To all PC users who are running Windows 8.1 Preview; the Preview version of Windows 8.1 expires today, January 15th 2014. The preview release of Windows 8.1 was released on June 26th, 2013 with over 50 new features, including Start button, new tile sizes, slide to shut down, and more.
Starting tomorrow, January 16th, Windows 8.1 Preview will restart every two hours once and you will lose any unsaved data during this restart.
If you’re running Windows 8.1 Preview, you probably have seen “Reinstall Windows Now. Your license to use this evaluation version of Windows will expire soon. When it expires, your PC will restart every two hours. Get the latest version of Windows to avoid these interruptions” notice every time you log in.
Windows 8.1 Preview users can upgrade to Windows 8.1 RTM, which was released back in October 2013, without losing data but will have to re-install all apps installed from Windows Store post the upgrade process.
Windows 8.1 Preview users can easily upgrade to the RTM by clicking on the Get Windows button when you see the Reinstall Windows Now notice. Alternatively, you can visit the Windows Store to download and install the update.
If for some reason, you want to switch back to Windows 7, you have to remove Windows 8.1 Preview installation from your PC and then perform a clean installation of Windows 7. That is, you can downgrade from Windows 8.1 Preview to Windows 7, even if you have upgraded from Windows 7.
And if your PC was running Windows 8 before upgrading to Windows 8.1 Preview, you might be able to revert to Windows 8 by running Refresh PC tool. In this case, you can retain your personal data but apps that you had installed from the Store will need to be reinstall.
Those of you’re running Windows 8 can upgrade to Windows 8.1 RTM for free without losing installed programs and data. If you’re on Windows 7, Vista or XP, you can check if your PC can run Windows 8.1 using the Upgrade Assistant. A 90-day trial copy of Windows 8.1 RTM is also available for users who want to test drive the final version of Windows 8.1 before making the jump.
We encourage you can go through how to upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 without losing data and installed programs, and how to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 by keeping personal files guides.
For those who’re curious, there is no working method to extend the trail or evaluation period of Windows 8.1 Preview.