How to download Windows 8.1 ISO using Windows 8 Product Key

Microsoftโ€™s decision to not tamper with the foundation of Windows 8 by leaving it largely unchanged helped the company bring forth dozens of crucial improvements alongside better app ecosystem in the final version of Windows 8.1. However, it offered no option to download ISO, limiting users todownload update via Windows Store only.

An ISO file helps in instances where you want to “Reset” your computer and would like to repair the PC on boot up, without running into issues like missing installs.

Windows 8.1 ISO download

A user on Reddit, called TOM has posted a little trick that lets a Windows user download the Windows 8.1 ISO using a legitimate retail Windows 8 product key. The idea behind the whole concept was pretty straight: The Windows 8 upgrade assistant saves your legitimate key in the Windows Registry. At any point of time, a consumer therefore, can use the 8.1 install assistant to download an ISO with Microsoftโ€™s latest OS.

To start off, visit here and download both the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 setup installers. Once completed, launch the Windows 8 installer and enter the product key upon prompting.

Product key

When the download starts, instantly pause the download at 1%. Do not quit the installer at the ‘Estimating time’ screen. After pausing the download at 1%, quit the installer.

Windows 8 download iso

Next, run the Windows 8.1 installer, and you should find the notification reading – “Download did not complete successfully” and that there was an “Element not found” error. Ignore the notification.ย Now, close the installer and re-launch the same Windows 8.1 installer. You will find that you end up downloading the Windows 8.1 ISO!

After the download is complete, you can save it as an ISO or create the USB media.

The method works! You are ready to install Windows 8.1 using the ISO or even burn it to a DVD or make a bootable USB thumb drive with the media.

Source: Reddit.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, an end-user Windows enthusiast, & a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Crysta T Lacey

    Hi Anand,

    I just thought I would let you know, that when one tries to use the resultant ISO, Microsoft Validation will not accept the the VALID Windows 8.0 Pro key that I used when I created the Windows 8.1 Pro ISO. This is after the process gave back the original W 8.0 Pro Key to me, at the end, saying to use it???

    I was really hoping that I could do a refresh load on my Windows 8.1 installation but it seems like not….. ๐Ÿ™


  2. Thanks for the feedback Crysta. Really sorry to hear that it did not work for you. Maybe Microsoft changed something here…

  3. Crysta T Lacey

    With Microsoft …. anything is possible????

  4. Crysta T Lacey

    Hi Anand,

    I just what to update you on this subject. The way I was trying to do this before was like the W 7 way of running the setup file off of the DVD, which as I said wanted a W 8.1 Pro “Key”.

    I run multiboot, all with W 8.1 Pro at the present(I also do Hyper V). I had some more time so I tried booting the DVD and then doing a “Reset” on one of my partitions. To my total surprise, IT INSTALLED A FRESH INSTALL….. O.o and it didn’t even ask me for my “Key” …. O.o. I am amazed. ๐Ÿ˜€ I am going to try the lesser one, ???? restore??? on the same partition and see, if/how that works. I do have an unhealthy partition that I would like to try that on, as well…..

    I will keep you posted, just in case it helps others….

    Best Regards,


  5. Thanks for getting back Crysta. Keep us informed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Crysta

    Hi Anand,

    This is my final installment. “Install” or “Refresh” or “Recovery” in Windows PE DOES NOT WORK, but as I said earlier “Reset” does, giving one the ONLY WAY, to get a Clean Install!!!(reset does a Format). “Refresh” does work from “PC Settings” but I found it to be a Narly Experience. I do not recommend this way and do not see the advantage over “Reset” in Windows PE which produced a very favorable and clean result as far as I could see in my quick test.

    Recovery and other W 8 features in both Logged on and Windows PE Boots may work better after a clean install, proper setup and Windows RE setup. If I don’t do a W 8.1.1 Pro clean install(I have seen something about being able to do this) I will do a W 8.1.0 Pro (Reset) Clean install soon.

    Best Regards,


  7. True, a Reset does a more complete job. Thanks again Crysta. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Crysta T Lacey

    YEEEEEEEHAAAAAAW ……… The .cfg works like a charm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just finished doing a “”Upgrade”” Repair on my W 8.1.1 Pro TEST Partition and RE Updated it back to W 8.1.1 Pro. I have never been able to do that kind of a repair with the DVD’s that I bought or got with my tower PC since W 7. For some reason the ones that I bought W 7 U, W 7 SP 1 Pro and W 8.0.0 Pro would never allow the Upgrade repair BUT this one does!!!! I probably will do a clean install as well, to see if it is different than the RESET install…….

    Crysta ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Good to hear that! ๐Ÿ™‚

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