Get to know Windows.

There are new ways to get around Windows. Many devices now have touch capabilities, but you can also use the mouse and keyboard you're used to. We’ll teach you the basics to help you get started.

Windows  Laptops Windows  Desktops Windows  Tablet Windows  All-in-Ones Windows  Software

Explore with charms.

Use the charms menu to do the things you do most often, like search, share links and photos, connect devices, and change settings.

  • Share
    Share Share files and info with friends without leaving the app you’re in.
  • Start
    Start Go back to the Start screen anytime.
  • Devices
    Devices See and use the devices connected to your PC, like a printer or TV.
  • Settings
    Settings Find information, help and settings for your PC and the app you’re in.

How do i get Windows 8.1?

Click here for more information

A little Q & A.

Have questions about upgrading, what’s new, and how to get started? Here are some quick answers.

  • How do I update to Windows 8.1?

    Here's how to update to Windows 8.1 depending on the version of Windows you're currently running:

    • If you're already running Windows 8, you can update to Windows 8.1 in the Windows Store for free.
    • If you’re running Windows 7, you can buy and download Windows 8.1 using Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant. In Upgrade Assistant, you'll have the option to install Windows 8.1 now, later, or using media with an ISO file or a USB flash drive.
    • If you're running Windows Vista or Windows XP, you'll need to perform a clean installation with a DVD. Make sure to review system requirements before buying a DVD.
  • How much does Windows 8.1 cost?

    If you're already running Windows 8, it's free. Go to the Windows Store to update to Windows 8.1.

    If you're running a previous version of Windows, you can see current pricing on the Buy Windows webpage or in Upgrade Assistant.

  • Can my PC run Windows 8.1?

    If you're running Windows 8 or Windows 7, the best way to tell if your PC and connected devices are ready for Windows 8.1 is to download and run Upgrade Assistant, which scans them and tells you if there is anything you'll need to do before or after updating.

    For previous versions of Windows, you should check the system requirements. We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer's website for info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.

    Here is a summary of the system requirements:

    • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
    • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    • Free hard drive space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • Graphics card: MicrosoftDirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • Will I be able to keep my files, settings and apps?

    If you start your PC from installation media that you created when you downloaded the ISO, such as a DVD or USB flash drive, you won't be able to keep your apps, Windows settings or personal files when you install Windows 8.1.

    This table shows what you can keep when you update, depending on the version of Windows you currently have running on your PC. To verify which version of Windows you have now, see Which Windows operating system am I running?

    • If you're running
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
    • You can keep
    • Windows settings, personal files and most apps
    • Personal files
    • Nothing – you must boot from media and perform a clean installation
    • Nothing – you must boot from media and perform a clean installation

    If you're running Windows 8, your Windows Store apps will need to be reinstalled from the Store. In the Store, swipe down from the top edge of the screen or right-click, tap or click Your apps, select the apps you want to install, then tap or click Install.

    If you're running Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP, all of your apps will need to be reinstalled using the original installation discs, or purchase confirmation emails if you bought the apps online.

  • Is Windows Media Center included in my update?

    No If you want to install Windows Media Center, you need to add features to Windows 8.1. If you're already running Windows 8.1 Pro and have Windows Media Center, you won't need to reinstall it after updating to Windows 8.1.

  • Will I be able to play DVDs after updating to Windows 8.1?

    If you already have third-party DVD playback software in Windows 8, you should be able to keep using it in Windows 8.1. If you're running Windows 7, Windows XP or Windows Vista, you'll need to reinstall it.

    If you don't have a third-party app that plays DVDs, or if you currently rely on Windows Media Player for DVD playback, you'll need to download and install a third-party app or install Windows Media Center to play DVDs.

  • Can I change my language when I update?

    The easiest way to change your language is to update to the same language you currently have on your PC, then add a new language afterwards.

    If you're performing a clean installation of Windows 8.1 with a DVD or USB flash drive, you can change your language in Windows Setup.

    Note

    If you're running Windows 8 and have a language pack or a language interface pack (LIP) installed, they'll be removed when you install Windows 8.1.

  • Can I update from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8.1?

    If your PC has a 64-bit capable processor (CPU) but is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can install a 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, but you'll need to buy it as a DVD and perform a clean installation. You won't be able to keep any files, settings or apps when you update from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version.

    Please note that the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack is used to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro, and isn't for cross-architecture installs and doesn't include any media. If you want to change architectures, buy Windows 8.1 Pro.

  • What's the Windows Store?

    The Windows Store is where you can find apps for your Windows 8 device. It's got something for everyone, and it's built right into Windows 8, so it's fast and easy to use. Just tap or click the Store tile to get started. A Microsoft account is needed.

  • Can I go back to my old operating system?

    If your PC came with Windows 8 you might be able to restore it back to Windows 8 by refreshing your PC. Your personal files won't be affected, but apps that didn't come with the PC will need to be reinstalled.

    If you were running Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP, you'll need to reinstall your previous version of Windows using the recovery or installation media that came with your PC (typically a DVD).

    If you don't have recovery media, you might be able to create it before you update from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer's website for more info. After you install Windows 8.1, you won't be able to use the recovery partition on your PC to go back to your previous version of Windows.