Windows 8.1 System Requirements
1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Hard disk space:
16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher with WDDM driver
Additional requirements to use certain features:
- Internet access for activation.
- To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch. (more info)
- To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.
- To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.
- Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database
- Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance
- Microsoft account required for some features
- Watching DVDs requires separate playback software (more info)
- Windows Media Center license sold separately (more info)
- BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
- BitLocker requires either Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 or a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
- Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2 GB of RAM (Windows 8 Pro only)
- A TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Center (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Center Pack only)
- Free Internet TV content varies by geography, some content might require additional fees (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Center Pack only)
If your PC is currently running Windows 7
or Windows 8
you can check to see if it meets the requirements by running the Upgrade Assistant
Upgrading from Windows 7 (or earlier) to Windows 8.1
You could upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro
from Windows 7 first, and then install the free Windows 8.1 update via the Store.
You could upgrade
directly to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7 using the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant
or by purchasing a retail copy of Windows 8.1 online or from a retail outlet.
Updating from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1
On a retail or OEM-activated PC running any edition of Windows 8, you’ll be able to install the free Windows 8.1 update via the Windows Store
. It permanently replaces the underlying operating system with Windows 8.1 and replaces the previous software license with the new terms for Windows 8.1. This is a like-for-like update: If you’re running Windows 8 Pro, you’ll be updated to Windows 8.1 Pro. If the Media Center Pack is installed, that functionality will be maintained for Windows 8.1.
When upgrading from Windows 8/Windows RT to Windows 8.1/Windows RT 8.1
, you will not lose anything. All your files, settings, and apps will carry over unless you are installing Windows 8.1 in a language that's different from the language currently on your PC.
If you ever refresh
from the recovery partition of an OEM Windows 8 PC, you will restore the original Windows 8 image and will need to install the free Windows 8.1 update again.
If you have a PC running Windows 8, you could upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro by first installing the free Windows 8.1 update and then add the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack
. You could also add the Windows 8 Pro Pack first, and then installing the free Windows 8.1 Update.
For businesses who acquired Windows 8 Enterprise through Software Assurance for Windows
on a volume license agreement, the option to update through the Windows Store is not available. Administrators will find the Windows 8.1 Enterprise installation media at the Volume Licensing Service Center
. Windows 8.1 can be deployed to Windows 8 computers using a software distribution tool such as System Center Configuration Manager (run setup.exe /auto:upgrade
Upgrading from Windows 8.1 Preview to Windows 8.1
If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview as an update from the Windows Store
in Windows 8, you will be able to install the free Windows 8.1 update from the Windows Store.
If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview by booting from ISO
media, you can update to the final version of Windows 8.1 Pro using the Windows Store, but your system won't activate until you buy a Windows 8.1 license and Product Key. You can do this by following the instructions when you activate your system, or by purchasing a DVD of Windows 8.1 Pro.
When upgrading from Windows 8.1 Preview/Windows RT 8.1 Preview to Windows 8.1/Windows 8.1 RT
, you will "Keep personal files only", but will lose your settings and have to reinstall all of your apps (desktop and Store).