A lot of users seem to have trouble installing the new Windows 8.1 Preview update from Microsoft. People have been complaining that they are not able to get Windows 8.1 Update and are experiencing errors during the process. If you are not able to install windows 8.1 correctly, here are some possible solutions. 

Before delving into the core issues, there are a few things that you must know before installing Windows 8.1 Preview.

Installing Windows 8.1 Preview

  1. You must be signed into a Microsoft Account. So, if you are using a local account, switch to a Microsoft account. Options to switch back to the local account will be made available once you make the switch to the final build of Windows 8.1 which will be released later.
  2. Download the Update Pack (~ 15MB)from Microsoft and Install it. Restart your PC and you’ll be prompted to Update to Windows 8.1 as soon as you login to Windows.
    installing windows 8.1
  3. On opening the Windows Store App, you’ll see Windows 8.1 Preview being listed.
  4. The installation is around 2.44GB as listed and you may continue with the update process from there.

Error “The update is not applicable to your computer”

If you experience this error while installing the above (~15MB) file from Microsoft, you might need to install the package manually. You could use Command Prompt to get this installed.

1. Place and rename the Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.msu file in an easily accessible place, e.g. C:\8preview\windows81.msu
2. Run Command Prompt as Administrator and execute the following commands.
3.

Expand –F:* c:\8preview\windows81.msu C:\8preview\

4.

DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:c:\8preview\Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.cab

If you are running a 32-bit Operating System, the file name would be Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x86.cab so, replace it accordingly.

If you still have issues, you might need to set the system language to en-US (US English). This not advised by Microsoft for the sake of installing Windows 8.1.

  1. Press the windows Key and type, regedit.exe and open up the Windows Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Nls\Language
  3. Change the “InstallLanguage” string at the very bottom of the right pane to the value 0409 which is EN-US.

That should fix the issue and restart your PC and visit the Windows Store to see the Windows 8.1 Preview Listed in the very first place.

updating to windows 8.1 via store

“The Windows 8.1 Preview isn’t available right now. Please try again later.”

After getting past the above steps, you might encounter the above error. All you could do now, is just keep on trying since the Windows Servers might be barraged right now. Once you succeed, the update will begin installing and will be running in the background and you could continue with your work while it installs.

Here’s a Time Lapse Video of Windows 8.1 Installation Process

The above video will give you a quick overview of the whole process.


Amal Roy is the Founder-Editor of Computing Unleashed. A Technology Enthusiast, Windows Adept and a Proud Geek! | Connect with him on Google+