How to Download and Install Windows 8.1 Free Preview? Upgrade or Dual Boot with Windows 8

As we have told you earlier that Windows 8.1 (also known as Windows Blue) is an update for Windows 8 and Windows RT users which brings many new features to Windows 8 and also fixes several issues and annoyances present in Windows 8 OS.

Currently Windows 8.1 is under development and a free Preview version of Windows 8.1 has been released to public by Microsoft which can be downloaded from following topic:

Download Windows 8.1 Free Preview

Windows 8.1 is available for download in 2 different ways:

  • Direct update from Windows Store
  • Standalone ISO for clean installation

If you download Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 Store, it'll upgrade Windows 8 OS to Windows 8.1. If you don't want to upgrade Windows 8, you can download the ISO version of Windows 8.1 to install it on a separate partition and then you'll be able to dual boot between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

If you are still confused between both versions and can't decide which version you should go for, following information will definitely help you in selecting the best version for you:

METHOD 1: Download Windows 8.1 Update from Windows Store

If you are using Windows 8 and you want to upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, you should download Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 Store. It'll take less time in installation and also the download file size will be less.

To download Windows 8.1 from Windows Store just follow these simple steps:

1. First of all download the required update package from official Windows 8.1 Free Preview page:

Download Update Package

2. Install the update package and restart your system.

PS: If you get "The update is not applicable to your computer" error message while installing the update, check following article:

[Fix] "The Update is Not Applicable to Your Computer" Error Message

3. After reboot, you'll get a notification message to install Windows 8.1 Preview as shown in following screenshot:


4. Click on "Go to the Store" button and it'll take you to the official Windows 8.1 Preview download page in Store.

5. Click on "Download" button and it'll start downloading and installing Windows 8.1 Preview on your Windows 8 PC.

It'll take some time and will update your Windows 8 PC to Windows 8.1.

NOTE: No product key is required if you install Windows 8.1 via Windows Store.

METHOD 2: Download Standalone ISO File to Install Windows 8.1

If you don't want to upgrade your Windows 8 PC to Windows 8.1, you can download Windows 8.1 ISO file. In this way you can install Windows 8.1 on a different partition to dual boot between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. ISO files are available in both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions.

Download Windows 8.1 Free Preview ISO Files

After downloading the ISO file, create a bootable DVD or USB drive with the help of a freeware as mentioned here. After creating the installation media, restart your system and boot using this bootable DVD or USB. Follow the setup instructions and install Windows 8.1 on a separate partition to dual boot between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

NOTE: You'll need to enter a product key at the time of installation if you use ISO file to install Windows 8.1.

You can use following product key:


Also check out:

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


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Woohoo finally it has released. Thanks VG. I hope that you'll let us know about release of windows 8.1

  • On Step2 of Method1 it says "This update is not applicable to your computer"

  • I am having the same problem. It says

    Windows Update Standalone Installer
    The update is not applicable on your computer

    Why is this not working ?

  • I am also getting the same error on Method 1.
    "The update is not applicable to your computer."

    I think this is only for Windows 8/RT.
    I am using Windows 8 Pro with Media Center x64

  • anybody know how to enable animated background on start menu that microsoft was talking about?

    as far as the install, it was painless and easy. download the standalone installer, after reboot i was informed that their was an update available. i was taken to the windows store where it was downloaded and installed. note: it seems to completely reinstall windows 8, setting and apps transferred over.

  • XP good, Vista bad; 7 good, 8 bad --
    Maybe it would be best to hold off until Ver. 9? (or at least 8.1 SP 1 - you know it's coming ;-)

    "The Church says that the Earth is flat, but I know it is round, for I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in the shadow than in the Church." -- Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese Explorer, 1480-1521

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth." -- The Buddha

    "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

  • Anyone who received this message
    Error : "The update is not applicable to your computer."
    while you've been trying to install the update.
    Try the following solution:

    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\

    It is works for me.

  • Replace the “” on the end of step 4 with” for 32-bit versions and “” for RT versions.

    Your text will be corrupted in the Windows 8 store for the 8.1 download page on restart, but the Windows 8.1 preview should download once the servers become less overloaded.

  • i don't get the messagemi'm using Windows 8 pro x64bits,i just install the update that i downloeded from Windows web site,but i do't get the message,please help me

  • Hi sir VG. I installed windows 8.1 preview 32 bit in virtualbox. Is there any tweaks to add a custom resolution of 1366 x 768? I want to run a full screen environment using that resolution. Currently, the lowest resolution of my win8.1 preview in vbox is 1024 x 768, highest is 1920 x 1440. Host OS is win7 ultimate, native resolution, 1366 x 768. Tnx in advance...

  • Thanks for the detailed info...Helps alot :)

  • Hey VG, i run on Windows 8 32-bit but I have a 64-bit iso file of windows 8.1
    do you know some way by which i can directly upgrade?? (my laptop can't read DVDs, so i want to run it in any other way..)

  • @Abhay

    I m sorry but u 'wont be able to directly upgrade' from 32-bit to 64-bit, u can only move higher in versions of same architecture. So, u will have to 'do a clean install of ur 64-bit OS' and if ur system supports it i highly recommend it.

    regarding ur 2nd query this might help :

    I personally use windows 7 USB tool which works perfectly even on W8.1

  • VG

    ^^ True.

    You cant upgrade from 32-bit Windows to 64-bit Windows version. You'll need to perform a clean installation. Check following link for example:

  • thanq!!!
    you guyz are really experts man!

  • oh forgot to mention that i run on dual OS:
    1. Windows 8 Enterprise 32 bit
    2, Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
    i mounted the windows 8.1 (64-bit) iso setup via win7 but this time it says that 'it failed to validate the product key'.
    but i run on genuine windows 7...
    it is upgrade-able only from win8?
    or is it something else?
    can you help me this time?

  • @Abhay

    yep the free upgrade is for users of only W8 and above.
    btw which iso u have - W8.1 or W8.1 update 1 ?
    also is ur W8 genuine then there might be a slight possiblity.

    VG can i communicate with him personally, any mail, i miss the chat box option here,
    u considered having one ?

  • VG

    ^^ Please discuss here. It'll help more people in troubleshooting similar problems.

    I'll suggest you to perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1. Upgrading from one OS to another OS might cause various problems and performance issues. If you can afford, do a clean installation.

  • @VG
    but it will lead to various post which might look like its only we two who r talking

  • VG

    ^^ Thats what we call discussion. Do not worry about it. :)

  • @VG

    so what i was thinking was that mayb he can use his already installed W8 license by backing it up on the newly installed W8.1, do u think it will be possible, i mean transferring 32bit license on 64 bit one, in that case i think he will have to do away with his currently installed W8 otherwise that wud b violation, ur thoughts ?

  • hey guys wait wait

    i understand what you mean but you see, the iso files i have are too big to accomodate my usb drive (4 gb)
    i guess i'll have to stick with windows 8 for a while!! :P :D

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