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

We told you earlier about Windows 8.1 Update 1 which will bring many new features and improvements to Windows 8.1 such as improvements to Start Screen, Metro UI aka Modern UI, Internet Explorer, etc.

Everything You Need to Know About Windows 8.1 Update 1

The good news is that Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 Update 1 for TechNet and MSDN subscribers and the same will be released to public on next Tuesday April 8th is also available for download to public:

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Available for Download

Windows 8.1 Update 1 is available free for Windows 8.1 users via Windows Update. If you are still using Windows 8, you'll be able to install Windows 8.1 Update 1 directly through Windows Store for free.

For interested people, the update number of Windows 8.1 Update 1 will be KB2919355.

Now lets talk about some interesting features present in Windows 8.1 Update 1:

Power and Search Buttons on Start Screen

Windows 8.1 Update adds much requested Power and Search buttons to Start Screen. In Windows 8, the power options were present under Settings charm and in Windows 8.1, Microsoft added the power options to Win+X Menu but still many people were having troubles in finding those options.

Now people will have no problem in finding options to shut down, restart or hibernate their computers in Windows 8.1 Update. You'll be able to use these power options directly and easily via Start Screen.


Its quite similar to what we requested in our Wishlist topic.

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

Also check:

How to Add or Remove "Power Options" Button from Start Screen in Windows 8.1?

Direct Boot into Desktop by Default

When Microsoft introduced Start Screen in Windows 8, many users complained about the direct boot to Start Screen feature. People wanted to direct boot into Windows Desktop as they used to do in earlier versions of Windows. After getting many requests, Microsoft added a new option to enable direct boot into Desktop in Windows 8.1.

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

But the option was not enabled by default and the operating system was still booting directly to Start Screen.


In Windows 8.1 Update, the option to direct boot into Desktop will be enabled by default for selected devices such as Desktops and laptops.

Pin Metro Apps to Taskbar

In Windows 8 and 8.1, users were restricted to run Metro apps only from Start Screen but in Windows 8.1 Update, you'll be able to pin metro apps and websites to Taskbar so that you can launch them directly from your Desktop. Windows Store will come pinned to Taskbar by default so that you can easily install new apps.


Also you'll be able to use Taskbar while working on a metro app. Just move the mouse cursor to the bottom edge of your computer screen and it'll show the Taskbar so that you can switch between apps or start a new app.


Titlebar with Minimize and Close Buttons in Metro Apps

Finally the much awaited feature comes to Windows 8.1 Update. Now you'll be able to access titlebar in any metro app similar to traditional Desktop programs. Simply move your mouse cursor to the top of your computer screen and you'll be able to find buttons to minimize or close metro apps using this titlebar.


Also if you right-click on the app icon present at the left-side of titlebar, you'll get a context menu containing various options such as "Split Left/Right" which allow you to split the running app across the left or right half of the Desktop.

Also check:

[Fix] Can't See Minimize Button in Titlebar and Access Taskbar in Metro Apps in Windows 8.1

Right-Click Context Menu on Start Screen Tiles

That's another great improvement for Start Screen in Windows 8.1 Update. In Windows 8 and 8.1, when you right-click on a tile in Start Screen, you get the App Bar on bottom of the screen to access related options. It becomes quite annoying for many users as they need to move the mouse to bottom to click on those options.

In Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft has replaced this App Bar with traditional context menu similar to Desktop and Windows Explorer. Now when you right-click on a tile in Windows 8.1 Update, you get context menu to perform various operations such as unpin a tile, pin to Taskbar, change tile size or uninstall the app.


Also check:

How to Select Multiple Tiles and Show Bottom App Bar in Windows 8.1 Update 1?

New Apps Installed Notification on Start Screen

Its another useful addition to Start Screen. Now whenever you install a new Metro app or Desktop program, the little arrow on Start Screen shows a notification about the new installed apps along with their count:


Once you click on the notification, it opens All Apps page which highlights the newly installed apps by showing "NEW" term next to the app name. The "NEW" text disappears as soon as you click on the app name.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 also allows you to show more apps with small icons in All Apps page:

[Tip] How to Show More Apps with Small Icons in Windows 8.1 Apps Screen

Internet Explorer 11 Improvements

Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1 Update has the built-in functionality to detect the device and input type so that it can install the appropriate version of IE on the device. It runs in portrait mode on a tablet and in normal Desktop program mode on computers and laptops.

You'll also notice many UI refinements such as size of fonts, menus, number of tabs, etc in IE11 under Windows 8.1 Update.

PS: This updated version of Internet Explorer 11 will also be available for Windows 7 users.

Wi-Fi Connection Context Menu Added Back

Oh yeah. Now you can get the good ol' context menu options while right-clicking on your Wi-Fi connection entry present in the right-sidebar which appears when you click on Internet connection icon present in Taskbar notification area.


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So you can see Windows 8.1 Update will bring many cool and exciting features to Windows 8/8.1. It seems Microsoft is trying to fix all issues and annoyances present in Windows 8/8.1 to please all customers...

Also Check:

Hidden Secret Features and Useful Hotkeys in Windows 8 and Later


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  • May be the Wishlist coming true isn't it ?

  • what would be the estimated size of update?any idea?

  • Will I get this update in windows 8? Or I need to upgrade to 8.1 before?

  • there's also a Start Menu coming to Windows 8.1u1. but in future updates.

  • VG

    ^^ True.

    Yeah. In future Windows version. May be Windows 8.1 update or Windows 8.2 or Windows 9. Nothing can be said atm.

    Yes. You'll get this update in Windows 8 via Windows Store.

    At the moment no idea but it might be 100MB+ in size. It'll depend.

    Absolutely. ;)

  • @Sumit - For me , it was 326 MB in size.........

  • not appeared on Windows Update or in the Windows Store for me here in the UK (Win8.1 Home x64)

  • Why Windows 8 and 8.1 has so much preinstalled apps inside, i.e Skype, which I never use. And lots of other useless apps?

    Why Microsoft can not offer a Lite version of their OS where's a not a single 3rd party app preinstalled.

    I have powerful PC but I don't have a time to disable like 20 apps, and sometimes even search a way to disable those in first place.

  • All the updates Microsoft is bringing to Windows 8 is a sign that they're definitely committed in answering its consumer's needs. The only reason why Windows 8 had a bad start is because of Steven Sinofsky's arrogance in not listening to the cries of customers.

    And with him gone, Microsoft can finally do whatever they want with Windows 8 - listening to the needs and wants of its consumers.

    Once the next update for Windows 8 is out, adoption rates will surely increase.

    All those apps that come pre-installed with Windows 8 aren't third party apps, they're made by Microsoft. The primary reason why they're pre-installed because Microsoft wants us to use their services and not other company's services. Just deal with it.

  • "Wi-Fi Connection Context Menu Added Back"

    It's definitely a great news! They shouldn't had remove that at the first place.

  • I dont use metro start is back installed I dont use internet explo useless...40 updates since ans still non start menu...LOOSERS

  • By the way, I found out that taskbar appears in Metro apps only if you've hovered on the titlebar first.

  • You‘re wrong Madis, I‘ve just checked this.

  • as long as tileworld exists and I cannot totally disable it, windows 8.X is a total fail. By attempting to be "cute" or recreate the wheel, MS has reversibly ruined its environment and is slowly but painfully playing catchup. My desktop or laptop experience is NOT a tablet experience, and requires a lot of different ergonomic movements, different mousing, different data entry. All the defenders of Microsoft who told me that I'd have to "deal with it" or just "learn a new system" are being shown to be ignorant of what the consumer public wants. I'm not opposed to innovation, but make it actually useful and not take away my functionality.

  • anyone who knows how to disable search button on start screen? it makes clutter. also, the search button is not necessary

  • Please! Someone, help me!
    After updating to update 1, my Windows 8.1 start screen won't show the context menus.
    I updated my Win by Windows updates (control panel), as I was unable to install the update 1 packages.

    What's going on?

  • After the 8.1 update when I right click a tile I don't get the context menu. All that happens is a check mark appears in the upper right had corner of the tile.

  • Does the x button present in the windows apps completely closes the app?

  • @Neil
    no it doesn't just only suspends them u have to follow the earlier method(which u can find on this site) or use alt+f4 to close it completely.


    U can test it urself by opening an app and task mgr side by side and see which action performs the desired results

  • bro whatever you have done or doing for users like me who doesn't no much about tweaks and tricks is simply great.....

    is there any solution available for thumbnail cache auto delete problem in windows 8 or 8.1 plz help

  • VG

    ^^ Please try following methods:


  • Yes. Microsoft Thinks a lot! LOL


  • In my win8.1 i can't open the old apps which ran on previous versions of windows. Help

  • VG

    ^^ Many old programs cant run in new Windows versions due to compatibility issues. You can try to run them using compatibility options. Right-click on the program's EXE file and select troubleshoot compatibility option.

  • how to dowload the installer to fix the problem of my laptop always diagnosing and after daignosing there is a link says fix and i click rest without losing the file and it need installer

  • i have laptop HP windows 8.1 with the processor intel core i3. my questio is. is okay if i upgrade to windows 10?

  • VG

    ^^ All Windows 8/8.1 running devices can be upgraded to Windows 10.

  • Got it back ( temporarily ) but when you do things in the App, it will disappear again -- with ONE KEY STROKE action, it seems to disappear until I do the task bar prop thing again!

    Microsoft needs to STOP CHANGING THINGS!!!!
    we are all disgusted with all these changes and trying to HOOK US with this or that -- Microsoft ID being at the top of my list!!!

    btw -- I do NOT use the Microsoft log in but the local so some Apps are unusable for me unless I do log in with LIVE ID ( grrrr.. hate hooks plus MICROSOFT ID took down money years ago due to it being able to be hacked and insecure ) ; so why are we back to LIVEID ????

  • i don't like windows 8 and such design. microsoft seam to have no direction. plus, hearing that skype is preinstalled and who knows what. they are making such a tehnological innovation to simply re-enable the basic features.. after seeing windows 8 and such, i don't know what this company has to offer or will be capable of in the future. this is just horrible. the clean interface design of windows 8 like systems is nice at some points, it all has some potencial, but i suppose this can only be truely arranged in right hands. this looks like a mess of the o/s. they need to think more. and it's also a bad move to adapt to the kind of users that don't know how to press windows key + X to shutdown their computer or make huge buttons for the lazy population that is having it hard to read normal text sizes, etc. on the other hand, the power options do look better in the graphical interface rather then popup context menu and thats a reason why this change makes sense. in fact, i don't know whose idea was to change this in the first place. really, such a big company that did many interesting things and what is this now? such a lack of direction.

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