Windows 8.1 Update 1 download available now for free

The Windows 8.1 Update 1 download will be available sometime today, April 8, making it easier for keyboard and mouse users.

Microsoft is launching the first Windows 8.1 Update as a free download for anyone running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 directly from the Windows Store or as an automatic update on your device.

If your PC is already running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, the system requirements are nearly identical so you should have no issues when installing.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 – How to Download
If you want the Windows 8.1 Update, there are several ways to get access to the free download.

Firstly, the majority of you Windows 8.1 users should automatically be prompted to install the update. The download should take between 30 minutes and several hours to download and install, depending on your internet speed.

However, the download happens in the background so you can carry on with other tasks until it’s ready to install. That install will take between 20 minutes and an hour though, so make sure to save all your documents before hitting that install button.

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Those of you already running Windows 8.1 will need to remember that failing to install the update will affect the running of your PC for future updates.

“Failure to install this Windows 8.1 Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014”,” explained a recent Microsoft blog post.

For those of you making the move from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, you can get Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store from today as well.

You’ll need about 3GB of free space to install and we recommend you make a backup of any important files just in case.

All of your existing Windows Store apps won’t make the transition with you, but you can reinstall them all at once after the install via the Windows Store.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Features
The Windows 8.1 Update 1 aims to make it easier to use with a mouse and keyboard, if you don’t share Microsoft’s love of touchscreen for desktop PCs.

The Power and Search buttons have been relocated to the upper-right hand corner next to your account, and you will notice new Close and Minimize buttons on Windows Store apps. A Windows Store app now presents the taskbar when you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen.

As a default, the Windows 8.1 Update will force your PC to boot the desktop. You can still choose to boot to the Metro Start Screen or desktop, but following the update it will automatically take you to the desktop when you start up your PC.

You can also pin both desktop and Windows Store apps on your taskbar as well as your favourite websites.

Right clicking on a Live Tile now offers a context menu giving you customisation options and the ability to change its size or uninstall it.

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