[Exclusive] Windows 8.1 Features List

Many of us know that Windows 8.1 (codenamed Windows Blue) is an update for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Windows 8.1 tries to fix issues and annoyances which many Windows 8 users are facing such as missing Start button, annoying hot corners, inability to customize Metro stuff, etc.

Windows 8 is considered as a 2-in-1 OS which was made for Desktops as well as touch-enabled devices such as Tablets. Windows 8 seems one of the best OS for Tablets but it failed to attract and satisfy Desktop and Laptop users. The new touch-oriented features such as Start Screen, hot corners, Metro apps, etc don't seem to work perfectly on computers.

Also the removal of Start button and a few other classic components disappointed many Windows users and new users found it difficult to operate Windows 8 computers.

But since when Microsoft started posting about Windows 8.1 features, it seems that Windows 8.1 will help Microsoft in making Windows 8 a perfect OS for both Desktops as well as Tablets.

A few months back we posted an article about things which users want to see in next Windows version:

[Wishlist] Features You Want to See in Next Windows Version

Now it seems that Microsoft is listening to users feedback and they are fixing Windows 8 issues in Windows 8.1 to make all Windows users happy.

In this article, we are going to list all new and exclusive features which Microsoft has put in Windows 8.1. It'll help you in understanding the difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and you'll be able to know about all new stuff present in Windows 8.1.

So without wasting time lets share the complete features list of Windows 8.1:


NOTE: We are trying our best to list all known features present in Windows 8.1. We'll update this article whenever a new feature found in Windows 8.1 so keep checking this topic regularly.

1. Windows 8.1 comes with good old Start button in Taskbar. It launches Start Screen upon clicking. Currently Windows 8 users need to use 3rd party software to get Start button and Start Menu back as mentioned here.

2. Windows 8.1 allows users to direct boot into Desktop. Users can select whether they want to go to Start Screen or Desktop after login. Windows 8 users need to use extra software for such essential functionality as mentioned here.

How to Bypass Start Screen and Direct Boot into Desktop in Windows 8.1?

3. Windows 8.1 allows users to set All Apps view as default on Start Screen. Once you enable this option, Windows 8.1 will always show App view instead of Start Screen homepage as soon as you launch Start Screen using WIN key or other methods.

[Tip] Convert Start Screen into a Full Screen Start Menu (kind of) in Windows 8.1

4. Windows 8.1 allows users to disable hot corners such as Charms Bar and recent app switch list. These hot corners stuff appear when you move your mouse cursor to top-left or top-right corners of screen. Windows 8 users can use 3rd party software to disable hot corners as suggested here.

How to Disable Hot Corners (Charms Bar and App Switch List) in Windows 8.1?

5. Windows 8.1 allows users to set current Desktop wallpaper as Start Screen background image. There are many new Start Screen background images available to choose. Also users can choose moving (similar to animated) background for the Start Screen.

How to Set Desktop Wallpaper as Start Screen Background in Windows 8.1?

6. Windows 8.1 comes with new tile sizes on Start Screen. Users can select from 2 new tile sizes: Large and Small. Also you can customize Start Screen tile appearance in Windows 8.1:

[Tip] Customize Start Screen Tiles Background Color, Text Color and Logo in Windows 8.1

7. Windows 8.1 allows users to bulk organize tiles on Start Screen such as selecting more than one tile and resizing, moving or uninstalling them in one step.

8. Windows 8.1 comes with many new touch screen gestures such as swiping from bottom on Start Screen to access All Apps view page, slide to shutdown feature, etc.

How to Shutdown Windows 8.1 PC Using Hidden Secret "Slide to Shutdown" Feature?

9. Windows 8.1 allows users to set multiple images slide show on Lock Screen.

How to Enable Image Slide Show Feature on Windows 8.1 Lock Screen?

It also allows you to access Camera app directly from Lock Screen without log into your user account:

How to Enable or Disable Use of Camera App on Windows 8.1 Lock Screen?

10. Windows 8.1 comes with refreshing and redesigned Store.

11. Windows 8.1 comes with new Metro apps such as Alarm, Calculator, Sound Recorder, etc.

12. Windows 8.1 comes with new updated versions of existing Windows 8 apps.

13. Windows 8.1 comes with improved Snap functionality. Users can resize apps to any desired size. Windows 8.1 also allows snap functionality on screen resolutions lower than 1366x768.

14. Windows 8.1 comes with a complete PC Settings app (aka Metro Control Panel). Users can access almost all classic Control Panel options from new PC Settings page.

15. Windows 8.1 comes with new Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) web browser.

[IE11 Review] List of Features That Have Been Removed or Added in Internet Explorer 11

16. Windows 8.1 comes with new SkyDrive app to manage your SkyDrive account.

17. Windows 8.1 comes with improved Search functionality and users have access to Search feature almost from everywhere.

18. Windows 8.1 comes with Broadband Tethering feature which allows users to turn their PC into Wi-Fi hotspot so that they can share the Internet connection with other devices. Windows 8 or previous Windows version users can use 3rd party apps such as Wi-Host to enable such feature in Windows.

19. Windows 8.1 comes with support for fingerprint authentication for enhanced security. It also allows users to use their thumb impression to lock folders or the whole Windows 8.1 PC.

20. Windows Defender in Windows 8.1 includes network behavior monitoring feature which helps computers in detecting and stopping execution of known and unknown malware.

That's all for now. If you know about a feature present in Windows 8.1 which was not covered in this topic, feel free to share it in your comment and we'll add it to the above list.

Also Check:

[Review] What's New in Windows 8.1 Update 1?

Hidden Secret Features and Useful Hotkeys in Windows 8 and Later


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  • You're the best at listing up things here. Hope that VG can provide links to us to update to Windows 8.1 soon after the releasing date. =)

  • I'm already happy with the return of Start button. I don't care about the Start menu anymore because the Start screen functions like the Start menu but only in fullscreen. And the Start Screen customization is the winning feature for me.

  • Such a great news! Thanks Sir VG. Is Windows 8.1 will support 10" resolution (netbooks)?

  • Sounds like Awsome, Thanks for the info's VG

  • Would have been nice had the 'Window Color and Appearance' dialog been restored for Desktop windows. For example, this would have permitted control over the color of Title-bar text.

  • 1. default libraries will be removed in order to provide custom libraries
    2. thumb impression - will allow to lock any folder or whole win8

  • Thank you Sir!
    I wonder how much effort do you put to make such important information available to us by writing that long articles. I really appreciate your effort, Sir.

  • The 1st one to update us all!!!
    Thanx VG!...You're the best. Hope you've got some relief from your sprain.

  • I just wanted to ask if Windows 8.1 is an update to Windows 8 or next version of Windows?

  • You forgot about animated wallpapers for the start menu! :D

  • VG

    @Charlie P.
    Not sure but may be yes.

    Agree. May be Microsoft puts it back in final RTM version of Windows 8.1?

    @ank91 and Silverio Vicente
    Thanks for sharing them. Added to the list.

    @Vidit Agrawal
    Its an update for Windows 8 and Windows RT.

    Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate it. :)

  • IE 11 will have support for more html and WebGl, something most browsers have nowadays:)

  • "It'll launch Start Screen upon clicking", so it will not be a Start Button like the one on W7, MS just changed that squared launcher to an orb format. The "Good Old Start Menu" will not come back...

    Seems to be a joke.

    Am I right?

  • At last Broadband Tethering is coming , I used ad-hoc feature in Win 7 ... Its returning to Win 8....

  • Hai Vishal sir,
    Thank you for the exclusive list.Thanks.New surprise is you have used "Segoe UI " for your website.Nice looks Vishal sir!

  • Yeah, Faann is right. I love this new look too.

  • An still no "dektop mode" for apps, leaving a 27" chat client as the most ridiculous waste of screen space. :D

  • I am reading this from a windows 8.0 tablet.... yay...lol

  • Hey VG , where is the broadband tethering feature and fingerprint swipe feature in Windows 8.1??

  • Hey VG , can you post an article comparing Windows 8.1 & Mac??

  • there was a problem with my windows 8.1 blue.
    when i was goto my personalisation menu i.e account picture etc suddenly the windows snap to the start screen. how to fix this? plz help me.....

  • Hey VG , Fingerprins Swipe not Available in Windows 8.1 RTM .... and moreover the Windows Store Version Remains the same ( . Check it out...

  • It will run games better than Windows 8 !

  • I updated to 8.1 on a 10" asus netbook and the screen resolution fix that worked for windows 8 no more does the trick. I can't use any apps and everything's weird sizes. Do not update to 8.1 on a 10 inch screen!

  • I found a way to use windows 8.1 on a netbook with a 10" screen.

    the registry hack that worked with 8.0 didn't do the trick but another one did. its all here:

    1. Press "WIN+R" key combination to launch RUN dialog box then type regedit and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor and go to following key:


    2. Under ImmersiveShell key, create a new key AppPositioner.

    3. Now select newly created key "AppPositioner" and in right-side pane, create a new DWORD AlwaysEnableLSSnapping and set its value to 1

  • Issue after logging out of 8.1: Does anyone know a way to change the picture displayed?

  • Sorry, should have added....that is the picture that is displayed with the 'clock'.

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:


  • Hi, VG, re my post above...no, it's not the lock screen picture I want to change - but the picture that is displayed 'after' logging out. I cannot see anywhere to do that.

  • VG

    ^^ If you are talking about user picture, you can change it from Control Panel -> User Accounts.

  • Hi, VG. Re the above...no, I don't mean the user picture. I mean the 'Seattle' picture that is displayed when you sign out. A few other sites describe the same issue - but no fix. Looks like the picture is displayed on PCs that have more than on log in account. There is no option to change it it any 'settings' - so must mean a reg hack?

  • Hi VG,
    I got a new Laptop from Austria with windows 8 pre-installed in German version. After installing English language pack, all options were in changed to English.
    Two weeks back I updated my lap to Windows 8.1 version and language changed to German. I tried to reinstall the langauge pack but no use.
    Then I tried in the "Override for Windows display language and Override for default input method" but it shows English is not available.
    Could you please help me to change the language :(

  • VG

    ^^ Did you check Regional settings? Make sure all are set to English and to correct country and locales. Also try to download English LIP via Language applet in Control Panel.

  • is it possible to backup windows update so that i can use them later?I am asking this because my internet connection is not very good so i won't be able to update each time i reinstall the windows.

  • VG

    ^^ Windows doesnt allow this but there are 3rd party software for this task. Just search on Google for them.

  • I wuld like to know ho to enlarge text thank you

  • VG

    ^^ Which text do you want to enlarge? Please provide proper details.

  • windows 8.1 update 1 is the best operating system developed by ms...just loving using this..great feature...
    @VG ,,any news do you have whether new window version like windows 9 is going to launch anything else?pls inform

  • VG

    ^^ No release date yet but most probably next year.

  • can not download the windows 8. Please can you help me out

  • I GIVE UP. This W8.1 is much more computer than I will ever need.
    I want to dump this OS and go back to W7.
    The words used in W7 at least made sense. THIS?? No way can I understand it.
    The "I Give Up" sentiment rose when trying to set Firefox to clear History when the computer is shut down.
    History never did clear.
    So here it is, a computer which cannot be cleared as regards history; Yes, I know that such things as disk cleanup, clear cache, delete temporary offline files...VERY likely I am forgetting some other thing(s) to be cleared/deleted...and finally arriving at Defragment.
    Since I have no idea how to get settings, well, SET and not knowing that is extremely likely to cause or allow some harmful thing to happen to this computer, I pretty much have decided that uninstalling W8.1 and INstalling W7 might be the best thing to do for the machine.
    Thanks a whole bunch, Microsoft. Coercion of computer-users to force the acceptance of this new, therefore supposedly better OS is horrible.
    Seems to me I heard a long time ago that coercion has been illegal for many years.
    Of course civil laws have nothing at all to do with computers. Darned shame is what THAT is.

  • hey, been running 8.1 for a while. getting ready to go to 10.0 what shall I do to undo 10.0 if I don't like it?

  • VG

    ^^ If you upgrade from Windows 8.1, you should get an option in Programs and Features to uninstall Windows 10 upgrade and restore previous Windows version.

  • please installing games using this new windows 8.1 version but honestly it doesn't installing .I have also changed the compatibility setting to windows 7[since i got it from my friend and he uses this particular windows]it hasn't worked ive also tried troubleshooting with the given options but it opens then shuts down but in my friends laptop[hp]it works perfectly btw my laptop is Toshiba

  • VG

    ^^ It seems the game is not compatible with Windows 8.1. You can install Windows 7 on a different partition and then install the game in Windows 7.

  • Please how can I download whatsapp on my windows 8.1RT.

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