Download: Windows 8.1 Preview - now live!

Later today, Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 preview at its BUILD conference in San Francisco. While Microsoft has yet to put up the download, we have the link that you will need to get your hands on the build.

Faikee, our trusted tipper for all things Windows 8.1, has posted up what appears to be a forward link for the download. When you type that link into your URL bar, it then redirects to the source link below.

The download is not currently live at this time but should go up later today.

Windows 8.1 will bring many new features to the platform including the option to boot directly to the desktop and the start button will return as well.

The Start screen will receive a few new features too including the ability to quickly access the ‘all apps’ and the ability to change the background image.

Windows 8.1 could be considered a reboot for the OS that has received some criticism for being too different than its predecessor. With this update, Microsoft is looking to ease the transition form Windows 7 to Windows 8.

[Update] The download links are now live.

Download : Windows 8.1 Preview | Technet Link

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nokia releases JobLens augmented reality app for Lumia phones

Next Story

Huawei's second Windows Phone, the Ascend W2, confirmed

245 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

My main Pc "your pc is not compatible" Win8 pro upgrade

My Gigabite laptop Worked fine, it came with win 8 already installed (not pro)

Tried it in a virtual machine. I use winkey+e a lot (to open my computer) and it's nice to have the *docs music vids etc* right there in "big icons" instead of the tiny hard to navigate left hand list. (i still get confused with that list thing.. sometimes finding the folders at the top or bottom like homegroup and libararies mixing up)

I am looking forward to 8.1...However, I wanted to get something clarified. I recall seeing that MS stated that if you download and install the 8.1 preview that you will have to perform a clean install when 8.1 is officially released. Is this still the rule for 8.1?

wtf windows 8.1 delete all my apps and had to reinstall everything !! this preview will delete all your apps you have been warned!! for me the the store is a bit better but the new metro sucks even more i prefer the older one! more click to do the same things blah!!! **** M$ you never learn! back to 7 i go!!!! 8 will never be what users want to see! another vista hassle story

If your on Enterprise and decide to install the ISO it does upgrade but you will have to reinstall your desktop apps. It removed them on my test system.

The new search is pretty broken. I found that over half the things i searched for only resulted in web search like "programs and features" which would show up in the original search is missing in 8.1. yes i know if you right click on the artificial start button it will bring it up. Typing "services" in 8.1 will not bring up services like it did in 8 so how is it vastly improved if it cannot pull up things related to its own self?

Another issue is when you chose to have a dark theme. The top window title and min /max buttons get totally drowned out since they just remain a dark grey. How could this not be fixed already?

Under "This PC" we now see everything combined with the drives of the computer. Some may like this but nobody iv spoken to so far likes it. Having the drives separate is more intuitive especially if you have 7 drives in your system like myself.

If MS was listening to consumers, I would not be hoping for a new Start8 update to allow it to run on 8.1. Im not using a tablet or touch enabled all in one PC or laptop so all of the tablet optimised baggage should not be seen in a desktop environment. I don't go on the internet and blog, check facebook and all that nonsense. I create websites, 3D and animation in Cinema 4D and use Adobes creative suite day in and day out.

Amazing so many could screw up such a simple task. Successfully upgraded both a Dell XPS M1330 and an ASUS Vivorab RT today. Both upgrades done using the preview download page. Not a single problem with the upgrade.

Two step verification works on everything except Zune (still using Lumia 900 w/7.8). On the notebook, domain membership all left in place. Only thing missing is Hanyu Pinyin input for traditional Chinese language. But hey, its a preview...

I'd say MS did a pretty good job despite the other 101 ways not to follow directions and muck up your machine.

I been messing around in Windows 8.1 Preview for a hour now. I Love all the changes. The right click menu on the start button is really handy. If you want to create a local account at the setup, disconnect your internet, click back button, then and click next button again. You will be prompt to enter a user name and password.

Total Fail! Went through the entire update, massive errors and it reverted back to version 8 on it's own. Should I feel grateful or raped? What an enormous waste of time and I'm the only one to blame. I'm on English/US/White bread version of Windows 8/legit license, etc. blah boring, same old poo.

Upgraded my Windows 8 pro TechNet version to the 8.1 preview today. Took a few hours via the app store, and the only issue I had was the wireless keyboard/mouse drivers had to be reinstalled (after updating USB drivers). Other than that, so far so good. All my web sites work, and in IE11 in Metro, it now has "favorites" listed on right click Easier to get around there now.

This is all messed up. People would be more inclined now
to forget about 8.1, just because why the need to reinstall apps???
Come'on now. Enough is enough. We've been all taken for
a ride.

i want to give this a try on my mac mini but i do not have any windows os installed. i would need to use boot camp. any suggetions?

Hi folks, can someone verify.
A while ago, Microsoft advised that installing the preview would result in not being able to roll back to 8.0, and that it would mess apps up such that they'd need re-installing or something along those lines? Can someone confirm what exactly the deal is - I do want to use 8.1, but if it's going to cause major issues with moving forwards or backwards after installing the preview...

Ah just found:
Installing 8.1, you can keep 'most apps'
but "When you install subsequent editions of Windows 8.1 you'll be able to keep your personal files, but you'll need to reinstall your apps".
Is this app-apps or desktop applications?

I'm no idiot, but this update hosed my system. Ended up at a selection to choose my keyboard language., then is went to the recovery console. I finally ended up restoring an image back to Windows 8.

I have the Stardock start menu installed,. Maybe that could be it?

SO I have to download a 2.6 GB (x86?) file copy it to my Surface RT, run it then go into the Market and it will either let me update or tell me the market is overloaded? Sounds like another Microsoft update balls up!

trip21 said,
SO I have to download a 2.6 GB (x86?) file copy it to my Surface RT, run it then go into the Market and it will either let me update or tell me the market is overloaded? Sounds like another Microsoft update balls up!

Er, no. You download 15MB up front.

Well its just been confirmed on the official windows 8.1 support forum by a MS employee that the UK is getting the shaft again :-( Russia, China and Korea get it, but UK does not. The only variation of English that gets it is the EN-US. Somewhat ironic that England can't get the update because Microsoft does not support England's version of English :-(

TCLN Ryster said,
Well its just been confirmed on the official windows 8.1 support forum by a MS employee that the UK is getting the shaft again :-( Russia, China and Korea get it, but UK does not. The only variation of English that gets it is the EN-US. Somewhat ironic that England can't get the update because Microsoft does not support England's version of English :-(

Ridiculous

King Mustard said,

Ridiculous

Brits talk crap about americans, then get the shaft from an american company? Yep, I see justice served across the pond.

Kelxin said,

Brits talk crap about americans, then get the shaft from an american company? Yep, I see justice served across the pond.

Because this action of only supporting American English goes such a long way to dispel the Brit's view of Americans thinking they're the centre of the universe, lol.

CentER of the universe? no... Brits still being ****ed from us telling them to go screw themselves that we're not paying UK taxes ... yea.

Kelxin said,
CentER of the universe? no... Brits still being ****ed from us telling them to go screw themselves that we're not paying UK taxes ... yea.

Wow, aren't you full of yourself. Not entirely sure where that hostility comes from.

What is this all about? It's looks English enough for me...?

And yes, the events of 1773 are rarely not the topic of the day, still.

TCLN Ryster said,
Well its just been confirmed on the official windows 8.1 support forum by a MS employee that the UK is getting the shaft again :-( Russia, China and Korea get it, but UK does not. The only variation of English that gets it is the EN-US. Somewhat ironic that England can't get the update because Microsoft does not support England's version of English :-(

"Windows Easy Transfer" (sic!) has long had the same problem with en-gb setups.
See e.g. http://answers.microsoft.com/e...1df3-40cc-a627-25870cdf77a5
http://answers.microsoft.com/e...d1d5-4db6-b750-c15d36ed30e1
Seems that British English is treated as the same as US in some contexts, but not in others, and conflicts then arise. It's very disappointing that this has been reported for a number of years but still not addressed.

This may be a silly question but once the preview is over if I enjoy using it can I just upgrade to the full version if I purchase it?

installed the update, now I get the following error message in the store:

The Windows 8.1 preview is not available right now. Try again later

It seems the store is overloaded......

If you got a problem upgrading because it tell you it is not applicable to your computer. That because clearly it says:
If you're running Windows 8 Enterprise or the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation on your PC, you'll need to download the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files.

Moonwolf said,
If you got a problem upgrading because it tell you it is not applicable to your computer. That because clearly it says:
If you're running Windows 8 Enterprise or the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation on your PC, you'll need to download the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files.

Comment fail. It's not because of that at all, not unless Microsoft suddenly started installing Windows 8 Enterprise or Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation onto Surface RT tablets and forgot to tell anybody.

COMMENT FAIL yourself for not reading properly my comment. I copy and past this information's from Microsoft upgrade web page itself. If there was more information's it is because I was not talking about tablets but only to the people having issues upgrading their PC to 8.1. I clearly said: If you got a problem upgrading because it tell you it is not applicable to your COMPUTER.

Errors installing use this:

==== FOUND A FIX ====
1. Place and rename the MSU file in an easily accessible place, e.g. C:\8preview\preview.msu
2. open command prompt in administrator mode.
3. Type: Expand -F:* c:\8preview\preview.msu C:\8preview\
4. Type: DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:c:\8preview\Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.cab
DONE!

Careful with this. One of the reasons it says not applicable is due to your language pack not matching the update. Therefore if you do this, the text in the Windows 8.1 Store page appears corrupted because it's trying to display with en_us which isn't available.

I'm worried that if you manage to coax the update into installing, that you'll be stuck with mis-matching language packs at the end.

i'm hearing you have to sign into metro first with your Microsoft account (hotmail address, etc) then the update should download and install fine from the store. i havent confirmed.

joint said,
i'm hearing you have to sign into metro first with your Microsoft account (hotmail address, etc) then the update should download and install fine from the store. i havent confirmed.

This should be true by default. You cannot download from the Store without being signed in to a Microsoft account AFAIK. It will not appear in the store until you install the msu download from the preview page. It shows up as a huge tile first on the store page afterwards.

i am running ENT x64 and the update does not work (as stated by m$) i have to wait for the ISO file which is tomorrow

Edited by Q9650, Jun 26 2013, 7:21pm :

I'm getting "not applicable" errors when I try to run the standalone installer tool on both my Windows 8 Pro PC and my Surface RT. Any ideas?

TCLN Ryster said,
I'm getting "not applicable" errors when I try to run the standalone installer tool on both my Windows 8 Pro PC and my Surface RT. Any ideas?

"If you're running Windows 8 Enterprise or the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation on your PC, you'll need to download the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files. "

AWilliams87 said,

"If you're running Windows 8 Enterprise or the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation on your PC, you'll need to download the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files. "

How does that apply to my question? I'm running neither Windows 8 Enterprise, nor Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation.

Is it wrong to ask for directions on the forums to Mirrors or even Torrents given this is a public preview and not the finished product?

Max

MaxBurke said,
Is it wrong to ask for directions on the forums to Mirrors or even Torrents given this is a public preview and not the finished product?

Max


not wrong at all. the ISOs are already being seeded. i won't say where or by who

If you are Installing Windows 8.1 Preview on a VM or a clean install the key to use is:

NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F

(Copied from the Preview FAQ)

Max

Hash for 64bit iso? Going to try and look for mirrors since iso is only available to technet subscribers. Also what build is this?

TW.4T said,
So what update is needed for it to show in the Store ?
" You have to install this update manually to get it to show up in the store:
http://windows.microsoft.com/e.../windows-8/download-preview " gives NO info I can see ??

See that big blue button that says "get the update"?
http://windows.microsoft.com/e.../windows-8/download-preview

Download Windows 8.1 Preview
Follow these steps to download Windows 8.1 Preview:

1. Tap or click Get the update on this page, and then follow the instructions.
2. Restart your PC when prompted, and then tap or click the message that appears to get the update from the Windows Store.
3. In the Store, follow the instructions to download and complete the installation.

Get the update

rfirth said,

See that big blue button that says "get the update"?
http://windows.microsoft.com/e.../windows-8/download-preview

Download Windows 8.1 Preview
Follow these steps to download Windows 8.1 Preview:

1. Tap or click Get the update on this page, and then follow the instructions.
2. Restart your PC when prompted, and then tap or click the message that appears to get the update from the Windows Store.
3. In the Store, follow the instructions to download and complete the installation.

Get the update

I've done this... but still can't find the Windows 8.1 update anywhere!?

I see no "get the update" button, just - ISO files are not yet available ; Developers ; IT professionals sections :\

edgarf28 said,
I've done this... but still can't find the Windows 8.1 update anywhere!?

No prompts in the store for 8.1? Have you tried forcing the update check for the store?

zeke009 said,

No prompts in the store for 8.1? Have you tried forcing the update check for the store?

No, not any prompts about updating... and forcing the update check gives 'no updates available'.

TW.4T said,
I see no "get the update" button, just - ISO files are not yet available ; Developers ; IT professionals sections :\

Tips : If u don't see "Get the update" button and cant download the .msu installer, please use IE10 or Metro IE to open the link : http://windows.microsoft.com/e.../windows-8/download-preview

works fine for me, previously I can't see any download link when using Chrome. Now installing 8.1 on my test laptop.

did the update update, rebooted, and now available from App Store, Thanks for the info. Hoping it is faster than Technet (only 2.something GB vs 4+ on technet)

LimeMaster92 said,
"The update is not applicable to your computer."

I'm getting that now too. It worked on my Surface Pro, but not my other computer.

LimeMaster92 said,
"The update is not applicable to your computer."

"If you're running Windows 8 Enterprise or the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation on your PC, you'll need to download the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files. " They aren't available yet as of this reply.

jamwheat said,
Well, I am downloading from Technet, but don't see it in App store yet.

It's not in the store for everyone. You have to install a small update manually to make it offer it to you in the store.

This is just a regular ISO of Windows 8 with 8.1 slipstreamed into it right? I can download this and throw it on a flash drive and do a clean install with it right?

Synthetic said,
This is just a regular ISO of Windows 8 with 8.1 slipstreamed into it right? I can download this and throw it on a flash drive and do a clean install with it right?

Exactly. You have that option.

rfirth said,

That's not just for RT, that works on desktop.

No if you access the webpage from an ARM device, it shows the RT upgrade page.

Awesome!!!! Now a DNS issue with my land line ISP has to be fixed before I can download. I'm posting using Internet Sharing from my Lumia.

xankazo said,
Awesome!!!! Now a DNS issue with my land line ISP has to be fixed before I can download. I'm posting using Internet Sharing from my Lumia.

there are alternative DNS Servers you can use with your ISP, you're not locked to theirs

xankazo said,
Awesome!!!! Now a DNS issue with my land line ISP has to be fixed before I can download. I'm posting using Internet Sharing from my Lumia.

do the dns lookup using lumia via nslookup, then add them to hosts file and your good to go.

edit, just connect to both and use lumia for dns (no gateway).

My pc has had Windows 8 on it for over a year now, ever since the Release Preview was out, and no issues whatsoever, not one bsod, so I think it deserves some 8.1 love. RT 8.1 for my Vivo Tab will have to wait, not feeling so lucky there!

I know this is probably speculation but will it hit the store the same time as the ISO`s go live ? The reason I ask is I have a Tablet that is a pain to boot from USB ( I don't even think its possible tbh )

The one story I read said that this would be on the store which would mean you don't have to mess with ISO's. Can anyone confirm?

I think most people are going to want to download though the Windows Store, though. (And I'm quite curious to see how visible Microsoft will make this preview through the store. We can't have ordinary users upgrading to it if they can't upgrade to the RTM version.)

ruhgster said,
I thought I read that you will have to download an update from microsoft and reboot for 8.1 to show up in the store.

Oh, maybe it is like that. I'm prevented from downloading it anyway because it's not available in British English. XD

All drivers built for Windows 8 should work fine.

There will probably be updates, but no major issues in using older drivers.

Steve121178 said,
Just install 8.1 as a VM. You're nuts if you are installing pre-release software on your main systems.

My PC likes being punished with prereleased software and overclocks though, it even blue screens and restarts itself sometimes to show it's appreciation

I used to install all betas and even alphas on my main systems... tbh I never had any problems (other than certain features not working) but I dunno, I just cba anymore really.

Think I'll leave 8.1 until it's RTM. Hardly even used Windows 8 yet!

glen8 said,
assume Microsoft will be releasing an ARM version as well? unless they have abandoned the platform

I swear no one reads the news anymore, just jumps into the comment section and start spewing. Yes there is an RT preview version. Just 3 articles below this is an article about an RT device running 8.1.

ModernMech said,
See the story posted earlier showing Windows 8.1 running on a Surface RT.

I'm talking about an arm 8.1 PREVIEW. You know.....since this article is talking about the PREVIEW and not the final build.

glen8 said,

I'm talking about an arm 8.1 PREVIEW. You know.....since this article is talking about the PREVIEW and not the final build.


That has also been announced a dozen times since TechEd.

glen8 said,

I'm talking about an arm 8.1 PREVIEW. You know.....since this article is talking about the PREVIEW and not the final build.

Again, read the article, it says Windows 8.1 RT Preview!

ruhgster said,

Again, read the article, it says Windows 8.1 RT Preview!

whoop :-) Looking forward to getting this installed

"Windows 8.1 could be considered a reboot for the OS" ????? what ????? it is the same with a full screen apps and a start button image that opens the same old full screen start

If it was a reboot, it'd be on the same lines as Windows 98/98SE. This is simply an update, albeit one that goes further than your usual.

Still dazzled that all desktop apps will be removed when upgrading to the final, if that doesn't change I won't be able to test this Preview version =/

Mulsivaas said,
Yes you will! Just use a virtual machine: free and easy.

This. The way you should always run beta versions of an OS...

It makes no sense to install it over your main OS on a production machine just to then complain about the needed transition after.

Mulsivaas said,
Yes you will! Just use a virtual machine: free and easy.

Except, it might not work in VirtualBox right away as Server 12 R2 isn't working yet.

briangw said,

Except, it might not work in VirtualBox right away as Server 12 R2 isn't working yet.

The installer for the x64 version fails to boot for me in Virtualbox but the 32bit version may work (It's installing now)

This is on an i7 with win7 x64 as it's host OS and with VT enabled in the bios.

if i recall correctly, if we install this preview, we will have to make a fresh install once windows 8.1 is out, right??

yes, at least all the apps (and n x86 /64 desktop programs) need to be reinstalled.
But your data will still be there, AFAIK. It's kind of like using the new "refresh" Option of Windows 8.. keeping your data while losing all you apps.
So it's no real fresh install but you'll have some work to do, especially on a non-RT-device.

//edit: okay, too late

8.0 RTM --> 8.1 RTM = upgrade, no reinstall of data, MUI apps, or desktop apps.
8.0 RTM --> 8.1 Beta --> 8.1 RTM = clean install required, reinstall data, MUI apps, desktop apps
8.1 BETA --> 8.1 RTM = clean install required

you are spreading fud there. RT preview will be defiantly upgradable to rtm, you will have to reinstall all apps. 8.1 will be upgradable to rtm you will have to reinstall apps and desktop applications.

8.1 a a reboot or 8.0? Oh please. It's merely an evolution of a radically new product. And that is a fantastic thing. But this is no reboot. Nothing necessitated rebooting here. Polish is what we needed and even though we'll probably experience growing pains until 8.3 or so, polish and development is exactly what we're getting.

thehockeyguru said,
Are they going to have the preview in the store?

The download will be made to current Windows 8 users via the app store, yes.

Dot Matrix said,

The download will be made to current Windows 8 users via the app store, yes.

Does this apply to the preview as well?

bitbucket said,
I don't think we'll be seeing the preview in the store..

Yes, we will. Why don't you try paying attention to the news before commenting on it? This has been announced several times.

Will it be available as an update (from the Store)
Upgrading from 8 to 8.1 preview does not mess up with my desktop applications, right?

I don't mind doing a clean install once it goes final. I'd do it anyway but I don't want to re-install my desktop applications for both the preview and the final.

grayscale said,
Will it be available as an update (from the Store)
Upgrading from 8 to 8.1 preview does not mess up with my desktop applications, right?

I don't mind doing a clean install once it goes final. I'd do it anyway but I don't want to re-install my desktop applications for both the preview and the final.

Updating from Windows 8 RTM to Windows 8.1 RTM will not be disruptive. You'll only need to re-install your apps if you upgrade from the 8.1 beta to 8.1 RTM.

Yes, I get that. But how about upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 beta? As I've said, I'll do a clean install once 8.1 becomes final but don't want to do it just to test beta (8 -> 8.1 beta)

grayscale said,
Yes, I get that. But how about upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 beta? As I've said, I'll do a clean install once 8.1 becomes final but don't want to do it just to test beta (8 -> 8.1 beta)

Nope. Installing the beta will not require a clean install.

Dot Matrix said,

Nope. Installing the beta will not require a clean install.

I've heard the contrary. I don't think you'll be able to upgrade the preview to the final version. Let me know if I'm wrong though. I'm a proponent of clean installs with new releases but since this is just a point release, I'd like to be able to use the preview and also just do an upgrade to 8.1 instead of a clean install.

Nobody said you could upgrade from the preview to the final, although from what I understand, you will be able to; you'll just have to reinstall all your desktop apps. It's unclear whether or not you'll be able to use system restore to go back to 8 and then upgrade again to the final.

siah1214 said,

Yes, we will. Why don't you try paying attention to the news before commenting on it? This has been announced several times.

Which makes no sense, given the number of people that somehow manage to install from the ISO and not understand it's a beta version...

This should never be in the store.

M_Lyons10 said,

Which makes no sense, given the number of people that somehow manage to install from the ISO and not understand it's a beta version...

This should never be in the store.

It will only show in the store if you go out of your way to install the KB file linked to on the 8.1 preview page, this update tells your system that it can show the 8.1 update in the store, so this cant happen accidentally. You have to go to a webpage specifically setup for the preview, download a KB file, install it, reboot, then wait for it to show in the store.

Seriously this has been detailed time and time again, in this very thread, cant you read?

laserfloyd said,
Or in my case: "Shut up an take my employer's bandwidth!"

Hehehe yep

What else is my employers VDSL going to be used for as none of us Torrent any more

Really wish the Store had a download meter on it. I can't be pulling more than a couple hundred K (TechNet was at least giving me a couple Mb/s). Another case of Metro forgetting the little things.