Microsoft Windows 8.1 Update

Everything you need to know about Microsoft Windows 8.1 Update

Windows 8.1 Update is the second major update to the Windows 8 operating system.

This update, previously referred to as Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows 8 Spring Update, is free for all Windows 8 owners. If you're running Windows 8.1, you must install this update to receive security patches that were released after April 8, 2014.

The update includes a number of user interface changes, especially for those using Windows with a keyboard and/or a mouse.

For basic OS information, like system requirements, see our Windows 8 article. Check our Windows 8.1 summary for more on Microsoft's first major update to this version of Windows.

Horizontal Windows Logo.

Windows 8.1 Update Release Date

Windows 8.1 Update was first made publicly available on April 8, 2014, and is the last major update to Windows 8.

Microsoft isn't planning a Windows 8.1 Update 2 or Windows 8.2 update. In fact, no new updates are planned, as Microsoft ended support for Windows 8.1 on January 10, 2023.

Windows 11 is the most recent version of Windows available, which we recommend you update to, if you can.

Download Windows 8.1 Update

To upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update for free, visit Windows Update and apply the update named Windows 8.1 Update (KB2919355) or Windows 8.1 Update for x64-based Systems (KB2919355).

If you don't see any Windows 8 Update related updates in Windows Update, check to make sure that KB2919442, first available in March 2014, is installed first. If it wasn't, you should see it there in the list of available updates in Windows Update.

While more complicated, you also have the option of upgrading manually from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update via the downloads linked here:

The Windows 8.1 Update actually consists of six individual updates. Select them all after selecting the Download button. First install KB2919442 if you haven't already, followed by the ones you just downloaded, in this order exactly: KB2919355, KB2932046, KB2959977, KB2937592, KB2938439, and then KB2934018.

If you haven't yet updated to Windows 8.1, you'll need to do that first. See our How to Update to Windows 8.1 tutorial for more help. Once that's complete, update to Windows 8.1 Update via Windows Update.

Windows 8.1 Update isn't the entire operating system, only a collection of updates to the operating system. If you don't currently have Windows 8 or 8.1, you can purchase a new copy of Windows (the entire operating system, not just the update). However, it's no longer available for purchase directly from Microsoft, so if you need to buy Windows 8.1, you can try other places like Amazon or eBay.

We answer a lot of questions about installing Windows 8 here: Installing Microsoft Windows FAQ.

Windows 8.1 Update Changes

A number of new interface changes were introduced in Windows 8.1 Update.

Below are some changes you might notice:

  • Adds power and search buttons to the Start screen (on some devices).
  • Booting directly to the Desktop is now the default setting on new installations on non-touch devices.
  • Microsoft Store apps can be pinned to the Desktop taskbar, just like traditional programs.
  • Taskbar is available anywhere the mouse is.
  • Title bar, including close and minimize buttons, is available on Microsoft Store apps.
  • Right-click menu is available for Microsoft Store apps pinned on the Start screen.
  • Microsoft Store app is pinned by default to the taskbar.
  • A "new apps installed" notice on the Start screen after installing new apps.

More About Windows 8.1 Update

While all of our Windows 8 tutorials were written for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8.1 Update, the following may be particularly useful if you're new to Windows 8 as of Windows 8.1 Update:

You can find all our Windows 8 and 8.1 installation related tutorials in our Microsoft Windows How-To area.

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