Windows 8 was a massive disappointment because Microsoft didn’t manage to improve upon its predecessor, Windows 7. Will Windows 8.1 make things better or bring back memories of the old days? Let’s look at the new features and see what they offer.

 Microsoft launched Windows 8 in October 2012, and it has since become the number-one selling operating system on the planet. The latest version is Windows 8.1, and it adds some valuable features to its predecessor. This article will give you a detailed guide on how to install Windows 8.1.

You should download Windows 8.1 if you haven’t already done so. After all, it is an essential part of using computers today.

The Microsoft Windows 8 operating system is part of every computer user’s life. From the windows 1 version to windows 8, each version created new trends every time. In both these versions, Windows XP achieved excellent user popularity.

How to Install Windows 8.1 in Computer within 20 minutes

After Windows 7, now it’s time for Windows 8. Microsoft Windows 8 is a revolutionary operating system released by Microsoft in 2013. Now, Windows 11 is running successfully.

Installation is straightforward when compared with other versions. Recently, Microsoft released Windows 8.1 (an updated version of Microsoft Windows 8).

So, today I am writing about installing Windows 8.1 on the computer. Here I used the virtual machine to write this tutorial.

The installation procedure is the same for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. In my last post, I wrote about the Installation of Windows 8 on a VMware virtual machine. These window installations for homes are helpful.

Special features in the Windows 8.1 version

Windows 10 comes out with tons of new features, but even if you don’t plan on upgrading, I think that this article will still be interesting to read!

We’ve already seen some improvements in Windows 8, but now they’ve pushed us into a new era with Windows 8.1. This update brings a lot of changes from the previous version, including the introduction of metro apps, start screen tiles, and a lot more.

We’ll go over what’s new and updated:

1. Modern UI

It is what we call the ‘Modern’ user interface (UI) that they introduced in Windows 8. This UI is much more sleek and modern than the classic Windows UI, but it takes some time to get used to. But after about two weeks, your brain has already adapted to this OS, and you can’t imagine using anything else.

2. New Start Screen

The new start screen in Windows 8.1 looks exactly like Windows Phone’s live tiles, only better. With its color scheme, icons, animations, and other visual effects, you’ll become addicted to the Live Tiles.

3. Snap View

If you’re familiar with iOS 7, you know how great Snap View is. In Windows 8.1, users can snap any window onto their desktop, making them accessible from anywhere, even if they are not full-screened.

4. Cortana

Cortana has been designed from its inception to meet the needs of busy people. She can help you quickly find what you need, bring information into your life at the right time, and help you stay organized.

5. New Live Tiles

 The live tiles in Windows 8 have been updated to give you even more information about what’s happening around you – like weather, news, calendar events, email, and more.

6. Start Screen Improvements

With over 100 improvements since Windows 8 was released, the start screen gets better every day. Stay tuned for updates from Microsoft!

7. Aero Glass

The ability to switch between desktop and tablet mode has been removed, and now we can only use either.

8. Sets of Tiles

In metro apps, there are sets of tiles that appear when you swipe your finger down the side of the screen. These tiles change dynamically based on whatever setting you choose, and you can also add your custom tiles to the set.

9. Search Bar

There’s now a search bar at the top of the start menu, and you can access it using the Windows logo + E. In addition, It can now access the search feature through any application. The search bar also appears while browsing the web browser so that you can perform searches right from the address bar.

How to install Windows 8.1?


To begin, go to Microsoft’s official website and download or purchase the Windows 8 operating system DVD. Then, booting your machine with your Windows 8.1 installation CD would be beneficial. Assume you’re working with a virtual machine. Start by booting from the installation image (.iso). The setup files for Windows 8.1 take a long time to load, so you’ll largely see a dark screen like the one below.

install windows 8 screen

2. Once the necessary files are copied, the setup starts by asking what language, time, currency, and keyboard input settings you want to use. Make the selections you prefer and click “Next.”

install windows 8 setup

3. Click the Install Now button to start the installation.

install windows 8 - Install now

4. You are asked to enter the product key required to activate your Windows 8.1 installation. Enter the product key you purchased and click Next. If you have purchased a retail version of Windows 8, the product key will be found in the packaging of the installation discs. The same product key will be required to activate Windows 8 after a complete installation.

Enter the Microsoft validation key

5. You are asked to read the license agreement. Check the “I accept the license terms” box and click Next.

install windows 8 - accept TOS

6. You are asked to choose between making an upgrade or a custom installation. Choose “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).”

install windows 8 - custom installation

7. Now, you are asked to select where you want to install Windows 8. Select the partition you desire and click “Next.” If you install Windows 8.1 on a virtual machine or a new computer, you must create the section. Therefore, click on Drive Options.

install windows 8 - new

8. Then, create the partition using the New button.

install windows 8 - create new partition

9. Specify the size of the partition and click “Apply.”

Windows 8.1 has approximately 10 GB to 14 GB of space without installing special extras. If you want to install other applications, you should make a larger partition, and my recommendation is to go for at least 25–30 GB.

add and create partition to install windows

You are asked to confirm if you are OK with Windows 8 creating an additional partition for its system files used for boot and recovery. Click OK.

click on OK

Make sure the correct partition is selected and click Next.

NOTE: At this step, you can also format the partition where Windows 8 will be installed before pressing Next.

Now choose correct partition to install Windows 8.1

12. The installation finally starts. The setup will take a few minutes to copy all the required files and install the operating system.

install windows 8 - installation

Once the installation is done, the Windows 8 setup will automatically reboot your system. Then, you will see the progress of the preparations made for your first login. Depending on your computer’s hardware configuration, you might need to go through another reboot for this process to finish.

Windows 8.1 is an upgrade for those who already use Windows 8. You’ll find new features such as Cortana, Microsoft Edge, and new security options. It also comes with improvements to Photos, Maps, Mail, Store, Music, Calendar, and Video.

If you don’t want to upgrade, you can download a copy of Windows 8.1. The free version includes some limitations, but that’s about it. With a paid subscription, you can do everything from sign in automatically at startup to adjust settings. Microsoft offers a 30-day trial as well.

Personalizing the Windows 8 Installation


After the reboots are done, Windows 8 will require some time to get things ready.

windows 8 installation screen

Then, you are asked to personalize your Windows 8 installation. Start by giving a name to your computer. If you type some “unauthorized” characters like $, %, &, you will be notified appropriately. Also, choose the background color you prefer. Once done, click Next.

persenalization

If you are installing Windows 8 on a laptop or device with a wireless network card, you will be asked to select the wireless network to connect to and type in the appropriate password to connect to it. You won’t go through this step on a computer or device connected via cable to the internet.

Next, you need to decide if you want to use the Express settings Windows 8 comes bundled with or if you want to customize your installation. Let’s get our hands dirty and see what happens if you click “Customize.”

windows 8 settings

First, you are asked if you want to turn on file-sharing or not. Select the option you prefer.

choose the best option on windows 8

Then, you are asked about the default behavior of Windows Update and that of security features like the SmartScreen Filter. Change the things you are interested in and click Next.

setting of windows

Next, you are asked if you want to send different types of information to Microsoft. Set things according to your preferences and click Next.

installation of windows 8

Then, you are asked about troubleshooting options and what you want to turn on. You can also set up whether apps can use your name and account picture and whether they are allowed to access your location. Set things as you wish and click Next.

Finally, you get to the “Sign in to your PC” screen. To experience Windows 8 to its fullest, it is best to use your Microsoft account (also known as Windows Live ID) to sign in. Type in your Microsoft account and click Next.

sign in to your PC

NOTE: If you would rather not sign in using a Microsoft account, click on the “Sign in without a Microsoft account” link at the bottom of the window and follow the instructions shown by the setup wizard.

Then, you are asked to enter your Microsoft account password. Type it in and click Next.

add microsoft logins

Then, you can provide an alternate email and phone number to recover your account password if you forget it or unwanted guests change it. Provide the requested details and click Next.

add admin logins

Windows 8 takes a while to prepare your computer and all the settings.

finalizing settings

While the preparations are being made, you are shown a brief tutorial about accessing the new charms bar, one of the most critical changes in Windows 8. I recommend that you pay attention to the instructions shown at this stage.

Move your mouse into any corner

Once the tutorial ends, you are shown further information about the progress of the Windows 8 customization via a few colored screens and messages.

installing apps

Once everything is done, you are shown the Windows 8 Start screen.

Windows 8 Start Screen

If you press Win+D or click on the Desktop tile, you can also view the classic desktop.

Windows 8 home screen

Welcome to your first Windows 8 experience!

How do I install Windows 8.1 without a product key?

Installing Windows 8.1 without a product key is possible but not straightforward. You’ll need to create a Windows installation disk and use the product key from your existing version of Windows to activate it. Here’s how: Create a Windows 8.1 installation disk using your product key from previous versions of Windows. Select the option to install without a product key in the Customize screen during installation. To create a Windows 8.1 installation disk without a product key:

1. Download and install a third-party utility such as Rufus, which is available at http://rufus.akeo.ie/.

2. Insert your blank USB drive into the computer you’ll use to create the installation disk.

3. Boot up your laptop and ensure that it has enough free space on your hard drive for the installation disk. If you don’t have enough free space, you’ll need to delete items from your computer’s hard drive to make room for the Windows 8.1 installation disk.

4. Open Rufus and select the “Create a bootable USB flash drive” option from the main menu, and then select your USB drive from the drop-down menu.

5. Make sure that the USB drive is selected in the drop-down menu and click “Start.”

6. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your Windows 8.1 installation disk and transfer your files to the USB drive. 

7. You can also use a third-party utility such as MultiBootUSB or Rufus, available at http://Rufus.akeo.ie/ to create the installation disk and transfer your files to the USB drive.

8. Make sure your USB drive is plugged into your computer, restart your laptop, and then hold down the Shift key while clicking “Restart” to enter the BIOS settings menu and select UEFI Mode with Secure Boot enabled if that option is available.

9. When prompted, click “Load UEFI Settings” and follow the onscreen instructions to enter your BIOS settings for the USB drive with UEFI Mode enabled if that option is available. If you cannot select “Load UEFI Settings,” turn off your computer and restart it again in BIOS mode before continuing with the next step. 

10. Turn off your computer again and remove the USB drive from its port.

11. Boot up the system with your Windows 8.1 installation disk and follow the on-screen directions to install Windows 8.1 using UEFI Mode if that option is available.

If you cannot enter UEFI Mode with Secure Boot enabled, you will need to disable Secure Boot in your BIOS settings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the Windows 8.1 version?

    Windows 8.1 may be subject to upcoming releases; its latest update, Windows 10, was available on July 29th, 2015. The newest version includes several significant new features, including an updated start menu and Cortana, a virtual assistant that you’ll recognize from the Halo video games.

  2. What is the difference between Windows 8.1 and 10?

    Windows 8.1 and 10 are both popular versions of the Windows operating system, but they differ. Windows 10 is the most up-to-date version, and it’s constantly being updated with new features. It has been optimized for touchscreen devices, includes Cortana and Microsoft Edge, allows you to create virtual desktops, and works with any PC (laptop or desktop).

  3. What is Windows 8.1 and its features?

    Windows 8.1 is a personal computer operating system created by Microsoft to offer users more features and straightforward navigation. For example, It replaced the Start Screen with the traditional Windows Desktop, which provides a more traditional user experience.

  4. Can I download Windows 8.1 for free?  

    Windows 8.1 was released on October 17th, 2013, to upgrade Windows 8. The new operating system includes a revised start menu and better support for touchscreen devices. Tech giants like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Acer all announced their intention to sell new PCs with Windows 8.1 installed.

  5. How do I install Windows 8.1 on my laptop?

    For those unfamiliar with Windows 8.1, this is a new operating system from Microsoft. It comes equipped with many new features and functions and a redesigned user interface. Your laptop will need to meet the minimum requirements to install this operating system.

  6. Can I install Windows 8.1 from a USB?

    Windows 8.1 can be installed from USB, using a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 installation media via the USB port.

  7. How do I download Windows 8.1 installation media?

    If you’re running Windows 8 and would like to upgrade to Windows 8.1, follow these steps, which are given below. Click the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your screen and select ‘Control Panel’ from the menu. Click on ‘Programs,’ then click on ‘Uninstall a program.” If you’re not sure what programs you have on your computer, click “See more programs.” Scroll down to find the Windows 8.1 Upgrade and right-click it.

  8. How do I install Windows 8.1 without a product key?

    Windows 8.1 has introduced many new features for business and home users alike. One of the more unique features is downloading and installing Windows 8.1 without a product key by using the Windows Phone app store on your mobile device.

  9. Can I update Windows 8 for free?

    As part of their plans to move to the new Windows 10, Microsoft gives users the option of upgrading their current operating system for free. While this is a great offer, it’s essential to be aware that you’ll have to sacrifice certain features.

  10. How can I download the full version of Windows 8.1 for free?

    Windows 8.1 is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s Windows operating system. It is available for free download from the Microsoft Store, and there are various ways to install it on your device.

  11. Can I still use Windows 8.1 after 2022?

    Windows 8.1 was released in 2013, meaning there are only two more years left before support for the operating system ends. To avoid any issues with your computer and to make sure you can continue using it, Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to Windows 11 before 2021.

  12. How do I download Windows 8.1 from the Microsoft Store?

    The Microsoft Store offers free downloads of all versions of Windows. You can find the free download either on the Microsoft store website or by clicking on the “Get Windows 10” icon on your current Windows 8.1 or 7 desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.

  13. How do I install Windows 8.1 on my laptop?

    Installing Windows 8.1 on your laptop is a straightforward process. You should be aware of a few things before you get started, though, including the ISO file and the product key.

Conclusion

As you can see from this article, the Windows 8 installation starts in a very similar way to Windows 7.

Windows 8.1 is an upgrade for those who already use Windows 8. You’ll find new features such as Cortana, Microsoft Edge, and new security options. It also comes with improvements to photos, maps, mail, store, music, calendar, and video.

If you don’t want to upgrade, you can download a copy of Windows 8.1. The free version includes some limitations, but that’s about it. With a paid subscription, you can do everything from automatically signing in at startup to adjusting settings. Microsoft offers a 30-day trial as well.

You can learn how to install Windows 8.1 here.

In summary: 

  • To install Windows 8.1, follow the steps below.
  • Download the ISO file at the bottom of the article.

However, the closer you get to your first login, things change dramatically, and the new user interface takes center stage.

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