Upgrade your Surface RT / Windows RT Device 8.1 Preview to 8.1 RTM

I’ve been running the 8.1 Preview on my Windows RT device since it was available. It was a nice improvement. Yesterday the RTM version of 8.1 was available, and I wanted to get it on my Surface RT running Windows RT. I checked Windows Update and it wasn’t an option. I checked the Store, and I was seeing some odd behavior. I couldn’t’ find it via search, although I wasn’t 100% of the title of what I was looking for. I did some digging, and it turns out there’s an easy way to do the upgrade. Open a browser and type in “ms-windows-store:WindowsUpgrade” (without the quotes). This will open a link to the Upgrade in the Windows Store. From there I clicked the install button and let it do it’s magic. I’m now running Windows 8.1 RTM on my Surface RT.

Warning: The store just showed the spinning dotted circle for a while after clicking install. The machine was installing the update during this time. You can bring up the task manager to see if the machine is working. Press Ctrl-Shift-Escape to bring it up. Hit the more details arrow. Then switch to the performance tab. You should see CPU activity. Mine stayed above 20% the whole time and spiked higher.

UPDATE: It appears that the 8.1 preview has been temporarily pulled. If this method doesn’t work, the update is likely not back yet.

Comments (34)

  1. Dan says:

    Had the same issue, couldn't find the upgrade in the Windows Store – thanks for the pointer.

  2. Jason says:

    Thanks, been banging my head on this one. Thought maybe systems running a little slow with people upgrading or something. Appreciate it, worked for me.

  3. Kat says:

    I did this and it did open the link to download but when I click to download it opens up the Windows store and does nothing else. I did this twice and just keeps opening up the windows store….

  4. John says:

    Astounding! I banged my head on this for a couple of hours yesterday. Why Microsoft couldn't make this easier is beyond me.

    Thanks for the help!

  5. ben says:

    This is still not working for me.  When I open the link.  The store opens but just sits there with the spinning "I am thinking" animation.  

  6. ben says:

    I rebooted.  Opened the link and it worked.  It is now downloading.  Thanks for the help

  7. Jim Tobin says:

    Thanks for the tip!  Worked for me!

  8. Ron Grzywacz says:

    Be patient. It should install once you tell it to. The UI might get a little screwy unfortunately. Check your machine performance to see if it's doing anything. I posted how in the warning section above.

  9. Jon says:

    I'm still using Windows 8 RT. I was expecting an update…..nothing yet.

  10. Ron Grzywacz says:

    This should work if you're on the Windows RT RTM build. It's just taking you directly to the installation page for the "Upgrade app".

  11. Florin says:

    Duuuude, awesome, thanks!!! I even tried restoring to factory specs and the effin' recovery disk wouldn't work (it said "This is not a valid recovery disk", the one I had just created 10 minutes earlier… Did Microsoft lay off the Surface RT QA team? 🙂

  12. Tony says:

    Thank goodness someone has an answer, I was frustrated trying to find an answer, THANK YOU.

  13. Morten says:

    I was about to give up on this upgrade. Thank you!!

  14. Allan says:

    I did as instructed and the browser url took me to the Windows RT 8.1 page in the store however when I tapped the download button, it paused and worked for a few seconds and then dropped back to the store home page and nothing else happened.  I'll try rebooting and try it again.

  15. Allan says:

    Ok after rebooting and going back to the store it now says downloading Windows RT 8.1 in the upper left.  Hopefully that means it's actually downloading although after several minutes there has been no progress.

  16. Tommy says:

    Thank you so much for this! I had to click on install and then reboot the surface to get it to show downloading.

  17. arthur says:


    It got me to windows 8.1 download in app store

    Ty 🙂

  18. Jbeelby says:

    I'm getting the message "windows 8.1 preview isn't available right now. please try again later"

  19. Joey says:

    I'm getting the message "windows 8.1 preview isn't available right now. please try again later"

  20. Not working for me. Unhappy customer. says:

    Not working for me. The link brings me to the to the windows store front page. Windows 8.1 is nowhere to be found. Just verified: 8.1 preview on surface RT with all the latest windows updates. Restart doesn't work. Creating a new user doesn't work. Creating a new store account doesn't work.

    What now? I can't roll back to 8.0 nor upgrade to 8.1 RTM. Should I throw my surface in the trash?

  21. JAB says:

    I seem to require update kb2871389, which is not in my update history or available via auto updates. So the link brings me only to the store. Any idea how to fix? No way to circumvent the auto updater that is failing to supply it.

  22. shahid says:

    I've tried all the options everyone has and nothing… very weird! Any further ideas would be great…

  23. Rich says:

    I have been struggling with this upgrade as well from the preview to RTM and I am stuck at "Couldn't update Windows RT 8.1. We've restored your previous version of Windows to this PC."


  24. Surface User says:

    I tried "ms-widows-store:WindowsUpgrade" but it brings me straight to the store page, nothing about Windows 8.1 installation. Any ideas on what I'm missing?

  25. John says:

    Have 2 Surface RTs. The one with 8.0 upgraded without a problem. The other, which has 8.1 Preview won't upgrade even using the suggestions mentioned here. Come on Microsoft, you can do better!

  26. Travis says:

    I have a similar issue as John.  Upgraded my laptop to 8.1 and now I can't upgrade my tablet.  I could see the upgrade available in the store prior but now it's gone after the laptop upgrade.  The only thing I can think of is I'm using the save Live login on both devices.  The store sees the two different devices so why the RT upgrade disappeared is beyond me.

  27. Travis says:

    I'm using the same Live login, that is.

  28. John says:

    Perhaps MSFT decided that was too easy and changed things.  I tried typing in "ms-windows-store:WindowsUpgrade" (without the quotes) and all it did was take me to the store.  I tried it three different times.  I used Internet Explorer–maybe that was my problem.  Any suggestions?

  29. John says:

    Ars Technica posted a notice from MS that the upgrade to RT 8.1 has been pulled from the Windows Store due to a "situation". This notice was posted 20 minutes ago.

  30. ThePaladinTech says:

    The 8.1 update for RT was temporarily pulled due to an issue:


  31. John says:

    After reading the Ars Technical article it appears that those of us who couldn't update may have dodged a bullet.

  32. Tim says:

    I have gone to the windows store to search, tried the URL provided above and do not see any upgrade option.  did they pull the 8.1 upgrade from the store?

  33. Arun says:

    This is ridiculously hard. What kind of daft folks are they hiring for the widow team?

  34. mesuis@outlook.fr says: