How to update Surface RT to Windows 8.1 Preview?

During the BUILD developer conference on 26th June 2013, Steve Ballmer announced the availability of Microsoft Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows 8.1 RT Preview. If you have Windows 8 PC, you can download an ISO image and install it from there. But if you have a Surface tablet, the process is different.


If you are using Surface RT and want to install Windows 8.1 RT Preview, this post will help you getting started. Make sure that you don’t have any language pack installed.


As you are using Surface RT, it has Windows RT and in this case you have to upgrade it from the Windows Store. But many people mentioned me in last couple of days that they are unable to find the update in Windows Store. So, how to upgrade to this latest preview release?


The process is very simple. But before doing an update to this pre-release software, read this post first: “Think before installing Windows 8.1 Preview”. If you still want to upgrade your Surface RT device, just follow the below mentioned steps:


  • In your Surface RT device, navigate to: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/preview-download
  • Click the blue button named “Get the update”. This will download an .msu file. Once downloaded, run the file.
    Windows Update Standalone Installer
  • This will ask you to install an update for Windows (KB2849636) as shown below. Click “Yes” to continue.
    Windows Update Standalone Installer (KB2849636)
  • This will start installing the update and once finished, it will ask you to restart the system.
    Installing Windows 8.1 Package InstallerInstalling Windows 8.1 Package Installer
  • Once rebooted and logged-in to the system, you will see a message popped up in the screen. Just follow the steps after that.
  • In case you missed the popup message, just go to the Windows Store from the Start screen. There you will find a big icon which will ask you to update your Windows RT to the Windows 8.1 RT Preview as shown below:
    The new Windows Store ready to upgrade your Surface RT with Windows 8.1 Preview
  • Click the pink “Update Windows” icon to navigate to the next screen.
  • Click “Download” to continue. It’s a 2.19 GB installation. Hence, just wait for few hours to days based on your internet bandwidth.
    Windows RT 8.1 Preview Installation

Once the download completes, it will automatically install the update for you. You have to follow few steps later in order to complete the whole installation process.


Make sure that, you don’t have any language packs installed in the system. The update will not work at this time if any language packs are there except en-US. If you are not sure whether you have the language packs, just follow with the steps and if you find the text in the Windows Store garbled, you have to check and uninstall the language packs first before installation.

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