How to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 for free Released: October 17th, 2013
Revised: October 29th, 2013 and November 5th (Windows Update issue resolution), November 9th (Mouse lag or stutter, see step #9 below) and March 27th, 2014 (Why can't I find the update in the Store?).
To date I've upgraded 4 of my Windows 8 PCs to Windows 8.1, none of which had any problems performing the upgrade. One PC was last used over 7 months ago, I skipped installing any of the updates that have be available since I last used it, only installing the mandatory KB2871389 update which is required if you plan to install the free upgrade to 8.1
Note that even on March 26th, 2014 the download still takes forever before the update installs, so laptop users should keep the unit plugged into AC power and not run off of the battery.
You must be running a valid version of Windows 8 for the "Get the update" button to be displayed.
Click on 'Get the update', this should open a new window with a "Download" button, with the following message displayed "You can keep working while the update is downloading. We'll let you know when it's time for the next step".
To start the upgrade, click the 'Download' button.
Why can't I find the update in the Store?
Added: March 27th, 2014
If your PC is currently running Windows 8 (or Windows RT) and you want to update to Windows 8.1 (or Windows RT 8.1) in most cases you’ll see this free update prominently featured on the Windows Store home page. If you’ve opened the Store and you don’t see the update, it could be for one of these reasons: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/why-can-t-find-update-store
1) "You might need the latest updates from Windows Update Although the Windows 8.1 update is downloaded and installed from the Store, your PC needs Windows updates, KB 2871389 and KB 2917499, before Windows 8.1 becomes available to you in the Store."
2) "You might be running an edition of Windows 8 that doesn’t support updating from the Store Some editions of Windows 8 don’t support updating to Windows 8.1 from the Store. These include the following:"
Windows 8 Enterprise. Talk to your system admin about updating to Windows 8.1.
Windows 8 Pro, if installed by an organization or a program that uses Volume Licensing. Talk to your system admin, or the administrator of the program that was used to install Windows 8. If you’re the administrator, you can find more info and links to Windows 8.1 ISOs in the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation.
Windows 8 Pro, if installed using an MSDN or TechNet ISO, and activated using Multiple Activation Keys. You might be able to download a Windows 8.1 ISO from MSDN or TechNet.
3) "Windows Store might not be showing the latest content" To refresh the content in the Store Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
Enter run in the search box, and then tap or click Run.
Enter wsreset.exe in the Run command and then tap or click OK.
Restart your PC.
On the Start screen, tap or click Store, and check to see if Windows 8.1 now appears on the Store home screen.
Note: Before you start the upgrade process, run Windows Update to insure all the latest updates have been installed.
Then if at all posible create an Image Backup of your disk drive before you upgrade as this backup is your safety net. Should something go wrong with the upgrade just restore Windows 8 using the backup you created.
1) From the Start screen click on the Microsoft Store tile.
2) Click on the "Update to Windows 8.1 for free" option.
3) Click on the 'Download' button.
4) The download and upgrade process will start.
5) When prompted; read the Windows Software License Terms and then click on the 'I accept' button.
6) The upgrade will go through a series of steps, presenting you with the option to choose either the 'Express' or 'Custom' settings.
7) After the upgrade has completed:
a) Check your wireless connectivity.
b) Revised Nov. 5th, 2013: Windows Update may not be responcive and take forever to list any updates. To resolve this issue."Reboot your PC" and then check for new Windows Updates, you may find 4 or more updates are available for 8.1, save the IE11 Security Update for last (remove the checkmark). After the other updates have completed, then run Windows Update one more time and install the IE11 update.
8) If you have a "Dual Boot" configuration, you will need to turn off the 'Fast Shutdown' again as the upgrade re-enables it and as a result you may find that chkdsk will kick in, especially if you have more than one disk drive.
9) Mouse pointer stutters or freezes when you play certain games in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 When you play certain desktop games in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2, the mouse pointer may freeze or stutter. Here is the patch to fix the mouse's tail: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2908279