How To Tell If You're Running Windows 8.1 Update


If you're using Windows 8, you've probably clicked on the reminder at some point to get the free upgrade to 8.1, which fixes a whole load of gotchas and makes the operating system slightly nicer to use.

But what about the much-publicised Windows 8.1 Update, which is an updated version of 8.1?  Have you got that yet and, if not, how do you get it?

Unlike the switch from 8.0 to 8.1, the move to 8.1 Update isn't something that you need to elect to install.  It will happen automatically if you have the Automatic Updates feature switched on.  And it's important that you do run 8.1 Update, as Microsoft has said it won't be producing any further bugfixes or security updates for Win8.x users who aren't running 8.1 Update.

Trouble is, there's no easy way to check that the 8.1 Update has installed on your computer.  There's no command that lets you check it out, and the Windows version number stays the same.  So if you're puzzling your situation, here's how to find out.

1.  If you don't have a touch screen, and your PC now boots straight to the desktop, then you're running Windows 8.1 Update

2.  If your Start screen now sports a search button (a magnifying glass icon) in the top right hand corner, you're running Windows 8.1 Update

3.  If you can right-click on a tile in the Start menu and you see a menu, then you're running Windows 8.1 Update


If none of these 3 things applies to you, then you're not running 8.1 Update yet.  Make sure that you have turned on automatic updates, and it should be downloaded within the next few days.



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Isn't it safer to simply check your update history for KB2919355? You can scroll through your update history or, use FIND (Control-F) to search the ReportingEvents.log in the Software Distribution folder. I changed my computer to launch straight to the desktop as soon as it was included as an option, which was well before this particular Update.

I occasionally get a blue field across the monitor saying that 8.1 is available, is free and do I want to install it, or wording to that effect. But when I click on the "Install" button I'm taken to the App store leaving no apparent clue as to just how to install it. When I try to get it through a third party or from the same thing happens. System info still indicates that I have the Windows 8, so I can only assume I don't have 8.1 or the Update. Got any idea what's going on here?

Does this pertain to MS Server 2012 R2, too? I know it also had an Update 1 (or whatever you want to call it). If you don't install it, do you continue to get updates?

yes it also pertains to Server 2012 R2. It is recommended by MS that the you install the update 1.

Recommended yes, but NOT required like this is for Win 8.1.


Great article about goofy Micro$oft. Thanks.

Jojo Yee: It tells me "windows 8.1 Pro", I do not know about the word update but when I follow the above instructions "2. If your Start screen now sports a search button (a magnifying glass icon) in the top right hand corner, you're running Windows 8.1 Update" I have that magnifying glass icon too. So I am passing test 2.
I checked three machines at work, and they all say Windows 8.1 Pro "no Update word there." They all came from Win 8.0, but I do not know whether they were updated manually or automatically.
I would have thought that control panel > system is quicker.

Yes, but it doesn't tell you if you have Windows 8.1 Update installed.

It does on mine, it states I am running windows 8.1 Pro
@bernardz, but I think it won't tell you it's Windows 8.1 Pro Update, or will it?