Add features: FAQ

For details about what service packs are available, see Add features.

To add features to Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, your PC must be running an activated copy of Windows. If you're having trouble activating Windows, see Why can't I activate Windows?

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How do I add features?

Depending on the version of Windows you're running, you can use Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 to get an edition of Windows that has more features than your current edition.

First, you need to buy a product key. You can buy a new product key online using Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8—but you need to use that key on the PC you used to buy it. The product key will only be associated with that PC and can't be used on another PC. Product keys are available at local retailers. Just make sure to buy a product key that's specifically for Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 in the store—available as the Pro Pack or Media Center Pack.

Once you buy a product key and enter it into Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8, new features will be added to your PC automatically and you'll have a new edition of Windows.

Notes

  • You might not be able to buy a product key online in some countries and regions.

  • You can only add features to Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 KN, and Windows 8.1 N, or Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 KN, and Windows 8 N.

  • If Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 isn't available on your PC, you won't be able to install the Pro Pack or Media Center Pack.

To install features

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter add features in the search box, and then tap or click Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you have already bought your key, tap or click I already have a product key, enter it, and then tap or click Next. If the product key doesn't work, contact support.

    • If you haven't bought your key, and it's available online in your country or region, you can buy it now by tapping or clicking I want to buy a product key online. If it's not available online, you'll need to go to a local retailer.

  4. Read the license terms, select the check box to accept the license terms, and then tap or click Add features.

What features are available?

There are two different feature packs available for Windows 8.1 or Windows 8:

  • The Windows 8.1 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Pro Pack have enhanced networking and data encryption features—and include Windows Media Center—but you need to have Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 already installed and activated on your PC.

  • The Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack and Windows 8 Media Center Pack offer Windows Media Center, but you need to have Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 8 Pro already installed and activated.

For more details about these options, see the Add features webpage on the Windows website.

What happens when I add features?

When you add features to Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, you get an edition of Windows that has more features than you current edition. Nothing will happen to your apps, files, and settings.

What if I can't install the feature pack I bought?

If you weren't able to install the feature pack you bought, contact support. There might be an app on your PC that's preventing the installation.

How much does it cost to add features?

You'll see pricing info for each option in Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8. You can also go to a local retailer to see prices and buy a product key.

How do I buy a product key to add features?

You can buy a product key online using Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 in some countries and regions.

You can also buy one at a local retailer in most places. Make sure to buy a product key that's for Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 specifically.

How do I turn features on or off?

Some features in Windows can be turned on or off, such as Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer.

To turn Windows features on or off

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter Turn Windows features on or off in the search box, and then tap or click Turn Windows features on or off.

  3. To turn a Windows feature on, select the check box next to the feature. To turn a Windows feature off, clear the check box.

  4. Tap or click OK.

Some Windows features are grouped together in folders, and some folders contain subfolders with additional features. If a check box is partially checked or is dimmed, then some of the items inside the folder are turned on and some are turned off. To view the contents of a folder, double-tap or double-click it.

What happened to Windows Anytime Upgrade?

Windows Anytime Upgrade isn't included in Windows 8.1 or Windows 8. Instead, you can use Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 to get a different edition.

Can I go back to the edition of Windows that my PC was running before I added features?

Yes, but you'll need to do a clean installation of your previous edition of Windows, which means that your files, apps, and settings won't be saved. To do this, you'll need your original Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 installation disc and the product key that came with it. For more info about a clean installation, see How to perform a clean installation of Windows.

Can I add features to both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows?

Yes, you can add features to both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. But if you currently have a 32-bit version of Windows, you can't use Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 to get a 64-bit version. And if you have a 64-bit version, you can't get a 32-bit version.

Can I upgrade a previous version of Windows by adding features?

No, you can't upgrade previous versions of Windows to Windows 8.1 or Windows 8. You can only use Add features to Windows 8.1 or Add features to Windows 8 if you already have Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 and want to get a different edition that has more features.

Can I add features to more than one PC?

Yes, but you'll need to buy a product key for each PC that you want to add features to.

Can I add features to my Single Language edition of Windows?

Yes. If you bought the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack or Windows 8 Pro Pack, you should be able to install it and activate Windows successfully.

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