Microsoft Windows 8

Which Windows 8 version is right for me?

There are two versions to choose from: Windows 8 Pro, and the Windows 8 Pro Packs. Windows 8 Pro makes it easy to transfer your files and settings from Windows 7, XP or Vista, while Windows 8 Pro Packs allow you to move up to Pro on a PC or tablet that is using standard Windows 8, getting you ready for business.

What is Windows 8 N Edition?

Windows 8 N editions do not come with Windows Media Player.

Can I upgrade my PC from an older version of Windows to Windows 8?

Yes. Your upgrade experience will depend on what version of Windows you currently have. For example, if your PC is running Windows 7 Home Basic or Home Premium, your files, programs and settings will easily transfer to Windows 8 Pro. If your PC is running Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, Windows XP or Windows Vista, you’ll need to reinstall your programs. Some features (like those that support touchscreen) may require a new PC.

To find out if your PC is ready for Windows 8, simply go to and download Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, which will provide you with a full compatibility report.

How can I tell if my devices and apps will work with Windows 8?

Windows 8 generally works with the same peripheral devices and apps that work with Windows 7. In some cases, a device or program might require an update, or you might need to uninstall some apps, and then reinstall them after you upgrade to Windows 8.

The best way to tell if your apps and devices will work before you upgrade is to run Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, a free program that scans your current hardware, apps, and devices for compatibility. Make sure all the devices that you need to work with your PC, like printers and monitors, are connected to your PC and turned on before you run Upgrade Assistant.

After Upgrade Assistant scans your PC to determine what's compatible, it provides a compatibility report that lists any issues that you might need to address when you upgrade. You can save or print this report to use later.

If you'd like to look up compatibility info for a specific device or program, you can search for in the Windows Compatibility Centre (

What settings, apps, and files can I keep if I upgrade?

You can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 8 Release Preview, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, or Windows Developer Preview, but you might not be able to keep all of your files, apps, and settings. The following shows what you can keep during an upgrade, depending on the version of Windows you currently have running on your PC:

Upgrading from Windows 8 Release Preview? You can keep personal files
Upgrading from Windows 7? You can keep apps, settings, and personal files
Upgrading from Windows Vista? You can keep Windows settings and personal files
Upgrading from Windows XP? You can keep personal files

What are the system requirements for upgrading to Windows 8?

• 1 GHz processor>
• 1024 x 768 screen resolution • 2 GB RAM
• 20 GB hard disk space
• DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Additional requirements to use certain features:

• Internet access (fees may apply)
• For touchscreen, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multi-touch
• Microsoft account required for some features
• Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
• Windows Media Centre license sold separately
• To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
• To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768

Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8?

If your PC has a 64 bit-capable processor (CPU) but is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can install a 64-bit version of Windows 8, but you cannot do this as an online upgrade. You'll need to download the Upgrade Assistant to a DVD or a bootable USB device and install Windows 8 from there. You also won't be able to keep any files, settings, or apps when you upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version.

Can I upgrade from an operating system that's older than Windows XP?

If you want to upgrade from an earlier Windows operating system than Windows XP (for example, Windows 95 or Windows 2000), you'll need to purchase the Windows 8 System Builder. You won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or apps when you install the new operating system.

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