So you finally decided to take the plunge, and upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 8.1? Good idea to wait, Windows 8.1 is faster, more stable, and all around better than Windows 8.

You insert the CD in your Windows 7 computer, and… wait, what’s this? You can’t keep your installed applications??

Actually, you can. It just takes a bit more effort.

Upgrading to Windows 8.1 from WIndows 7 - only option is keeping your files, not your applications

Basically, Microsoft changed enough in the backend of Windows 8.1 that a direct upgrade from Windows 7 that keeps your applications isn’t available – only an upgrade that keeps your files (documented in their FAQ). There is a way around this, however.

As you may notice in the FAQ, you can keep your Windows Settings, Personal Files, and Most Apps if you upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1:

Windows 8.1 Upgrade Paths Table


So if you are doing an in-place upgrade, and want to save the effort of reinstalling all your applications, you’ll want to purchase a Windows 8 license instead. And yes, many vendors are still selling Windows 8 retail.

“But wait,” you say. “I wanted Windows 8.1, not Windows 8! You even said that 8.1 was better!”

Yes, yes I did. But Microsoft has you covered – Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade to Windows 8.

Happy installing!


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