Does your small business run on Windows 8.1? If so, you'll need to install the Windows 8.1 Update within the next few weeks to keep receiving support. In addition to recently pulling the plug on Windows XP, Microsoft announced it will no longer support Windows 8.1 after May 13. To continue receiving security patches, bug fixes and future updates, Windows 8.1 users will be required to migrate to Windows 8.1 Update (the change does not apply to Windows 8 or Windows 7 users).
Here's how to upgrade your computer from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update.
Note: There have been several reports of errors during Windows 8.1 Update installation for enterprise users. Despite the urgency, if you need to migrate multiple systems, you may want to wait until closer to the May 13 deadline. Although Microsoft has issued patches to fix some of these errors, the company advises IT professionals to hold off on deployment until the proper updates are released.
How to install Windows 8.1 Update
1. Before you install
The first step is to backup your system. Windows will retain your files and apps after the installation, but a backup is always a good idea should anything go wrong. Also, keep in mind that apps from the Windows Store will not automatically appear after the update; however, you will be able to reinstall them shortly after. Next, make sure your systems are ready: devices must be plugged in, connected to the Internet and have antivirus turned off. [Top Online Data Backup Services]
2. Download and install Windows 8.1 Update
Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 users will automatically receive the update over the next few weeks, depending on their update settings. To manually download Windows 8.1 Update now, go to the Start Screen and open the Windows Store. Click on Windows 8.1 Update, then click on Download. The downloader will automatically check for system requirements and any app compatibility issues. You will also be prompted if anything else needs to be done before installation.
Depending on several factors — such as computer and Internet speeds — download and installation will take anywhere from half an hour to several hours. You can continue using your computer in the meantime, but make sure to save your work as you will be required to restart. And if you are away from your computer, it will restart on its own and automatically close any open files and apps.
Restarting your system will take 20 minutes to an hour. You may also be required to restart more than once.
3. Finish Windows 8.1 Update installation
First, you'll be prompted to accept Microsoft's license terms. Not accepting the terms will revert your system back to Windows 8.1.
Next, you'll be able to choose your computer settings, which includes network, browser, app, driver, security and other configurations. You can either use the recommended Express settings or customize it.
Finally, you'll be asked to sign in to your Microsoft account to start using Windows 8.1 Update. If you don't already have a Microsoft account, you can sign in using your previous Windows account, then register for a Microsoft username and password.
Originally published on Business News Daily.