Windows 8.1: Where to get it and how to install
Microsoft has finally released its major update to Windows 8.1 and all you want to do now is get it, right?
Bar a couple of minor teething troubles and server issues mainly due to the overwhelming response, it should be available to you if you already have Windows 8 installed.
Here's a quick guide on how to install it on your PC or tablet.
Where to get it
If you already have Windows 8 installed, you will be able to get the update by visiting the Windows Store via the tile in your Start Home. The update appeared immediately for us as the biggest clickable tile on the page.
If you don't already have Windows 8 and are upgrading from a previous version of Windows, you will need to buy an update for your specific version from the Windows shop. More details can be found on windows.microsoft.com, although we are experiencing issues with that site ourselves at present.
How to install
If you are installing directly from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, you first need to click on the download button on the Windows Store entry that comes up specifically for you. The update will start to download and you can go about your business. Ours was over 3GB, so depending on your connection this could take some time.
Before you begin to install the software, you should note that your Windows Store apps do not come along for the ride. They will not appear on the new Windows 8.1 Start home screen automatically. You will need to reinstall them after the process is complete.
Additionally, it is advised that you back up vital files. They will be transferred and should appear as normal, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Additionally, if you are using a laptop or tablet you should only start the installation process if they are plugged in. If you lose power half way through it is unlikely the update will complete.
And Microsoft recommends that you download and install any Windows 8 critical updates first. If you don't have these set to automatically install, you may not be able to install Windows 8.1 before they have been so first.
Once the download has finished and the software has checked that you have the required set-up necessary - such as sufficient disk space - it will give you a prompt to restart. It will give you 15 minutes to finish what you were doing before restarting automatically, or you can click to have it restart immediately.
Read: Windows 8.1 review
After restarting, you will be presented with a bunch of settings to choose from, which can be mostly automated through the Express Settings mode. And you can sign in and choose your SkyDrive options, including whether to sync to another PC.
That's your lot, you're now ready to play with all the new features of Windows 8.1.