Download Windows 8.1 ISOs Straight From Microsoft With This Neat Trick

When Microsoft launched Windows 8.1 in the Windows Store, it made it a point in saying that it would not be releasing ISO files for those looking for a clean install of the new operating system.

A company employee even confirmed this much in a recent statement.

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But all is not lost for users that want to download a Windows 8.1 ISO straight from Microsoft — the company’s very own upgrade assistant can actually help with the deployment of the new OS this way. And the whole deal is as simple as it gets.

Oh, by the way, this little trick was first reported here.

The Windows 8 upgrade assistant saves the legitimate key in the Windows Registry, and users can use the Windows 8.1 install assistant to download an ISO of the latest operating system from Redmond.

All you need to do is head over to this link and then scroll down to the bottom of the page. Then click on ‘Install Windows 8’ and the upgrade assistant will be downloaded. Next, fire up the upgrade assistant and put in your legitimate Windows 8 key.

Now hit Next and the application will start the downloading process. Once it does, close it completely.

Go back to Microsoft’s page, and now download the ‘Install Windows 8.1’ application. Then launch the Windows 8.1 upgrade assistant tool and let it complete the download.

Once the downloading process is complete you will get multiple installation options to choose from, including whether you want to install Windows 8.1 right away, install by creating media or start the installation process at a later time from your desktop.

Select ‘Install by creating media’, hit Next and then the ‘ISO file’ option.

Do keep in mind that the upgrade assistant downloads the Windows 8.1 flavor that it finds most appropriate for your system — meaning you will not be able to get both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the new operating system, only one of it.

  • Ray C

    The reason I was going to do this was because I have an Enterprise version of 8. If I try to use my key, even the non-KMS key, it tells me “this key can’t be used to download a retail copy.” Now this could possibly be because I’m not on the system that has Windows 8 on it. Of course I’ve upgrade that one to Window 8.1 Enterprise trial now.

    • Rodney Longoria

      Hey @disqus_aUjJoK3PRk:disqus, I’ve been trying this trick but sneaky Microsoft keeps telling me after I enter the key and click Next, that “We cannot connect right now. Check your internet connection and try again.” Hello! I’m connected right now … DUH! But I’m thinking either they are busy or are effectively trying to prevent me from doing so. Argh!

      • Ray C

        You’re going to the Windows Store or the Windows 8.1 update site?

        • Rodney Longoria

          I’m doing exactly as stated in the above article Ray, via the Windows 8 upgrade assistant. Everything works fine until it gets to the download part. Oh well, I’ll keep giving it the old college try for a couple more days.

          • Ray C

            I can’t even that that far because it’s not accepting my product keys. I was told there was dummy key you could enter. Did you post a reply on WinSuperSIte because I remember someone posting who was getting the same error as you

          • Rodney Longoria

            I do go there too every day, but that wasn’t my posting. It is accepting my key, which is a legit one sent by Microsoft via email when I upgraded electronically. No biggie really, it just would be nice to have the ISO.

          • Ray C

            Microsoft sent you a new key after your 8.1 Upgrade? Were you upgrade from an OS prior to Windows 8?

          • Rodney Longoria

            My laptop came with Win 7 installed so I updated that to Win 8 Preview. I paid the $19 that Microsoft offered when Win 8 RTM came out, so that key is legit. I went from that to Win 8.1 Preview (ISO d/l) and updated to the RTM 8.1. All is on the up-and up, and I meant the key was for Win 8. I snagged a Win 8.1 key that works from the TechNet site (though I’m not a subscriber, there are ways).

            Just curious, do you use the Belarc Advisor (run it as Admin)? If not, look in to it.

          • Ray C

            I’ll check it out

          • Rodney Longoria

            It’ll give you the key codes currently in use without you having to dig into the registry. 😉

  • Rodney Longoria

    Since I don’t know where else to mention this, I’ll do so here. I visit this site constantly throughout the day, and I’ve found a neat trick that assists me doing that. If you are using Internet Explorer 11 (as I am and it only works on the desktop version), I go this site first, then click on the Tools icon in the upper-right corner of the address bar, and select “Add site to Apps”. Then, I keep the browser open but minimize it when not in use rather than close it.

    I think it’s a cool shortcut but I wished it would stay that way. Try it and let me know what you think, or if anyone knows a way of making this permanent. 🙂

    • Ray C

      I’ll check it out. I’m not sure why this has to be such a headache. I actually advised our guy who buys our software and licenses and makes our ISOs that you can’t just do an upgrade to 8.1 if you’re using a volume or Enterprise version. He had absolutely no idea.

      • Rodney Longoria

        I’m just using the vanilla Win 8.1 GA at the moment.

        • Ray C

          Ok but did you ever get it to download? I have a key but I keep getting cannot connect message

          • Rodney Longoria

            Ah, sorry Ray. No, I have yet to get it to download. I’ve been getting the same message.

          • Ray C

            Ok, someone told me that the error was due to not using a genuine retail key, but if you purchased a key that should not be a problem

          • Rodney Longoria

            Mine is legit, so that cannot be the case.

          • Ray C

            Maybe it actually has to be from a retail box. Maybe an upgrade key is considered a different kind of key

          • Rodney Longoria

            Well, that part has never been mentioned so I doubt that. But in any case, I’m using a legit version of Win 8.1 RTM so I’m happy. 🙂

          • Ray C

            I don’t know what the problem is, but I have a Windows 8 box I can’t upgrade because this is an Enterprise laptop, and whomever is part of our volume license program has not created an ISO

          • Ray C

            Well, I guess they mean a key off a Retail Box. I’m not really sure what MS is thinking making it this difficult for someone to upgrade the way they want

  • cal

    it can be done .Microsoft tech did it for windows 8.1