[FAQ] Things to Know Before Downloading or Installing Windows 8.1 Preview

We told you yesterday about the release of Free Public Preview of Windows 8.1 which is an update for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Windows 8.1 brings many new features and fixes various issues present in Windows 8 OS.

I have already replaced Windows 8 with the new Windows 8.1 Preview in my personal laptop. Its working fine for me but I would like to share a few things which you should know if you are also planning to install Windows 8.1 Preview in your computer system.


1. Windows 8.1 Preview is a testing version not the final version and you might face problems while using the OS. So its better to install Windows 8.1 Preview in a separate partition on your computer system for testing purposes. You can also install it in a virtualization software such as Virtual Box or VMware as described here.

If you want to use Windows 8.1 Preview as your primary OS, sure go ahead. I'm also using it as my main OS but install it on a different partition and don't remove or upgrade your existing OS. Why? Because if something goes wrong in Windows 8.1 Preview or if you don't like it in future, you can go back to your previous OS.

2. You should not upgrade Windows 8 or other Windows versions to Windows 8.1 Preview for 2 reasons:

First reason is that if you upgrade your existing Windows version to Windows 8.1 Preview, you'll not be able to uninstall the Preview version in future. You'll need to reinstall previous Windows version using setup or recovery disc.

Second reason is that when Windows 8.1 final version will release and you decide to upgrade Windows 8.1 Preview to final version, you'll not be able to keep your 3rd party software and apps which you installed in the OS. You'll need to reinstall them.

3. If you are using Windows 8 Pro with Media Center in your computer system and you download and install Windows 8.1 Preview from Windows Store, you'll be able to keep Windows Media Center.

But if you are going to install Windows 8.1 Preview using ISO file, Windows Media Center will be removed and you'll need to reinstall it using Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Media Center product key.

4. If you are going to upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 Preview, you'll be able to keep your files, apps and settings. Same thing applies to Windows RT.

But if you are planning to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 Preview, you'll only be able to keep your files.

If you want to upgrade Windows XP or Windows Vista to Windows 8.1 Preview, you are out of luck. You can't upgrade Windows XP or Vista with Windows 8.1 Preview. You'll need to perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1 Preview using ISO files.

5. Windows 8 Enterprise users can't upgrade to Windows 8.1 Preview. They'll need to install Windows 8.1 Preview in a separate partition using ISO file.

6. If you remove Windows 8 from your PC and install Windows 8.1 Preview using ISO file, make sure to note down your Windows 8 product key because you'll need this product key to install final version of Windows 8.1. It'll allow you to use the same product key.

So the bottom line is that if you want to test new features of Windows 8.1 Preview, either install it in a virtualization software or install it on a separate partition and dual boot between Windows 8.1 Preview and your already installed Windows OS.

And if you are like me who love to install Windows frequently in computers and don't get frustrated in reinstalling software, customizing settings, etc, go ahead and upgrade your existing OS to Windows 8.1 Preview.

Now if you are ready to download and install Windows 8.1 Preview, check out following tutorial:

How to Download and Install Windows 8.1 Free Preview?

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Posted in: Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • just the same story of vista, they made it, and quickly, windows 7 is there
    now they made 8, and soon 8.1 is here.i guess 8.1 will be much better, at least i can hope so

  • VG

    ^^ Windows 8.1 is definitely better than Windows 8. I'm sure it'll help Microsoft in making Windows 8 a perfect OS for Desktops as well.

  • Can you tell us how to remove the watermark?

  • I don't get the "hero" pages (with main info and app like layout) in search, do you know how to enable them ? I just get the bing and local results.

  • Stop saying Windows 8 is Windows Vista. When Win Vista came out, all hardware was made for Windows XP, so it wasn't working for Windows Vista since it required more.

  • I used to hate Windows 8 until the Windows 8.1 preview came out. 8.1 will definitely make Windows 8 more pleasant and usable in non-touch desktop and laptops. I'll definitely upgrade my Windows 7 PC into Windows 8.1 once the RTM comes out. Windows 8.1 is what Windows 8 should have been right from the beginning.

  • Tried it and dumped it! A few of my programs that worked perfectly well in Windows 8 wouldnt load let alone work. None of my startup shortcuts would load even though they were shown to be in to the auto start folder. I had to manually start them after a reboot. For me, I wont be installing Windows 8.1 again.

  • Did a clean install on my main PC and loving the new features. However I wanted to upgrade my laptop via Store and I tried everything but for some reason the update won't show up. Can I use to ISO to upgrade my existing 8 installation?
    Also @Jarkar, I have the modified shell32 and basebrd files to remove watermark on x64 preview build. I'd share it but don't know if we're allowed to post links here.

  • any info whether Enterprise users will be able to upgrade to 8.1 FINAL? not clean install, of course

  • VG

    Did you try following?


    Yes. You can upgrade using ISO.

    Only time will tell.

  • Awesome!!! The STUPID TouchPad causing CharmBar to show up can be disabled!!!!! I love Win8.1 so far. Why couldn't this be part of Win8 or implemented as a regular update. Go to Control Panel and look for a button called Synaptics TouchPad V7.5 it has the ability disable all three CharmBar touch settings. Including the center! SWWWWEEEEET.

  • @VG is it safe to backup my current Windows 8 (OEM) in a System Image since it came with my laptop without a disc, then upgrade using the Windows Store? I prefer not to repartition my drive.

  • VG

    ^^ It should work.

  • Start button is still not perfect. You have to work on start screen and hide the unnecessary tiles, and regrouped the others to your requirements. I am sure someone will come with a third party software to do this.

  • not very happy with 8.1 i am on a laptop i found 8.0 so much better i do like the photo,s on the log on screen and how you can enhance photo's but i was having trouble with flashplayer or java.. so its getting Dban and wiped ... i will wait till it is ready :S

  • I upgraded my windows 8 pro 64 bit to 8.1 preview. the upgrade worked flawlessly except that it totally uninstalled Microsoft office 2010 and associated files from my pc. I tried to reinstall office 2010 and the install said it had installed ok. but there was no trace of office 2010 on my pc.

  • I by mistakenly update the windows 8.1 versions now i cannot boot the laptop to normal windows it skip back to restart mode after and after when it comes to windows logo mode cannot go further. Please help to get back to normal as before....

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