Your top questions

We've been listening! Here are answers to the questions you've been asking about the new Windows.

Where can I get help and learn how to use the new Windows?

The How To section of this site has a comprehensive set of tutorials for getting started, including how to get around, get online, and start downloading and using apps. The Support section will help you with any issues you have installing or using Windows 8.1.

Where else can I get answers?

The first time you run Windows 8.1, you'll see on-screen tips on how to get around and do basic tasks. Windows 8.1 also comes with the Help+Tips app. And you can also sign up for step-by-step instructional emails, tweet questions @WindowsSupport, or send us a message on Facebook.

Did the desktop disappear?

No. You’ll also still be able to work with the familiar desktop just as you did in earlier versions of Windows. If you spend most of your time on the desktop, you can even set Windows to go there instead of the Start screen when you first turn on your PC. Here's how.

I've heard it's for touchscreens. Can I still use a mouse and keyboard?

Yes. You can use it the way you want: touchscreen, mouse and keyboard, or both. You’ll also still be able to work with the familiar desktop just as you did in earlier versions of Windows.

Can I use my current software and printers?

Windows 8.1 is compatible with almost all of the peripherals (printers, cameras, keyboards, mice, etc.) that you’re using today with your Windows PC or tablet. You can also use most of the desktop programs you currently use, including Office programs.

To see if your peripherals will work with the new Windows, you can run a quick check now.

Do you have the apps I want?

Today we have over 100,000 apps in the Windows Store, including top apps for Windows like Hulu, Netflix, and Twitter—and we’re adding more every day. Windows 8.1 also comes with great apps built in, including Mail, Calendar, People, Skype, and more.

What if I buy a PC running Windows 8? Can I update to Windows 8.1?

Yes. If you're running Windows 8 you'll be able to get the free update to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store Here's how.

What is the Windows 8.1 with Bing edition?

The new Windows 8.1 with Bing edition provides all the same rich experiences that Windows 8.1 offers with the latest update, and comes with Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. Windows 8.1 with Bing will primarily be available on new Windows devices in selected markets later in 2014.

Can I still buy earlier versions of Windows?

Windows XP and Windows Vista are no longer for sale and sales of Windows 7 will end soon. The good news is that Windows 8.1 gives you the power to work the way you always have, as well as a whole world of touchscreen entertainment and new, faster ways to get things done.

What is Windows RT 8.1?

Windows RT 8.1 is an operating system that's optimized for thin and light PCs with extended battery life. It differs from Windows 8.1 in that it runs only the apps that come with it—including a version of Office with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—and apps that you download from the Windows Store. It otherwise is very similar. Like Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 includes Windows Update, which automatically keeps your PC up to date, and Windows Defender, which provides virus and malware protection. Learn more about Windows RT tablets and PCs.

How do I get Windows 8.1?

  1. Get a new tablet or PC

    You can get the new Windows on a wide range of new thin and light tablets and PCs that fit your budget and lifestyle. If you are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, we recommend choosing a new tablet or PC to get the most out of your experience on Windows. If it’s been a while since you got a new PC, you may be surprised at how affordable some of them now are. The PC selector tool gives you personalized recommendations. We also have experts available to help you find your next tablet or PC. In the U.S., call 1-888-673-8746. For in-person assistance, visit a nearby Microsoft Store, find one of our new Windows Stores at Best Buy, or check out another retailer near you. You can also reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook and we'll do our best to respond. Give us a try!

  2. Upgrade your current PC

    To find out how to upgrade your current PC to Windows 8.1, go to the Buy Windows page.

New PCs for you

See how you can get things done and have more fun with a Windows 8.1 laptop, tablet, 2-in-1, or desktop.

Explore new PCs

A tablet, a laptop, and an all-in-one running Windows 8.1