Windows 8.1 Preview is now available for everyone, here’s how to download and install it

Windows 8

Windows 8.1 is going to be made available as a free download to everyone that already owns Windows 8. Supposedly it’s going to add a whole slew of features and improvements. If you want to see what those changes are going to be, you can actually download and install Windows 8.1 Preview right now.

The Windows 8.1 Preview will actually show up in the Windows Store, but first you have to install a unique update which you can get here. After the update has been installed, you will need to reboot your system before the Preview appears in the store.

The Windows 8.1 Preview is a 2GB download, so make sure you have enough space. During the process your system will also reboot several times, so be prepared for that, as well.

Keep in mind, a Preview release should be considered the same as a public Beta. Because of that fact, you probably don’t want to install it on a machine you use daily or one that you rely on constantly. Microsoft also says that in some cases you won’t be able to just uninstall the preview and install the new build when it’s released. Instead, you’ll have to reformat your entire machine and install Windows from scratch. Although it will only happen in rare cases it’s still something to note. You don’t want to be the one that updates to the Preview in haste and then loses everything when you have to reinstall Windows later to get the official build up and running.

If you can be patient, Microsoft is going to make Windows 8.1 Preview ISOs available to download over the next few days.

I don’t have Windows 8, so please feel free to let everyone know how it works out in the comments if you do decide to try out the Preview.

[via Ars Technica]

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  • Dundee

    [@Rob (Down Under)]
    Thanks mate for key! I owe you a pint of Fosters, maybe 2 pints lad!!

  • Briley Kenney

    [@Rob (Down Under)] I’m not sure about limitations, but there’s plenty of information about the update itself here:

  • Rob (Down Under)

    The ISO is now available –

    If you’all want to help me to go to bed early (it is 4:00 AM in Aus), you can wait 30 minutes before you start your downloads.

    Does anyone know what limitations there will be ? E.G –
    – Expires on a certain date
    – Runs for 30 days
    ? ? ?

    PS Product Key:

  • Seamus McSeamus

    May install to Virtual Box, but I’ll wait for the RTM before I upgrade. TBH, I probably won’t even bother with the virtual install…

  • Rob (Down Under)

    Are you sure that we have to have Win 8 installed ?
    (I don’t)
    My perusal of the MS web site gave me the IMPRESSION, that we had to have Win8 installed if we are installing the 8.1 today.
    However if we wait a day (or so) until they get an ISO download available, we can do a fresh install from the ISO.

    PS I am only thinking of Desktop PCs (No RT’s at my place)

  • Coyote

    [@Ed] Good choice as I’ve heard once you update to 8.1 you can’t roll back. To make matters worse you won’t be able to go from preview to retail. So everyone upgrading to this preview will be pretty pissed in a few months when they’re forced reinstall windows just to get the retail 8.1 release. Sad too as this is just a beta, but they way the media and microsoft are treating it as if it’s a demo of features to come…. and usually a demo doesn’t require a complete reinstall.

  • Ashraf

    [@Ed] I’d have to agree.

  • Ed

    I have Windows 8 installed on my laptop but am not even going to go through the hassles with the public beta because I am certain there will be bugs associated with it , think I’ll wait for the RTM.