On 26th June 2013, during the BUILD Conference in San Francisco, Steve Ballmer announced the availability of the first official release of Windows 8.1 Preview. Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are pre-release versions of Windows 8.1.
As it is a preview release and if you want to try the preview version, please make sure to read the post before starting the installation. Download links are available in this post for your reference.
What is Windows 8.1 Preview?
Those who don’t know about it, Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are pre-release versions of Windows 8.1. They build on Windows 8 and bring you more ways to stay productive and do all the things you need to do on your PC. Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview include enhancements in personalization, search, apps, Windows Store and cloud connectivity with the security and reliability features you expect from Windows.
Is Windows 8.1 for me?
If you are an existing Windows 8 or Windows RT user, you can download and install this preview release of Windows 8.1 in your PC or tablet devices. It is advisable to install it only if you are an advanced user. The preview version does never guarantees about loss or damage that happens to your system. You can download and install it only if:
- You like to use the latest software and enjoy experimenting with new technology.
- You're comfortable backing up a PC, formatting a hard drive and installing an operating system from scratch.
- You feel comfortable troubleshooting PC problems yourself.
- You don't mind updating software frequently.
- You have or can create installation or recovery media and have the knowledge to restore your previous operating system after you're done testing Windows 8.1 Preview.
If you agree with the above key points, you can proceed towards downloading and installing this in your device.
Download Windows 8.1 Preview
Though Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are stable and thoroughly tested by Microsoft, but aren't the finished product. Hence, if you are willing to install Windows 8.1 preview, make sure to create a recovery drive prior to installation. If something goes wrong during or after the installation, you will be able to revert back to your original Windows 8 installation.
If you're running Windows RT in a tablet, you won't be able to restore Windows RT after you install the Windows RT 8.1 Preview. But once the final version comes up, you'll be able to upgrade to that RTM version of Windows RT 8.1.
Follow these steps below to download Windows 8.1 Preview:
- Tap or click here and then follow the instructions.
- Restart your PC when prompted and then tap or click the message that appears to get the update from the Windows Store.
- In the Store, follow the instructions to download and complete the installation.
It’s a 2.19 GB of installation from Windows Store. So, you will need a good bandwidth to download it from online. The offline, standalone installer is also available to download as an ISO image which you can get from here: Download Windows 8.1 Preview (ISO version). If you are using Windows RT in a tablet, ISO installation will not work. You must have to install it from the Store.
Check out the Windows 8.1 Preview FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to find out more about the release.