How to update to 8.1

Josh_F asked on

How do I update my Surface RT to Windows RT 8.1?




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Reagan_L replied on

AS OF 10/22/2013 5:00:00 AM


The update to Windows RT 8.1 is once again available as a free download in the Windows Store for users with Windows RT devices. We immediately suspended availability of the update after reports that a very small number of Surface RT customers—around 1 out of every 1,000 Surface RT 8.1 installs—had experienced an issue that left the update incomplete and their devices unbootable. This was due to a rare situation where firmware updates had not completed at the time of the update to RT 8.1. In most cases, if a customer encountered this issue the result was simply an extra reboot. However, for a very small percentage, the boot configuration data was affected which prevented a successful boot. We worked to quickly resolve the issue and now encourage customers to update their Surface RT devices. Surface Pro and 8.1 customers were not impacted by this issue.


As previously announced, there is a recovery solution available for download here for Surface RT customers who experienced the installation issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If an issue occurs with our software or devices, we take immediate steps to ensure a quality experience for every single customer—that’s been our driving priority in this case, despite the very limited number of customers impacted. We are grateful to the customers who shared their Surface RT devices, assisting our efforts to determine the root cause quickly.



AS OF 10/20/2013 8:00:00 PM


Based on our investigations of a situation customers have encountered updating to Windows RT 8.1, we can confirm that as of now this is a Windows update issue only affecting Surface RT customers. While only less than 1 out of every 1,000 ( or less than 0.1%) Surface RT customers who have installed Windows RT 8.1 have been impacted, improving their experience and ensuring their systems are fully operable as quickly as possible is our number one priority. We have made recovery media available for download here along with actionable guidance for affected customers. We continue to work towards making the Windows RT 8.1 update available in the Windows Store again and apologize for any inconvenience. Further updates will be provided as they become available.




AS OF 10/18/2013 11:50:00 PM


Windows RT 8.1. Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1.  As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store.  We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience.  We will provide updates as they become available.  

Thank you again for posting.

Kind regards.

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Easywin replied on

Hi slartibartfirst,

The 8.1 upgrade creates an 8.1 recovery partition in your Surface RT. In case of a reset your device will go back to Windows RT 8.1, but if you use a recovery drive with Windows RT 8.0 after the reset your device will go back to Windows RT 8.0. This is the only way for RT owners to go back the Windows RT 8.0, even if it's not recommended because the OS and the Apps will follow the new 8.1and the procedure to go back to a previous version on an RT could be not so safe.



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