How to upgrade to Windows 8.1 via the Windows Store (step-by-step)

It doesn’t matter if you’re upgrading Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro or Windows RT, or any of the preview versions of the operating system. The upgrade process to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 are exactly the same. Though problems and errors that might happen could be different from device to device.


Every user running Windows 8 will receive a notification in the Windows Store, click Download and the upgrade to Windows 8.1 will begin, then after a few restarts and OOBE setup, you’ll be back in business once again.

Although the upgrade process is the same, the outcome will be a bit different if you’re running Windows 8.1 Preview because you’ll have to reinstall all your applications after the upgrade, which is not the case with Windows. For more info on this topic visit the Windows guide: How to update to Windows 8.1 final from any OS version covering all the basics.

As the actual step-by-step process goes, this is what you have to do:

1. Launch the Windows Store, you’ll notice a bit tile “Update to Windows 8.1 for free”, click it.

2. Click Download.

3. The Windows Store installer will kick-in, download will start, and you’ll be noticed when the upgrade is ready to be applied and restart is required. Confirmed, sit back and relax until the process completes.

Note: If you move away from Windows 8.1 installer and you don’t see the download process anymore, just use Windows 8 Key +R, type ms-windows-store:installprogress, and then hit Enter.

4. Once the installation is completed the Out Of The Box experience will prompt you to accept the licensing again. You’ll also be asked to choose a background color, whether to use custom or express settings, and if you want SkyDrive to be the default location to save your files.

5. App will install and you’re done. Happy Windows 8.1 experience!

Post the installation make sure to check these tips to reclaim hard drive space, protect, and optimize Windows 8.1. Also don’t forget to read my Windows 8.1 review that covers everything you need to know about the major update.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].