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Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Upgrade Paths

Updated: May 16, 2014

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

This document describes upgrade paths for the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems.

In this topic:

Windows 8.1 upgrades are available in the Windows Store or on media. Note that when you upgrade to Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store, you cannot change editions. Upgrading to a different edition of Windows 8.1 is supported from media only.

Volume license versions of Windows 8, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows 8 Enterprise Eval versions cannot be upgraded from the Windows Store. You must use media to upgrade these editions.

You must upgrade to Windows RT 8.1 from Windows® RT by using the Windows Store. Media is not available for Windows RT 8.1 upgrades.

The following editions are supported:

You can upgrade to Windows 8.1 and keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications from the following Windows operating system editions:

  • Windows 8

You can upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro and keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications from the following Windows operating system editions:

  • Windows 8

  • Windows 8 Pro

  • Windows 8 Pro with Media Center

  • Windows 8.1

You can upgrade to Windows 8.1 Enterprise (Volume License) from the following operating system editions:

  • Windows 8 Pro

  • Windows 8 Pro with Media Center

  • Windows 8 Enterprise

  • Windows 8.1 Pro

The following table shows the settings, personal files, and applications that you can keep during an upgrade.

noteNote
You cannot upgrade or keep your Windows settings, personal files, or applications if you are performing a cross-language installation. You can only keep your personal files during a cross-language installation by using Windows Setup.

noteNote
Windows Upgrades on native boot virtual hard disks (.vhd or .vhdx files) are not supported. You must perform a clean installation on a new VHD.

To install Windows 8.1 on PCs running Windows XP or Windows Vista, you must run Windows Setup by booting Windows 8.1 installation media. The following table shows media-based upgrade scenarios, not store updates.

 

Installation paths to Windows 8.1 Keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications Keep personal files only (data only) Keep nothing (clean install)

Windows 7

No

Yes

Yes

Cross-architecture installation (32-bit to 64-bit) Windows 7

No

No

No

Cross-language Windows 7

No

Yes

Yes

Windows 8

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cross-architecture installation (32-bit to 64-bit) Windows 8

No

No

No

Cross-language Windows 8

No

Yes

Yes

Windows 8.1

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cross-architecture installation (32-bit to 64-bit) Windows 8.1

No

No

No

Cross-language Windows 8.1

No

Yes

Yes

This section describes the operating system editions from which you can upgrade to editions of Windows 8.

You can upgrade to Windows 8 and keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications from the following Windows operating system editions:

  • Windows 7 Starter

  • Windows 7 Home Basic

  • Windows 7 Home Premium

You can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications from the following Windows operating system editions:

  • Windows 7 Starter

  • Windows 7 Home Basic

  • Windows 7 Home Premium

  • Windows 7 Professional

  • Windows 7 Ultimate

You can upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise (Volume License) from the following operating system editions:

  • Windows 7 Professional (Volume License)

  • Windows 7 Enterprise (Volume License)

  • Windows 8 (Volume License)

The following table shows the settings, personal files, and applications that you can keep during an upgrade.

noteNote
You cannot upgrade or keep your Windows settings, personal files, or applications if you are performing a cross-language installation. You can only keep your personal files during a cross-language installation by using Windows 8 Setup.

noteNote
Windows Upgrades on native boot virtual hard disks (.vhd or .vhdx files) are not supported. You must perform a clean installation on a new VHD.

 

Installation paths to Windows 8 Keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications Keep Windows settings and personal files (data and system settings) Keep personal files only (data only) Keep nothing

Windows XP (Service Pack 3 or later)

No

No

Yes

Yes

Windows Vista

No

No

Yes

Yes

Windows Vista with SP1

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cross-architecture installation (32-bit to 64-bit) Windows Vista with SP1 or later

No

No

No

No

Cross-language Windows Vista with SP1 or later

No

No

Yes

Yes

Windows 7

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Cross-architecture installation (32-bit to 64-bit) Windows 7

No

No

No

No

Cross-language Windows 7

No

No

Yes

Yes

Windows 8

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Cross-architecture installation (32-bit to 64-bit) Windows 8

No

No

No

No

Cross-language Windows 8

No

No

Yes

Yes

See Also

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