[Fix] “Your Windows 8.1 Install Couldn’t be Completed, Something Happened” Error Message

Windows 8.1 final version is available for download and Windows 8 users can download and install Windows 8.1 absolutely free using Windows Store application.

[Guide] How to Upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8?

But sometimes you may face a strange problem. As soon as you click on "Download" button on Windows 8.1 download page, it starts the download process but after a few moments you receive following error message:

Your Windows 8.1 install couldn't be completed
Something happened and the install of Windows 8.1 can't be completed

[Try again] [Cancel]


There is no help or information given to troubleshoot this problem. If you click on try again button, you get the same error message again. Sometimes you may also receive error message with 0x80240031 error code.

I faced this problem in approx. 5 /10 computers in which I tried to upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 through Store.

After some troubleshooting, I was able to find the culprit. The reason behind this problem was very simple. None of those computers were having all Windows updates installed. There were a few updates pending for download/install in those Windows 8 computers which was causing this error message.

So if you are also facing this problem, the solution is:

Open Windows Update and check for new updates. Make sure all available updates have been installed in your computer. Also check the hidden updates by clicking on "Restore hidden updates" link given in left sidebar. If you find any hidden update, install it immediately.

It seems there are some important updates which are required by Windows 8.1 downloader and if it finds those updates missing in a computer, it shows the error message.

If you want, you can leave optional updates such as Bing Desktop, Silverlight, etc unchecked but make sure to install all important and critical updates.

That's it. Once you install all Windows updates, restart your computer and now you should be able to download and install Windows 8.1 through Windows Store without any problem.


Also check: Fix Problems While Installing or Upgrading to Windows 8.1

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Does that mean I have to download and install that rubbish Bing desktop as well? If so, stuff that I'll leave Windows 8 as Windows 8!

  • VG

    ^^ Bing Desktop, etc are optional updates, you can leave them.

  • Whats the approx size of the Update VG?any idea?

  • VG

    ^^ 3.63GB for 64-bit.

  • no offense guys, but to look at it this way from general public's view... [forced] Windows Update: one of the biggest reason why many Windows users [not the guys here] are leaving and moving to Linux or Mac. The Redmond HQ may give you options to not install the update, but in the end, they still make you install them in order to make your PC "work properly again." This post about Win8.1 not working properly due to the Updates is simply a clear proof.

    Just sayin' here.

  • I got the problem because my windows update (still windows 8) won't work. When I install it stuck on any percent but mostly 94% and sometimes when it's 100% that waiting to restart it to configure and when I get back several of the important updates even optional updates are FAILED! Please help me how to fix my windows update.

  • I have the same problem, and there is no other update I can install except Silver light. All other updates are install and still no luck, getting this same error message with the same error code.

  • can i update offline using win8.1 iso..
    I am currently on metered connection. Would it be possible to download the iso from a different computer and use it to update my pc. It would be really helpful as i have to update more than 2pc's

  • all my updates are installed and i still get error message when trying the win 8.1 download and it reverts back to win 8 so that isnt the problem....so now any other suggestions. im on a samsung laptop

  • I had this same problem trying to upgrade from Win 8 to Win 8.1 through the Windows Store even if all the updates had been installed and during the download process it hanged so I stopped it. When tried again for the second time it said:

    Your Windows 8.1 installation couldn't be completed
    Something happened and the installation of Windows 8.1 can't be completed.

    The download process did not start and could not continue.

    To remedy the situation , try my way and it works.

    - Use Windows Restore and select restore point prior to your last 2 Windows updates , your data remains intact

    - Wait until the restore has finished , then try to upgrade again , it will work this time.

    Now the upgrade has been done without any problem.

  • disable your anti virus worked for me

  • Thanks for the article, it worked, purchased my Y500 11/10/2013 , you really have to complete all previous win 8 updates, my anti virus is McAfee and it did not need to be disabled

  • Hi,
    thanks. i managed to get around this stupid hurdle after clearing the pending updates. MSFT must provide the relevant error msg, is it so difficult to do that? i wasted more than an hour searching for solution.

  • I was having problems with Windows 8 too. I noticed, like Vishal says, may sure you have all your updates installed before downloading Windows 8.1 upgrade.

    I will say this too, when you start the install process of windows 8.1, it offers to download/check for updates, well, even Win-update in windows 8 said nothing to update, still Windows 8.1 setup will still find some updates to download. So now that I think of it, I say, DON'T skip that part at the beginning of Running windows 8.1 setup where it offers to check and download updates, cause this may be your problem. If you are skipping this part and all your updates are up to date via WinUpdate in win 8, and still having trouble, keep in mind, did you also allow Win8.1 setup to update ?

    I say even if your computer is up to date, the setup possible may still find something that is necessary to download. I was up to date via HP Update and yet MS still offered to download a Video driver right after I downloaded one.

    I researched this, and it turns out that even your OEM supplier is not up to date on their pages. I was up to date via MSupdate and HP update assistance, and yet, INTEL update tool told me there was an update that needed to be installed and I searched on INTEL's website and according to my search, I was up to date based on the page I was on.

    I had MS tell me I needed , IE 25 updates, so I downloaded them and right after the install you would thing, I am up to date. BUt it contacted the site again and brought me another batch to download, and then again, it did some more. So to be safe, make sure your drivers are up to date via MS update and Using your OEM updater that comes with your computer and you may even go to Intel or other sites that offer their tool. I found MS telling me awhile ago that there was no driver for my Webcam and Audio Driver right after I installed windows, but the next day, after I turned on my computer, minutes later, MS update told me it had both drivers to download and another time, with the same computer, it installed the new updates shortly after the install. From what I see, MS Update is a little slow in getting the updates you need..

  • Windows 8 is so broken, and damaged that it should be destroyed. i cant update to windows 8.1 and the error messages are a joke..they provide no help and waste time. why why why..

  • Worst upgrade experience. I've been a professional software developer for 20+ years; have worked with everything from DOS to Unix to Apple OS to Windows 3 and beyond. Didn't particularly like Win 8 but put it on a couple of PCs including a very big HP touchscreen. Now the damn thing won't upgrade. I keep it up-to-date with all the critical software updates. I have tried turning off McAfee anti-virus. I have cleared the upgrade cache. Nothing works. Thinking about wiping the disk and loading from new from an ISO. This should be a no-brainer but its just a horror show. Thank god I didn't upgrade my other Win 7 PCs.

  • Win 8.1 downloads, gathers info, etc. for 1.5 hours. Then "Something happened". This has been going on for months. "Your set to automatically install updates". "No important updates are scheduled to be installed". If I Check for updates now, it seems to be searching for hours and finds nothing. Oh, is this an early MS April fools thing?

  • no realy so many times that this has happened and no correction? Big FAIL #iswitchedfrommacandreallyregretit

  • Worst experience, I had windows 8 then I updated it to 8.1. Due to some problem I tried the "Refresh" option and it reverted back to Windows 8 again. Now I try to update it, it doesn't works, neither the normal updates work. Tried to contact Microsoft, they did nothing special but left me with an option to contact my manufacturer that is LENOVO. Lenovo advised me to restore the windows using One Key Recovery and still after that nothing happened, I couldn't update or upgrade.

    Cannot even install Windows of my own as this Laptop came with a pre installed Windows 8.

  • Ok so Ive done all my updates, checke for hidden updates, checked to make sure I have enough memory...everything ive been able to find and still it wont install. It doesn't even start the download. It says downloading 0% then flashes to an error message and from what ive gathered online a bogus error code. I'm trying to update from windows 8 to 8.1 via the store. I even did a system check through the windows website and it verified my computer is compatible and ready for the install......so wth

  • 2 of my computers installed no problem third one was no go. Installed all updates, uninstalled latest nvidia driver so i can get what windows thought was most recent. After that, laptop upgraded fine. 4 th pc was because of an old scanner i had to uninstall than reinstall after upgrade. I love the 8.1 but i think MS should have planned better for the troubleshooting

  • Big thread over on MS forums .....massive fail in this update.


  • HI. i had windows 8 updated to 8.1. It is successfully downloaded and the restart thing appeared. after i restarted it.. it always says your pc ran into problem blah blah.. what should i do? i have a samsung laptop. pls help

  • trying to upgrade to 8.1, from 8. installing a update right now. because windows store won't install 8.1 it always says something happened, and over and over again.

  • I had 8.1 and had no problems with the first install. However I had to do a restore 6 months later on an unrelated matter which reverted my OS back to windows 8. Have tried to re-install 8.1 several times but this time only get error messages asking me to do updates. As far as I can determine everything has been updated. Did a complete run through of the updates. Looks like I'm stuck with windows 8 unless something is done to fix this problem.

  • All these complaints no one has a solve it answer. Just think we paid to have windows 8 and 8.1
    Microsoft has developed another way to get you to pay more money. Buy everyones fix software MS is a real joke and Gates just get richer yow!!!

  • Same thng happened to me after a system restore. An absolute nightmare, tragic for me, being a fresh stroke patient, easily distressed, no money for assistance, etc. The real shame is that 8.1 was working beautifully. I am rapidly getting really sick of using these awful things called computers, and thge machines connected to them. Life was wonderful in the days of steam radio, typewriters, and yes, steam trains too, when music had rythym, melody, and good sound, and the female singers weren't pseudo-strippers. It's all going tits up.

  • Luckily, after numerous attempts, my "refreshed" computer ( less files and programs that were wiped) finally updated window files and allowed me to upgrade to 8.1.

    The offer to "refresh" was way too easy to initiate and, for a newbie user who actually believed the "no files would be affected", quite upsetting.

    Recommendation to anyone with regards to using this option, treat it as a factory reinstall. Programs and files ARE deleted with refresh.

  • I tried to install w8.1 to my computer time ago, so i am not sure about numbers, but i would say i had 0x80240031 error. can you help me what to do, if i cannot install all updates? there are 2 updates wich i just cannot instal. i had to manualy disable them because my computer was trying to install them (unsuccesfully) everytiem i started my pc.

  • i have installed every update available but when when ever i try to update windows to 8.1, error 0x80240031 comes up and window is re install to my previous windows which is 8.
    Can any one help me

  • this is not working !! :(

  • Have 8.0 and can't upgrade to 8.1. Error message says can't upgrade to USB device. For whatever reason, it sees my SSD as USB. Anyone else have this problem?

  • ohh men i had the same problem im stuck in windows repair loop
    help me guys >.<

  • tried to download windows 8.1....now I get a message......."something went wrong and you pc needs to restart.....we will do this for you"......then screen changes to a blue flying window....then screen changes to "samsung"........these 3 screens keep changing and I can do nothing to get anywhere....tried ctrl-alt-delt. Nothing.....turned off pc...nothing...keeps coming back.

  • this is not working. I checked for updates in windows updates...there were none, not even in hidden updates...I'm all current, but still can't upgrade to 8.1 on my laptop. It gets to about a little over halfway downloaded and then gives me the 0x80240031 error.

  • Windows restarted my computer, and it said "installing updates", and got to 82% finished, then stalled. It stayed like that for about half an hour, until I restarted the computer. Then it said "restoring previous version of windows" for about twenty minutes. I restarted again and it finished in about five minutes and said it couldn't complete the update. Super frustrating.

  • I installed windows 8.1 successfully...had to do a refresh...went back to windows8...tried to so a windows 8.1 upgrade again...it downloaded not now has been stuck on restarting for 16 hours....what the hell.....cannot even get into windows screen...what do I do now ......please help me if someone knows out there....thanks!!!!!

  • Is there a way to get back to any windows screen when it is still saying....after 17 hours restarting.....I can do nothing!!!! HELP PLEASE....sending his from iPhone connection!!!

  • VG

    ^^ If its taking so much time at your end, you should try a hard restart.

  • still not working! M$

  • problem i have is that the windows updates fail to install as well as the windows 8 to 8.1 upgrade. i have a totally clean install. the first thin ive done is update and still the same problem. im getting frustrated with people saying just install the important updates when they wont install. ive tried 1 by 1 but still they fail at random. i had no problems with 8.1 before i restored my laptop to factory but now i wish i never botthered . i have done 9 clean installs to date and still cant make any progress. how can microsoft release something that breaks their own product. i just want to update so i can get on with life instead of spending days trying and failing to fix it

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try following:


  • This worked for me, however there was two optional windows 8 updates I had to install, before it worked

  • After completing all updates, I still received the same messages,"Your Windows 8.1 install couldn't be completed" and "Something happened and the install of Windows 8.1 can't be completed". I then exited the Start Menu button program (iobit), and then it worked.

  • I had this problem after i had to restore my computer. I installed all the required and optional updates. Uninstall any virus protection and related programs. I tried it for the fourth time this way and it worked. Then install whatever you want.

  • Wanting to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 with update.

    Installer asks for the product key, accepts it, I select "keep my files only" (why does the upgrade assistant asks to check for compatible applications if it keeps NONE of them ???)

    Then the installs starts and goes to 3%, then immediately to 37% with an alert box just saying "Windows 8.1 failed to install".
    Nothing else, no diagnostic anywhere. No error number at all. When I close the alert, the installer just exits I get back to the W7 desktop without any help.
    And there's nothing found in the "C:\Windows.~BT" temporary folder created, only the set of DLLs and data needed to reboot later. Nothing is installed, no migration started. no log at all to help diagnose what's wrong.

  • What a terrible, terrible experience. Can't upgrade to 8.1 from 8! Microsoft really dropped the ball on this one.

  • My problem is even worse! 8.1 tried to install all by itself, without my permission, & didn't ask about updates or anything! Install failed, but it had already deactivated & deleted a LOT of win8! No services or apps & it won't let me install updates or anything else. I can't find a way to find my OEM win 8 license key. Samsung laptop. Desktop screen blank, 3 icons on taskbar/tray. 1 is start button, which doesn't work right at all. Also can't find an OEM windows 8 re-installer, even if I had my license/product key. And if I find both, how do I install it, since it won't LET me install anything? In case you wonder, it had stopped & deleted all my recovery stuff. HOW did anyone get theirs to reverse back to Win8??? Even my recovery partition is gone. If it's only problem was updates, why wouldn't MS have win 8.1 check to see if you have all updates and just NOT try to install Win 8.1 if all updates aren't there? Other peeps I talked to also had 8.1 install w/o their permission recently. If you REALLY have a solution, pls help. Thanks tons :) Skye

  • I have this problem at the moment. I had no problems before but ended up buy an SSD installed windows, installed all the updates there are no hidden updates. after trying to install 8.1 it would take hours to boot "least I think it booted the screen was black and the windows logo was gone"
    during this time I tried the auto repair of course didn't work. couldn't access safe mode or any option with F8 used so put the install disk in and when to cmd tried chkdsk, sfc offline with windows and boot nothing ended up using bcdedit to set boot menu to legacy started a safe mode boot... this is the odd part again took a couple of hours to boot to safe mode but didn't boot fully had back ground and cursor but no explorer. said screw it and switched to the ps3 and left it. switched back over and it restared/restored its self to before the 8.1 install and gave me the install error.

    any idea on what else to try?

  • My windows8 could not be updated 8.1.if i check for any updates no pending updates and also not any in restore hidden update.when i begin the process from win store it takaes nearly2 hours and finally says could'nt be completed i tried four times.i diagnosised my pc for any errors i didnt find any.really i hate this operating system

  • what a complete nightmare 7 hours so far to download 8.1 from 8.0 i will never spend another penny on anything that requires any microsoft product

  • Please, does windows 8 revert back to its previous state if the upgrade to 8.1 fails? The upgrade couldnt complete and my system has been loading for about 4hrs now, can i do a hard reset? cos i rly cnt do anything on my system and i dont knw if a hard reset is ok .... please help.

  • This Windows 8.1 update is making me ill. I have been trying to complete this update for nearly a month now and everytime I perform the operation, it always says that something happened blah blah. I am not a techie person. Whew!!!

  • i have not any update in restore hidden update. what did i do ?? plz help me.

  • If 8.0 was a car it would be subject to a mandatory recall. Microsoft doesn't want to know.
    After my (failed) experiences trying to upgrade a brand new laptop from 8.0 to 8.1 I have finally switched to Apple. Expensive and a hassle but a lot less pain in the long-run.

  • So I had a like problem with Win 8.1 update. Find this site looking for help.
    Mine was a little different in that I only saw the error "Windows 8.1 install couldn't be complete". When I clicked on it for more information I see something to the effected "Preparing your system for the update, you will be notified when ready...."; that had been for days. Of the Solution I saw here
    Tried Method 1 - Make sure all updates a current and there are no hidden updates that have not been applied. Still had the same issue.
    Tried Method 2 - Disable the Anti-Malware application. - Still had the same issue.
    Didn't try Method 3 - system restore.

    I found an 4th method - had this update come through windows update and not the store I might had tried anyway... reset or clear windows update.
    open a Cmd prompt as admin
    type in each of the follow (or copy and paste them to a batch file and run that)
    attrib -h -r -s %windir%\system32\catroot2
    attrib -h -r -s %windir%\system32\catroot2\*.*
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop CryptSvc
    net stop BITS
    ren %windir%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.old
    ren %windir%\SoftwareDistribution sold.old
    ren "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\application data\Microsoft\Network\downloader" downloader.old
    net Start BITS
    net start CryptSvc
    net start wuauserv

    (btw if you frequently work with different windows computer copy that to a batch file - it will fix lots of windows update issues)
    now try the 8.1 update from the store. That worked for my issue.

    Last - I want to respond to a comment made here by Patrick and "force updates"... If you think moving from Windows to OSx (apples mac os), is going to stop that, you are very much mistaken. Apple has a much short product life cycle than that of Microsoft and always has. To some extend it has been to Microsoft harm that they support their products for so long.

  • I had the same problem, all updates were installed and there were no hidden ones. I had uninstalled the McAfee antivirus already long before, but disabling the Windows Firewall helped and instantly the download worked. Just don't forget to re-enable it afterwards, especially when you connect to non-protected networks.

  • Your "Windows 8.1 Install Couldn’t be Completed, Something Happened” Error Message now resolved, at least for me. After reading through. I just searched and manually download KB2871389 on google which later redirected me to microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=40098. I installed the the required update,then my window 8Pro restarted and configured. when i clicked the download link in windows 8 store, it started downloading. It only remains to see how far the download will go. Good luck!

  • I tried this and I hated every second of the fact this worked.......... Thank you sir for fixing my dilemma no matter how much it pissed me off that it was something so stupidly unimportant and unneeded I do thank you for leading me in the right direction.

  • Had to do a system Refresh after a restore crashed my windows 8.1 and now w8.1 won't install. It gets stuck at 82% every time. Thing is it keeps trying to install.Does anyone have any siggestions. All the updates are done and I read all the comments here but no idea what to do .Windows 8.1 upgraded fine when it was forced on me but now I'm constantly having to reboot back to 8 when it gets stuck at 82%.Damn thing wants to try again now ... sigh:( Any suggestions please other then suicide ?

  • Try turning off antivirus software when downloading and installing upgrade to Windows 8.1, after all important updates are installed. After installation completes, restart and turn antivirus software back on.

    Kaspersky 10 and Norton AV interfered with multiple 8.1 upgrades I've done.

  • thankyou! i did what you suggested and made sure i had all the updates installed and it finally worked!

  • finally worked Thanx.

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