How to: Windows 8.1 Upgrade not available in the Windows App Store
How to: Windows Update hangs - Downloading at 0%
How to: An Account with administrator privileges
I ran into a variety of problems as I tried to upgrade a Windows 8.0 machine to Windows 8.1. Here were the steps needed to resolve each issue.
Windows 8.0 users can upgrade to 8.1 for free.
Unfortunately, the upgrade is only available on the Windows App Store. This means you cannot use a local machine account to install and you must painfully download the upgrade for each machine (you cannot easily download the upgrade one time and distribute to multiple machines).
The Windows Store does not show any "Updates".
The Windows Store does not show any of your apps for update; no locally-installed updates are listed.
The upper-left corner of the Windows Store does not show e.g. "Updates (21)".
The Windows 8.1 "Update Windows" is not visible in the App Store.
The Windows App Store will not show updates until the underlying Windows Update features (e.g. Windows Installer) is patched with the latest bug fixes. You will find this problem is especially true if you restored an older image while rebuilding a machine.
1. Open the Windows Control Panel, select "Windows Update"
2. Manually click "Check for Updates"
3. Install all important updates and reboot the computer when done.
The Store should show "Update to Windows 8.1 for Free" as an available install. If you have a Volume License, MSDN or Technet license, or a preview edition of Windows 8, the App Store install method will not work. See the end of this article for other details.
If the update is still not visible, confirm you are logged in with a Windows Live account (and not a Local account). Most people have a Live Account. For details on how to tell, see this section: "You need an Administrator account...", below.
Windows Update Hangs - downloading updates stays at 0%
While trying to apply your first round of Windows Updates, the update begins but makes no progress, remaining at 0% - Installing Updates...., with no apparent activity.
1. Wait a respectable amount of time - say 5 or 10 minutes, looking for a %-status change, then
2. Click Stop Installation (Cancel) on the download.
3. Reboot the workstation gracefully.
4. Re-open the Control Panel, select Windows Update and click "Check for Updates" again. The update should proceed normally. I have no explanation on why this needs to be done on a first-time load of Windows Update. This is especially true on a new PC or a newly-imaged PC.
Once updated, reboot the workstation, even if it does not prompt.
On the second attempt, the update should begin downloading and installing.
If the install hangs at some other percentage, note if it is
installing the .dot-net framework 4.5, or 4.5. These take a long time
to download and install -- often taking 30 to 45 minutes. Be patient.
Next Step: Once updated and patched, open the Windows App Store and look for the Windows 8.1 Update; it should be available.
You need to use an account with Administrator Privileges in order to install.
When installing the Windows 8.1 Update from the Windows App Store, you may be prompted with a message "use an account with Administrator privileges in order to install."
Confirm your User Account has Administrator rights.
Likely, the machine has multiple users who can login to the workstation. By default new
user accounts created after the first Windows install are "standard," not
1. From the top-right of the Start Menu, click
your account name and change the login to the person with administrative
rights, typically the person who first booted or installed the
machine. Use this account to open the Windows Store and Install Windows 8.1.
Note: If your account is already an Administrative account, see Solution 2, below.
Alternately, use these steps to promote your current account to an administrator:
1. Open the Control Panel*, select "User Accounts".
In your account, click "Change your account type" (a
shield-icon-menu); you will be prompted for the administrator's
credentials, the next step.
On the security screen, choose the administrator account (typically the
account used when the workstation was first booted or first
installed). Type the credentials; this will promote your standard
user-id to an administrator.
Important: After typing the administrator's password and setting Administrative rights, gracefully
reboot the workstation before attempting to run the Windows App Store
install. The promoted account does not take effect until that
user logs out and back in again and a reset seems to give better results.
account has been promoted to Administrator, or once you have logged in with an Administrator's login, open the Windows App Store and launch the Windows 8.1 upgrade again.
*Opening the Control Panel
Open the right-edge Charms menu,
choose "Settings, Control Panel", or follow these steps to place the
Control Panel on the Start Menu.
In Windows 8.0, go to
the Start Screen. In an area below the tiles, "other-mouse-click" the
background" and choose "All Apps". Type the word "control".
Other-mouse-click the Control Panel tile and choose "Pin to Start". The
Control Panel is now on your Start Menu. Press Esc to dismiss the All
Programs Icon screen.
In Windows 8.1, go to the Start
Screen; Click on the background. In the lower-left, click the
down-arrow to expose all icons. Type the word "control".
Other-mouse-click the Control Panel tile and choose "Pin to Start"
If a non-Windows Live account is promoted to Administrator, it will still fail to install the Windows 8.1 upgrade. See Solution 2.
this solution if Solution 1 does not work. The issue: Only Microsoft
Live Accounts can use the Windows App Store. Secondly, the computer
must be registered as a "Trusted Computer" from Windows Live. Details,
Background: If the PC's login account is a "local account"
(and not a Microsoft/Microsoft Live account), you will not be able to
use the AppStore and you will not be able to download and install Windows 8.1. To see if your PC is a Local account, open the Charms menu, select "Change PC Settings" (bottom), select Accounts, then "Your Account". Look under your UserName. If it says "Disconnect" -- this is a Windows Live account; otherwise, it is a Local account.
Many People, when
starting up a new PC, create a Windows Live account without realizing
it and Solution 1 will have worked. But if you created a "fake"
Windows Live account (with a bad phone number and fake email), or never created a Windows Live account, you will
not be able to install from the App Store. These steps will work
around this issue.
Decision: Do you already have a Windows Live account, perhaps built on another PC?
If yes, do these next steps. If not, follow the "Live Account Does Not Exist" steps:
Steps: A Live Account Exists:
A Windows Live account, such as one used to install another PC, or as a second account on this PC, can be used to install Windows 8.1.
Check to see if you have a second login for this machine:
a. From the main Start Screen, click
the Profile-icon in the top-right.
b. Log out and login as the Windows
Live profile (this will show up as a second user who can login and is likely the account used to install and build this PC. If a second account does not exist, see the next set of steps.
c. If the second account exists, use that account to login, then install Windows 8.1.
If no second Login, but you have a Windows Live Account from another machine:
If you do not have a second account, but you have a Windows Live account, perhaps used on another PC or laptop, then follow these steps to enable that account on this PC.
- From your Local Administrator's account, open Windows Control Panel, "Users."
- Create a new user account
on this PC (steps not detailed here), and use the Windows Live account to establish its credentials. Note: As you build the account, nothing will happen on the screen; that account will not become active until used at least one time, as documented next.
- Important: Return to this User's Control Panel settings "Change the account type" in order to 'promote' this user to Administrator. See the top of this article for illustrated steps.
- Log out from the Local account and Login as the new Windows Live user. This builds the profile and activates the account.
- Open the Charms, Settings menu. Choose Change PC Settings" (the link at the bottom of the Settings screen). On the left-nav, click "Users". On the detail side, click "Trust this PC" (or if not available, "Verify this user".
- Once this is done, logout and back in with this account.
- Start the Windows 8.1 install.
Steps: A Live Account Does Not Exist:
If a second account does not exist or you do not have a Windows Live account, create one now.
1. From your current local (non Microsoft account), use Control Panel, Users.
Create a new user.
this a Microsoft Live account, (do not create a local machine
account). When creating the account, you must use a legitimate email
address and a legitimate phone.
2. From the main Windows 8
Tile screen, click the profile-picture in the upper-right and login as
the new account. This creates the profile, but this profile does not have enough rights to install.
3. Sadly, you must logout as this user and log back in with the original Local Administrator's account.
4. Open Control Panel, Users. "Change Other Account." Modify the
newly-built Windows Live user. Using the steps from the top of this article, promote this user from a "Standard User" to
5. Even more saddness: Logout and re-Login as the new Windows Live user.
Open the Charms Menu, choose "Settings". Click the
"Change PC Settings" (link, bottom of charm menu). This will open into a
new Metro-style Settings Screen.
6a. On Left-nav, click "Users" (user accounts)
On detail side, just under your profile picture, click "Trust this
PC". Notice, you have to "Trust this PC" while using a Windows Live
account and the Internet must be active. This is different than validating your copy of Windows. If the PC has already been trusted, you may see a "Verify User"; click this instead.
will send a text message to your Windows Live registered phone number
or will verify with the registered email (this is why you can't fake
this). If it sends a text message, type the last four digits of your
phone, when prompted. Then, from the text message, type the 7-digit authentication number, as sent. This confirms the trust.
7. Return to the App Store. Windows 8.1 should install.
speaking, if you want to update any apps in the app store, you will
have to use the Live Account. Microsoft is forcing you to register and
login your desktop.
You do not know the Administrator's account / password
Recover the password online by re-setting your Windows Live Password. From another machine or another account with access to the internet, go to this link:
An email will be sent. (This assumes your administrator account is a Windows Live account and not a local machine account and assumes you can get to your email account from a browser via webmail.)
Other Possible Issues:
If your Windows 8 was originally installed from these sources, using the Store to update will fail.
Windows 8 Enterprise (See your system Administrator for the update)
Windows 8 Volume Licensing (See your system admin)
Windows 8 MSDN or Technet (download a new ISO and install from scratch)
Windows 8 Preview
Your comments on this article are welcome.
Delete Windows.old folder after upgrading to 8.1 - saves about 4G of disk space.