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Windows RT 8.1: How to Download and Install the Latest Update

Windows RT 8.1 Download: Everything You Need to Know

Windows RT 8.1 is a special version of Windows that is designed for devices with ARM processors, such as tablets and laptops. It is optimized for long battery life, thin and light design, and touch-based interface. However, it also has some limitations and differences from other versions of Windows, such as Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about Windows RT 8.1, including its features, how to get it, how to use it, and some FAQs.

windows rt 8.1 download

What is Windows RT 8.1?

Windows RT 8.1 is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft that was released in October 2013 as an update to Windows RT, which was launched alongside Windows 8 in October 2012. It is based on the same core as Windows 8.1, but it is tailored for devices that use ARM architecture, which is a type of processor that is more power-efficient and less heat-generating than the x86 processors that are used in most PCs.

The main features of Windows RT 8.1

Windows RT 8.1 contains many of the same features as Windows 8.1, but it also has some unique characteristics that make it suitable for mobile devices. Some of the features of both Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 are:

  • Fluid, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface design that you can easily customize

  • Support for touch, keyboard, mouse, pen, and voice input methods

  • Built-in apps for email, calendar, contacts, photos, music, video, news, weather, sports, travel, health, finance, and more

  • Access to the Windows Store, where you can download thousands of apps and games

  • Integration with Microsoft services such as OneDrive, Skype,, Bing, Xbox Live, and more

  • Ability to sync your settings, preferences, files, and apps across your devices with your Microsoft account

  • Enhanced security features such as BitLocker encryption, Secure Boot, Trusted Boot, Device Encryption, and Windows Defender antivirus

  • Improved performance and reliability with faster boot times, better battery life, and fewer crashes

Some of the features that are unique to Windows RT 8.1 are:

  • A pre-installed version of Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student RT edition that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook (note that this version of Office does not support macros or add-ins)

  • A desktop mode that allows you to run some legacy apps such as File Explorer, Control Panel, Paint, Notepad, and more (note that this mode does not support running any x86 or x64 apps that are not pre-installed or downloaded from the Windows Store)

  • A Start menu that replaces the Start screen and gives you quick access to your desktop and all your apps (note that this feature was added in the Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 in September 2015)

The differences between Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 or Windows 10

While Windows RT 8.1 shares many similarities with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, it also has some notable differences that you should be aware of before deciding to use it or buy a device that runs it.

Windows RT 8.1Windows 8. 1Windows 10

Runs on devices with ARM processorsRuns on devices with x86 or x64 processorsRuns on devices with x86, x64, or ARM processors

Can only run apps from the Windows Store or pre-installed appsCan run apps from the Windows Store or any other sourceCan run apps from the Windows Store or any other source

Has a desktop mode that is limited to some legacy appsHas a desktop mode that can run any appHas a desktop mode that can run any app

Has a Start menu that replaces the Start screenHas a Start screen that can be switched to a Start menuHas a Start menu that can be switched to a Start screen

Does not support Windows Hello, Cortana, Continuum, or Windows InkSupports Windows Hello, Cortana, Continuum, and Windows Ink (depending on the device)Supports Windows Hello, Cortana, Continuum, and Windows Ink (depending on the device)

Does not receive feature updates, only security updatesReceives feature updates until January 2023 and security updates until January 2026Receives feature updates and security updates regularly

How to get Windows RT 8.1?

If you have a device that runs Windows RT, such as the Microsoft Surface RT or the Nokia Lumia 2520, you can get Windows RT 8.1 for free as an update from the Windows Store. However, you need to meet some requirements and follow some steps to do so.

The requirements for installing Windows RT 8.1

To install Windows RT 8.1 on your device, you need to have:

  • A device that runs Windows RT (not Windows 8 or Windows 10)

  • A Microsoft account (if you don't have one, you can create one for free)

  • An internet connection (preferably a Wi-Fi connection)

  • At least 3 GB of free storage space on your device

  • A power source (plug in your device or make sure it has enough battery)

  • A backup of your files and settings (in case something goes wrong)

The steps for downloading and updating to Windows RT 8.1

To download and update to Windows RT 8.1 on your device, you need to follow these steps:

  • Go to the Start screen and tap or click the Store tile.

  • In the Store, tap or click the Update to Windows 8.1 tile. If you don't see it, swipe from the right edge of the screen and tap or click Settings > App updates > Check for updates.

  • Tap or click Download to start downloading the update. The download size may vary depending on your device and internet speed.

  • After the download is complete, tap or click Install to start installing the update. You may need to restart your device several times during the installation process.

  • After the installation is complete, follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting up your device. You may need to sign in with your Microsoft account and accept some terms and conditions.

  • Congratulations! You have successfully updated your device to Windows RT 8.1.

How to use Windows RT 8.1?

Windows RT 8.1 is designed to be easy and fun to use, but it also has some challenges and limitations that you should be aware of. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using Windows RT 8.1, as well as some tips and tricks for optimizing its performance and usability.

The advantages and disadvantages of Windows RT 8.1

Some of the advantages of using Windows RT 8.1 are:

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  • It is fast, smooth, and stable, with minimal lag or crashes.

  • It is secure, with built-in protection against viruses, malware, and hackers.

  • It is compatible with most peripherals and accessories that use USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or HDMI connections.

  • It has long battery life, lasting up to 10 hours or more on a single charge.

  • It has a sleek, modern, and attractive design, with a variety of colors and styles to choose from.

Some of the disadvantages of using Windows RT 8.1 are:

  • It is limited, with no support for running x86 or x64 apps that are not from the Windows Store or pre-installed.

  • It is outdated, with no feature updates since 2015 and no upgrade path to Windows 10.

  • It is unsupported, with no official customer service or technical support from Microsoft or other vendors.

  • It is unpopular, with few devices and apps available in the market and low user satisfaction ratings.

It is expensive, with high prices for devices and accessories compared to ot


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