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How to download Windows 8

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How to download Windows 8: Would you like to install Windows 8 on your computer but you have lost the operating system disk and you don’t know how to find the OS? Do you need to test some programs by installing Windows 8 on a virtual machine and would you like to recover the ISO image of the operating system? Don’t worry, there is a decidedly simple solution: just download Windows 8 directly from the Microsoft website and it’s done. All for free and without registration.

Yes, you read that right! All you have to do is connect to a specific web page, select the exact edition of Windows 8 you want to download, the language and wait patiently for the download to complete. Eventually, you will get an ISO image that you can use to install the operating system on your computer (or any other PC), via DVD or USB stick. Alternatively, you can also download the OS using a special program, while if you need to use the system only in the form of a virtual machine, you can download an ad hoc version.

Then? Can I know what are you still doing with them? Position yourself comfortably in front of the PC and immediately begin to focus on the information on what to do that you find right below. I am sure that in the end you will be more than satisfied with what you have learned and that, even if necessary, you will be ready to provide useful information on the subject to all your friends who are interested in their turn. How about we bet?

Download Windows 8

We come straight to the heart of the matter and try to understand, in detail, how do you download Windows 8 , or rather the ISO image of Windows 8.1 . To find out more, read on. You find everything explained in detail right below.

Microsoft website

How to download Windows 8

As I said at the beginning, Microsoft has made available on its website a special page through which you can download the full version of Windows 8.1, in a simple, legal and free way. It is not necessary to have the product key to authorize the download (but to activate the system, of course) and it is not mandatory that the same operating system or a Microsoft OS is installed on the computer to proceed with the download.

So, taking into account what has just been said, to download Windows 8.1 all you have to do is connect to this Web page , select the edition of the operating system you want to obtain (e.g. Windows  8.1 or Windows  8.1 N ) from the Select edition drop-down menu and click the Confirm button .

Then select the product language through the drop-down menu Choose a language that is shown to you later (eg Italian ) and click once more on the Confirm button .

At this point, the displayed web page will then be reloaded and you can finally proceed with the download of Windows 8.1 by clicking on the 32-bit Download button (to obtain the 32-bit version) or on the 64-bit Download button (for download the 64-bit version).

Once your choice is made, an ISO image of Windows 8.1 will be downloaded which you can burn to a DVD or copy to a USB stick to install the operating system on your computer. Keep in mind that the Windows 8.1 ISO file weighs about 4 GB, so the download may not be really immediate, especially if you don’t have a particularly fast Internet connection.

Windows and Office ISO Download Tool

How to download Windows 8

If for any reason you are unable to download Windows 8 through the Microsoft website, you can still do it by using the  Windows and Office ISO Download Tool .

It is a free software, which does not require installation and which works on all Microsoft OS, thanks to which it is possible to download the original ISO images of the Windows and Office operating systems, taking them directly from the servers of the Redmond company, always without requesting the product key (which, however, must then be inserted once the operating system has been installed in order to proceed with activation).

To download the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool on your computer, connect to the program’s website and click on the Windows ISO Downloader.exe link  that you will find in the middle of the page.

When the download is complete, double click on it and start the Windows ISO Downloader.exe file you   just obtained and, in the window that opens on the desktop, select the Windows 8.1 option   that you will find on the right.

Now, choose the edition of Windows 8.1 you want to download through the appropriate drop-down menu that you see appear in the center of the screen and press the Confirm button . Then select the language of the operating system from the additional pop-up menu that appears and press again on the Confirm button and, finally, choose whether to download the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version of the operating system by pressing, respectively, on the 32-bit button  Download or 64-bit Download .

To confirm the download, click on the Save button   in the additional window that opens on the desktop and select the location on your computer where to save the ISO image of Windows 8.1.

Virtual machine

How to download Windows 8

If, on the other hand, you are interested in downloading Windows 8 because you need to obtain a copy of the operating system to be used via a virtual machine  (if you remember correctly, I spoke to you in depth about the subject in my review dedicated to programs to emulate operating systems ), you can download a dedicated version of the same, always free and always through the Microsoft website, which does not require the product key to be used.

To do this, connected to this page on the Microsoft website, select IE11 on Win81 (x86) from the Virtual Machine drop-down menu , indicate the name of the virtualization software you use on your computer using the Select platform drop-down menu located a little further on. down and click on the Download .zip button  that appears at the bottom of the page, in order to start downloading the virtual image of Windows 8.1.

Once the download is complete, extract the ZIP archive just obtained in a folder of your choice and import the ISO image present inside it into the virtualization program you use by putting the appropriate procedure into practice. If you don’t know how to do it, you can read my guide on  how to open VMDK files with VMware and VirtualBox and my tutorial on  how to virtualize an operating system to clear your ideas on what to do.

However, keep in mind that Windows 8.1 images created to be used in conjunction with virtual machines have a 90-day expiration . Therefore, once this period of time has elapsed, they should be discarded. However, as also reported by Microsoft itself on its website, to bypass the problem it is sufficient to create a snapshot of the virtual machine (therefore a snapshot of the virtual machine) before the deadline and restore it at the appropriate time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Windows 8.1 images downloaded as I have just indicated are all in English . If this is a problem but you still need to use the OS on a virtual machine, you can download the relative ISO file, as I explained in the step at the beginning of the guide or in the one dedicated to the Windows and Office ISO Download Tool, and use it to create a virtual machine, so to speak, classic (and for which, however, you will also have to provide the related product key).

Create Windows 8 installation media

Once the ISO file of the operating system has been downloaded, you can use it to install the OS on your computer or on another PC by pouring it on a DVD or on a USB stick . But how do you do it? Lawful question, indeed more. To find out, go ahead and read. You find everything explained in detail right below.


How to download Windows 8

If you are interested in understanding how to burn the ISO image of Windows 8 to a DVD , I am happy to inform you that you can perform the operation in question using the “standard” tools of the operating system. It’s very simple, don’t worry.

If you are using Windows 7 or later , you can burn ISO files to DVD by right-clicking on it with the mouse and selecting the Burn disc image item from the menu that appears.

Next, make sure that the burner connected to the computer is selected via the CD Burner drop-down menu (otherwise provide it yourself), insert the disk you want to use into the computer and press the Burn button .

If, on the other hand, you are using macOS , to burn an ISO file, all you have to do is right-click on it with the mouse and select the item Burn disc image “filename.iso” to disc  from the menu that appears.

How to download Windows 8

In the window that opens, make sure that the burner connected to the Mac is selected in the Burn disc to drop-down menu and insert the empty disk you want to use inside the Mac, then adjust the settings relating to the writing speed and actions to be carried out following burning. Finally, click on the Burn button  located at the bottom right.

If you think you need more explanations on what to do or if you prefer to rely on the use of third-party tools (eg ImgBurn on Windows and Burn on macOS), I suggest you consult my tutorial specifically dedicated to ISO programs. .

USB pendrive

How to download Windows 8

If, however, you intend to copy the installation files of Windows 8 to a USB stick , you can resort to the use of Rufus , a small free application for Microsoft operating systems only that allows you to create a bootable Windows pendrive in a simple and fast way . In addition, it is also available in a portable variant, which means that it does not require installation in order to function.

To download it to your computer, connected to the program’s website and click on the Rufus xx Portable link  attached to the Download section .

When the download is complete, start the rufus-x.xp.exe file and click on the Yes button . In the window that opens, click once more on the Yes button  to check for updates. Then connect the USB stick that you want to use to install the OS to the computer.

In the program window visible on the desktop, make sure that your pendrive is selected from the Device / drive drop-down menu at the top (otherwise provide it yourself), select the Disc image or ISO (select)  option  from the drop-down menu located under the wording  Boot selection  and click on the  adjacent Select button  to select the ISO image to be copied to the stick.

Finally, make sure that under the wording Image Options the standard Windows Installation option is set , click the Start  and  OK  buttons  and wait for the stick with the image of Windows 8 to be created by the program. It was easy, wasn’t it?

Install Windows 8

Windows 8 installation screenshot

After creating the diskette or USB stick with Windows 8, you can use the support in your possession to install the operating system.

To do this, insert the Windows 8 diskette or stick into the computer where you intend to install the OS and boot from the drive containing the OS setup. If you encounter difficulties at this juncture, find out how to correctly set the BIOS by reading my guide on the subject.

The installation process of Windows 8 begins with the selection of the language , after which the request for the product key arrives to activate the product and you have to choose whether to install the operating system from scratch , losing data and settings, or whether to update the version of Windows present on the computer.

Note that it is only possible to update to Windows 8 / 8.1 starting from Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you use Windows Vista or Windows XP, you will be forced to format the disk losing all data and settings. The same goes for Windows 10, to downgrade you will be forced to format. For more information, I invite you to refer to my article on  how to install Windows 8 .