How to Upgrade to Windows 8.1

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Windows 8.1 will be released on October 17, 2013 at midnight local time.  This means that as soon as it hits midnight in your neck of the woods, you can upgrade to Windows 8.1 if you’re already purchased Windows 8.  The Windows 8.1 upgrade will be available to Windows 8 users through the Windows Store.  You will download and install it just like you would any Windows 8 app.

upgrade to Windows 8.1

Let’s take a look at what you need to know to prepare for upgrading to Windows 8.1.

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Before you upgrade to Windows 8.1, whether you’re already using Windows 8 or opting to buy it, make sure you backup your computer.  This includes having recovery media handy, along with your product key, and backing up any files, folders and multimedia to a third party source.  You can use removable media, such as portable hard drives and flash drives for the task, or take advantage of the number of cloud-based services out there to ensure your files are secure before upgrading.

If you already installed the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview on your PC, you need to pre-download all the software you need to install.  You will lose all programs and apps during the official upgrade process.  Pre-downloading these programs can make it much easier for you to get started again when upgrading to the final release of Windows 8.1 on launch day.

On release day, we wouldn’t advise trying to download the Windows 8.1 upgrade right away.  Since everyone’s going to be trying to upgrade at the same time, Microsoft’s servers are going to see some extreme punishment from the amount of downloaders aching for the chance to upgrade.  Don’t be one of them and avoid yourself the hassle of dealing with restarting your download when a server goes down.  We recommend waiting three to five days before upgrading to Windows 8.1 for the easiest download process.

Windows 8.1

Once you’ve downloaded the Windows 8.1 upgrade, the process is relatively simple to walk through and Microsoft will guide you through it.  The biggest issue you may encounter if everything goes according to plan is that the download may be longer than normal as people are trying to upgrade.  Other than that, Microsoft has made the Windows 8 and 8.1 upgrade/installation process much easier than any other OS in its line.

Windows 8.1 will bring some much needed functionality changes that should’ve been part of Windows 8, including a Start Button, a more inclusive Win + X Menu and much more.  We’re also looking forward to enhanced apps, an integrated messaging app and more control over the default apps that come with Windows 8.1.

We’re excited for Windows 8.1.  Are you?  Let us know in the comments!

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Melissa Popp Melissa Popp (18 Posts)

Melissa Popp has been a freelance writer for over eight years. While she primarily writes about technology and the Internet, she's also written about everything from real estate to health care to custom mailboxes. She loves sharing what she knows about technology with those who may be scared of it or reluctant to make it part of life.

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