open documents/files. It will go through a lengthy update process taking a fair amount of time and once completed will welcome you with a similar screen to when you first purchased the computer. Follow through with the update and fill in any information required. Once the process has been completed you will be welcomed to your new Windows 8.1 operating system. All your programs and files will still be there.

Some Differences

Windows 8.1 is still very similar to Windows 8. There are a number of improved features like the ability to easily close those annoying full screen appliations, simple tutorial messages when you first start up to explain how to open the various menus on your computer and a few other things that will make it much easier to use.