Fix: The update is not applicable to your computer error when installing Windows 8.1

I was browsing the Windows 8.1 forums to check out some of the common issues, and I found that many were looking for a solution to fix the error message The update is not applicable to your computer. So I decided to collect as much as information I can and make an article which might help some of you who may be facing the same issue.

The update is not applicable to your computer

070713 1032 ErrorTheupd1 Fix: The update is not applicable to your computer error when installing Windows 8.1

The scenario is that, when you try to install Windows 8.1, using Windows Update Standalone Installer, you might receive this error message Error: “The update is not applicable to your computer”. After some research I found out that this happens mainly because of two reasons.

The first reason if you have a different language version that the Windows 8.1 supported ones. Apparently Windows 8.1 only support 14 languages. The supported ones are Arabic, English (United Kingdom), English (US), Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. So if you’re running other language that the one listed then you won’t be able to install Windows 8.1 preview as an update.

But you still can install Windows 8.1, but there is a down side. What you can do is you can download the Windows 8.1 ISO and upgrade you Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Here is the kicker - by doing so you’ll lose all the applications. According to  the Windows 8.1 FAQ if you install Windows 8.1 Preview in a language that’s different from the language currently on your PC, you can only keep your files, not your apps or settings. Then if you’re running Windows 8 and have installed a language pack or a language interface pack (LIP), they’ll be removed when you install Windows 8.1 Preview.

Then again, Windows 8.1 preview is not meant to run on a production machine. Microsoft has warned that Windows 8.1 is just a preview version that you can try Windows 8.1 if you’re comfortable backing up a PC, formatting a hard drive, and installing an operating system from scratch. So we can’t blame Microsoft.

Then when it comes to Windows 8.1 RT users, Microsoft warns not to change the base language just to install Windows 8.1 preview since that will permanently change the base language since Microsoft has created a new restore image based on your selected 8.1 base language during install. But Microsoft has released a Windows update KB2865138 that prevent users from installing Language packs. This update is installed when you update to Windows 8.1 Preview.

Now how to you get your language back:

  • Press Win + X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  • Type in dism /online /get-intl

070713 1032 ErrorTheupd2 Fix: The update is not applicable to your computer error when installing Windows 8.1

This should get you the language pack installed on your operating system. So this will be a good step to try to check if your machine is compatible with Windows 8.1 preview.

The other scenario is if you’re running Windows 8 Enterprise - then you’ll need to download the ISO image. I have to stress this point again you cannot upgrade or keep your Windows settings, personal files, or applications if you are performing a cross-language installation. You can only keep your personal files during a cross-language installation by using Windows 8 Setup.

Now there are few workarounds to bypass the error. The first one is to change the base language of the operating system to a supported one then apply the update. The next one is to manually apply the Windows update file.

Manually Install Windows 8.1:

Download Windows 8 Update package KB2849636 by clicking on “Get the update”

070713 1032 ErrorTheupd3 Fix: The update is not applicable to your computer error when installing Windows 8.1

Then create a folder under C drive called Win8. Then move the downloaded file there. Then open command prompt as administrator and type in

Expand -F:* C:\Win8\Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.msu C:\Win8\

070713 1032 ErrorTheupd4 Fix: The update is not applicable to your computer error when installing Windows 8.1

Then open command prompt as administrator and type in

DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:C:\Win8\Windows8-RT-KB2849636-x64.cab

Reboot your system and you should be getting the notification to download Windows 8.1 preview. If that does not work, then try to change the Language pack from Control Panel

  • Go to Windows 8 UI screen and type in Language
  • Click on Region and Language Setting

070713 1032 ErrorTheupd5 Fix: The update is not applicable to your computer error when installing Windows 8.1

  • Click on Add a Language and download and install “English (United States)” then set as primary. Now it should work.

If the above setup does not work, then I’m afraid you need to do a clean install. I hope you find this article helpful. Incase if you have any issues please feel free to post it under the comments section.

I would like to thank Michael, Charles [MSFT] at Answers forum for the tips and Martin Hinshelwood.

Check this post if you receive Your Windows 8.1 install couldn’t be completed error message.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP and a Windows Enthusiast whose area of expertise is Crash Dump Analysis and Advanced Windows troubleshooting. He has developed Windows based Tools like SF IE Restorator for troubleshooting Internet Explorer issues and SF Diagnostic Tool for collecting Crash dump files for troubleshooting purpose. He blogs at captaindbg.com.
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