How to: Upgrading to Windows 8.1 for free

‘How to upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free’ is probably one of the most prominent tasks at hand for many people who are the real fans of the Windows OS. We had earlier written about ‘Why you should wait before upgrading to iOS 7’ and now here we are with another round of tips.

There are some things that you need to know before you go for the free upgrade. And yes remember, there is the good old Start button that Microsoft has brought back in the upgrade.

Here are some important guidelines pointed out in the chronological order of going about installing the Windows 8.1.

Knowing your system requirements

The system requirements for the Windows 8.1 are pretty much identical to Windows 8. So, upgrading shouldn’t be an issue, really. However, it would still be better to go through the full list of system requirements, to crosscheck.

Backing up your computer

It is very vital that you backup your entire computer, even when the upgrade will not affect your important files or apps when upgrading. However, it will never be too foolish to take the backup. You can do it manually by backing up only the important data, or you can use any free backup software to make this task a breeze.

Installing latest updates

Just crosscheck that your computer is updated with the latest updates before you actually start the installation of the newest OS version. The updates are easier to install in this way. Windows does updating a walk in the park as the updates are downloaded automatically and installed by default.Windows-store-8-1-625x625

Actually installing the Windows 8.1

Move to the Start screen and select Windows 8.1 panel, which is prominently displayed on Windows Store homepage. If you aren’t able to view, it means you will probably have to install other Windows updates before you can proceed with the Windows 8.1 installation.

You need to check if you are using Windows 8 Enterprise Edition. This edition doesn’t offer support for free update from the Windows Store.

You will be able to see a purple ‘Windows Update’ to the top-left corner. The new version will start downloading and installing automatically if clicked or tapped. The update will check for the necessary disc space and the updates the new version will require. The Windows 8.1 installer will alert you in case it needs any more actions or updates.

In case the installation process gets interrupted tap or click the same button to resume the installation.

Restarting and setting up

Restarting your machine after the preliminary installation can eat up, up to some hours, which of course depends on your system. Alternatively, you can allow the OS to restart mechanically in about 15 minutes. The terms of Microsoft OS license will appear next. To proceed, you will have to accept them. A setup wizard will guide you through with on-screen tips.

The desktop apps will be visible when the new OS version is updated. However, you will have to manually reinstall the apps downloaded beforehand from the Windows Store apps.

For carrying out this process, from the Start screen, click on Windows Store tile and move to the Your apps section. Select the apps – most probably all of them – which you need to install and click Install. The apps will download automatically.

And now it’s time to enjoy the latest offering by Microsoft, totally free.

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