System requirements

Windows 8.1

If you want to run Windows 8.1 on your PC, here’s what it takes:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz)* or faster with support for PAE, NX and SSE2 (more info)

  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

If you’re running Windows 8 you can get a free update to Windows 8.1. Just tap or click the Windows Store tile on your Start screen. Once you’ve moved up to Windows 8.1 you should get the update automatically. If you don’t, follow these steps to get it manually using Windows Update.

Additional requirements to use certain features:

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch (more info)

  • To access the Windows Store and to download, run, and snap apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768

  • Microsoft account required for some features

  • Internet access (ISP fees might apply)

  • Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database

  • Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance

  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software (more info)

  • BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 8.1 Pro only)

  • BitLocker requires either Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 or a USB flash drive (Windows 8.1 Pro only)

  • Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2 GB of RAM (Windows 8.1 Pro only)

  • A TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Centre (Windows 8.1 Pro Pack and Windows 8.1 Media Centre Pack only)

  • Miracast requires a display adapter which supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.3, and a WiFi adapter that supports WiFi Direct

  • WiFi Direct Printing requires a WiFi adapter that supports WiFi Direct and a device that supports WiFi Direct Printing

  • Free internet TV content varies by geography, some content might require additional fees (Windows 8.1 Pro Pack and Windows 8.1 Media Centre Pack only)

  • To install a 64-bit OS on a 64-bit PC, your processor needs to support CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF

  • InstantGo works only with computers designed for Connected Standby

If your PC is currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8 you can check to see if it meets the requirements by running the Upgrade Assistant. We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer’s website for info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.

*Prior versions of Windows, including Windows 8.1, have limited support when running on new processors and chipsets from manufacturers such as Intel, AMD, NVidia and Qualcomm. For more info, please see the Support Lifecycle FAQ.

Windows 8

If you want to run Windows 8 on your PC, here’s what it takes:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz)* or faster with support for PAE, NX and SSE2 (more info)

  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Additional requirements to use certain features:

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch (more info)

  • To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768

  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768

  • Internet access (ISP fees might apply)

  • Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database

  • Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance

  • Microsoft account required for some features

  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software (more info)

  • BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)

  • BitLocker requires either Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 or a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)

  • Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2 GB of RAM (Windows 8 Pro only)

  • A TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Centre (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Centre Pack only)

  • Free Internet TV content varies by geography; some content might require additional fees (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Centre Pack only)

You can check to see if your PC meets the requirements for Windows 8 by running the Upgrade Assistant.

*Prior versions of Windows, including Windows 8, have limited support when running on new processors and chipsets from manufacturers such as Intel, AMD, NVidia and Qualcomm. For more information, please see the Support Lifecycle FAQ.