Free windows version 8.1 download

Microsoft is offering a free download of windows version 8.1 today, can I download it and still keep my windows version 7 home premium?

Question Info

Last updated November 13, 2018 Views 182,708 Applies to:


Hi James,



If you want to try Windows 8.1 Preview without having it over installed on your Windows 7 operating system, the only option that we have is to install it as a dual boot on a separate partition. To do this, we need to install it using the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files (.iso).  You can download its ISO file from this link:


Download Windows 8.1 Preview ISO Files


You may follow these steps for the same:


Step 1: Back up your data


Before starting with the process, make sure you create a backup of your data; so that they are safe and can be restored in case anything goes wrong. You may refer to this link to take a backup of your data on Windows 7 operating system.


After creating a backup of your data, we need to create a partition to install Windows 8.1 Preview.


Step 2: Create a partition


You will need to install Windows 8.1 Preview to a partition that is at least 20 GB and is separate from your existing operating system. Do the following for the same:


a)       Click on “Start” button, right-click on “Computer, select “Manage, and then click “Disk Management.

b)       Find your system hard drive in the bottom pane. 

c)       Right-click on the system drive and then click “Shrink Volume.  Shrink it until you have at least 20 GB of space left on the end of the drive. (If you already have 20 GB of unallocated space, you can skip to the next step.)

d)       Click the “Unallocated” block on that drive and click “New Simple Volume.

e)       Follow the wizard through the next few screens, such as assigning it a drive letter.  For the Volume label, choose a label you’ll recognize like “Windows 8.1 Preview”.


Once this is done, go ahead with the next step.


Step 3: Install Windows 8.1 Preview


Download the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO image from the link given in the beginning of this post. The ISO image must then be converted into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive.  You may find the instructions for this on the download page.


Once you have created the installation media, just need to boot your PC to your Windows 8.1 installation media. Choose your language, click “Install Now, and choose “Custom when asked which type of install you’d like to perform. .  When prompted, select the blank partition that you have created in Step 2.


Hope this is helpful.


Rajesh Govind - Microsoft Support Engineer

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