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How to Get the Windows 8.1 Preview Now

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Consumers who can’t wait to try Windows 8.1 can download the Windows 8.1 Preview free of charge and install it on any notebook or tablet running Windows 8.

Windows 8.1 is the first major feature update for Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows RT, which launched last October to mixed reviews. Since then, it seems the company has been working hard to bridge the gap between users who find the decades-old Desktop environment to be useful and shoring up the much more future proof Metro environment for users who appreciate what it does.

The updated Start Screen in Windows 8.1

The updated Start Screen in Windows 8.1

Desktop users will love the Start button that’ll now appear on the left hand side of their taskbar and the new Boot to Desktop option that’s new to this release. Meanwhile, the new ability to open multiple Metro-style applications, further customize the Start Screen with different tile sizes and more integrated settings will please any user who had an appreciation for the direction Microsoft was headed with Windows 8 but felt they just didn’t quite get it right last fall.

Read: Microsoft Confirms Windows 8.1 is a Free Update to Windows 8

Regardless of which group you belong to, there’s little doubt that you’ll want to grab the preview of this release quickly and painlessly. Here’s how to install the Windows 8.1 Preview right now.

First back up your files. Though the Windows 8.1 Preview will effectively act as an update, users will need to do what’s called an in-place upgrade to get the final version of Windows 8.1 this fall. When that happens, all applications running on the system will need to be reinstalled.

On the other hand Windows 8.1 is also available to Windows RT users. It’s Windows RT that runs on devices like Microsoft’s Surface RT. These users will need to uninstall and then reinstall their Windows Store apps after receiving the final version of the release.

While we encourage backups whenever doing upgrades, Microsoft says that the update won’t uninstall any applications. It also won’t remove any files that are on the Windows device.

How to Install Windows 8.1 Preview

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Begin the installation process by downloading the pre-installation update from Windows.com. Once you’re on the site, click the button labeled “Get the Update”.

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Once the update has finished download, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to install the Windows Update Standalone Installer. Click “Yes”.

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After the installation has finished, you’ll be told that the Windows device you’re installing Windows 8.1 on needs to be restarted. Click “yes” to let the device restart.

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Once the reboot has finished and you’ve logged back into Windows, a notification should pop up for to install the Windows 8.1 Preview once it’s available to download from the Windows Store. Click on it.

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Click the ‘download’ button on the top left hand corner of the details page for the Windows 8.1 Preview. Then wait for the download and automatic install process to finish.

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And there you go, after a few reboots, the latest builds of the next version of Windows are now install on your device.

Be sure to check out GottaBeMobile’s ongoing Windows 8.1 coverage as we deep dive into the operating to bring news of what Microsoft has in store for all Windows 8 users later this year.

Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.

10 Comments

  1. Alkeo

    06/26/2013 at 12:32 pm

    Help Please!!!!!!!!!

    I’ve installed the update but when i restart i dont get that mesage to go to the store……
    What can i do??
    Thank You in Advance!!!!!!

  2. kokobill011

    06/26/2013 at 12:56 pm

    same story with me….??? don’t get it…!!!

  3. ShavedApe (@shavedap3)

    06/26/2013 at 1:18 pm

    I get told my computer isnt applicable even though I am running windows 8

  4. David Steadson

    06/26/2013 at 1:39 pm

    Not working for me either, says “the update is not applicable”. There’s no Windows 8.1 in Windows store either.

  5. Thany

    06/26/2013 at 3:00 pm

    “Once the reboot has finished and you’ve logged back into Windows, a notification should pop up”

    No, it does not. By now, the update should be available. So either I still need to do something to “get” this popup you’re talking about… Or you’re lying through your teeth.

  6. james

    06/26/2013 at 5:14 pm

    how do you change the security settings to allow the download on the surface rt tablet?

  7. Richard

    06/26/2013 at 5:54 pm

    Great..Ive spent the last 45 minutes installing Windows 8.1 and now my PC is running at 100% memory usage… Anyone know how to uninstall this?

  8. An65001

    06/26/2013 at 7:44 pm

    I accidentally canceled the notification O_o Now what?

  9. John in Norway

    06/27/2013 at 3:11 am

    If you bother to read what it says on the Microsoft web site you’ll see that Windows 8.1 isn’t compatible with almost all PCs with the later Atom processor in it.

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