As promised, Windows 8.1 Public Preview is out. The long awaited update to Microsoft’s Windows 8 brings a host of anticipated features, the most talked about being the return of the start button. We will be detailing all the new features in our in-depth hands on shortly. For now, here is how to install Windows 8.1 Preview on your system.
Must Read before proceeding
There are few important things to consider before proceeding to install Windows 8.1
- You can NOT uninstall/downgrade from Windows 8.1 Preview. The only way is to use the original ISO / Recovery media bundled with your system.
- You will lose all your Windows data and apps when you update to the Final version when it is available in October.
- You can not retrieve your existing data or apps (metro and normal) when you install Windows 8.1 Preview from the ISO.
- Keep your Windows 8 product key safe for the final version.
There are two ways to install Windows 8.1 Preview on your system. Either through the ISO or directly through the Store.
a) Through ISO
You can directly download the ISO file for your respective device architecture from the link given below.
Download: Windows 8.1 Preview ISO
Product Key for the Preview ISO : NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F
To create the bootable USB, your best bet is Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB/ DVD download tool which works just dandy with Windows 8 as well.
Download: Windows 7 USB/ DVD Download tool [2.6 MB]
b) Through Windows Store
Perhaps Microsoft is following App Store very closely? You can actually download Windows 8.1 Preview directly through the store. Sounds too good to be from Microsoft right? Unfortunately Microsoft managed to make the process slightly more elaborate than it should have been. Here are the steps to follow for installing Windows 8.1 Preview from Windows store.
- Download the Windows update from the following link.
- Install the update. Note that it takes quite a while to install this update.
- Reboot your system. You will be greeted with the prompt shown below.
- Click Download in Windows Store. The download size being 2.44 GB can take a while to be completed. Do not panic if your PC reboots a few times during the installation.
In case you had a change of heart during download and want to stick with Windows 8, you will have to uninstall update KB2849636 from your System.
Stay tuned for our in depth Windows 8.1 hands on. In the meanwhile, do let us know through the comments if you have any queries regarding the installation. Also share your Windows 8.1 experience!