Microsoft has simplified editions in the latest iteration of Windows. Windows 8/8.1 comes in four editions: Windows 8/8.1, Windows 8/8.1 Pro, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows 8/8.1 RT. While the first three editions are designed for desktops, notebooks, and netbooks, the last edition runs only on tablets powered by ARM chips.
Just like its predecessors, Windows 8.1 also lets you upgrade from a lower to higher edition to get more features. If you have a PC running Windows 8.1 edition, you may want to upgrade to the Pro edition to get more features.
In addition to all features of Windows 8.1 edition, Windows 8.1 Pro edition includes boot from VHD, client Hyper-V, domain join, file system encryption, remote desktop, group policy, and BitLocker features (see difference between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro).
The other advantage of upgrading to Windows 8.1 Pro is Windows Media Center. While Windows 8.1 Pro doesn’t include Media Center by default, one can purchase and install Media Center add-on on Pro edition. Windows 8.1 edition users have no options but install third-party media center programs such as the XBMC.
NOTE: You won’t lose your documents, installed programs, and other files during the upgrade.
Step 1: Open System Properties. To do this, you can either press Windows logo + Pause/Break hotkey or right-click on the Computer icon on the desktop and then click Properties. If you can’t see the Computer icon on desktop, check how to show Computer icon on desktop in Windows 8 guide.
Step 2: Once the System Properties opened, under Windows Edition section, click Get more features with a new edition of Windows to open Add features to Windows 8 wizard.
Click Yes for the User Account Control (UAC) prompt.
Step 3: Here, click I already have a product key if you already have purchased Windows 8.1 Pro license or click I want to buy a product key online option to visit Microsoft store to purchase the Pro key.
Once you have the product key, click I already have a product key.
Step 4: Enter your 25 character Windows 8 Pro product key and click Next button.
Step 5: On the following screen, select I accept the license terms box before clicking Add features button. Please save your work before clicking Add features button as your PC will be restarted at least once during the upgrade process.
Step 6: Once upgrade is done, you will see “Thanks, you’re all done and your PC is ready to go.” message. You are done! You are now running Windows 8.1 Pro edition with all above mentioned features.