How to download Windows 8.1 Pro ISO file (no product key required) [Guide]

While upgrading a PC to newer versions of Windows can be exciting, there’s also many problems that can arise due to the upgrade, such as trying to backup your data, trying to figure out what programs can be backed up and transferred and so on. Microsoft Office is usually atop many people’s lists of headaches that cannot be transferred. Sometimes so much as getting the new OS on your computer is hard enough.

The same can be said when talking about Windows 8.1 which isn’t available to install via the Windows 8 product key, nor is any of the base Windows 8.1 architecture able to be adjusted. Those with 32-bit architecture needed to use that same 32-bit architecture once again.

Now there’s a new tool in town, namely the Windows Installation Media Creation Tool which allows for a clean Windows 8.1 install directly from a flash drive or direct from an ISO image file. Here’s how to use the new tool, legally, and without the need of a product key.


1. Download the Windows Installation Media Creation tool from here.

2. Click the “create media” button from Microsoft’s page and the tool will download directly to your computer.

3. Once the download is complete, open the file and run the program.


4. Set up your preferences from the first screen of options, including the language you want, the architecture you want and the version of Windows you wish to install.

5. Click the “Next” button on the bottom of the screen to continue.


6. Choose between the ISO option or installing from a USB stick.
– those of you choosing to use the USB stick should know that all contents of the stick will be erased. Therefore, if you have any data on that stick from earlier, you’ll want to transfer that data, such as movies, music or any other content.

7. Click the “OK” button when it gives you the warning we just mentioned.


8. The Windows 8.1 is now about to begin installing to your computer. You get an “ETA” and progress bar so you know how long there is roughly to go.

Once done, you can start using it very easily. Enjoy your new version of Windows OS!

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  • Mathew

    [@Ghenghis McCann]Both. I think that terribly worded paragraph is suggesting you need to be starting on Windows 8.1.

  • Ghenghis McCann

    From the Windows Installation Media Creation tool page you link to;
    “If you’re not running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you’ll need to enter a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key. You’ll also need a product key if you’re running Windows 8 and trying to install Windows 8.1 Pro.”
    So, who’s right, you or Microsoft?

  • Mathew

    [@Louis] It’s an excellent question and one that I don’t have a definite answer for at the moment. I will look into that during the day and if you don’t hear back from me it probably means I couldn’t find a precise enough answer to that question. Every so often I created a guide — much to my bosses dismay I’ m sure — that isn’t quite as advertised. I had nothing but great intentions when creating this, but as I’m researching it today, I’m noticing comments from other sources accusing this of downloading the media only. I din’t know that at the time of writing this. You can find more information on this tool from Microsoft directly here:

  • Louis

    Hi Mathew, thanks for interesting article ! I’m left a little non-plussed though, not sure who exactly is allowed to do this.. ?

    More to the point, I AM a legal owner of Win 8.1 Update 1 which came pre-installed on my Asus Transformer T100 — however this is not the Win 8.1 PRO edition though.

    Now with the free upgrade to Win 10 being just around the corner in theory, it appears that one will receive a “like for like” version of Win 10 –i.e. if ‘owning’ the Win 8.1 version, you will get the plain vanilla Win 10, but if owning the Win 8.1 Pro version, you will automatically receive the Win 10 Pro version.

    So hence my confusion : Is this therefore a legal way for me to upgrade to a Win 8.1 Pro version now ? For free ? Legal ? No catch ?

    I would surely do that, if it is — this would entitle me to the Win 10 Pro version.

    Why I would really like the Win 10 Pro version, is because as far as I can tell, that version allows you to cherry pick which windows updates to install, and which to reject (and maybe wait until much later in case of mishaps !), which is a much healthier way to go about it, as we all know. But the free basic Win 10 which everyone else not running the Pro version of Win 7 or 8 will be getting otherwise will have no option than to allow MS to automatically update their machine as they see fit with every new update / patch … something that should for obvious reasons be avoided at all cost…

    So bottom line — did I miss something obvious here ? Or can I actually upgrade for free to the Pro ?

  • Tommy Twotone

    Good article mate! I would suppose most folks are waiting on their copy of “Windows 10” however, eh?