How do I update to Windows 8.1 – Store does not show the option?

If you have Windows 8 and the update option is not shown in the Store that is an indication that Windows 8 need some maintenance done.


Look for a notification (right end of taskbar). imageMost likely there are some items indicated that need your attention. Run a Defender  scan (quick scan will do). Make sure it says “PC status: Protected”.

Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Action Center. Check in the Maintenance section for any items that need attention and take care of them.

Check for any updates needed. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update.image

If you see any updates available click on the message line and install the updates. When your Windows 8 system is all up to date (restart if needed), go back to the Store. You will then see the invitation to update to Windows 8.1.

Note the process takes some time. For the Windows 8 standard version the download is 2.81 GB. If you have Windows 8 Pro installed the download is 3.63 BG. So depending on your Internet speed this can be a lengthy task.

For more on the update process see How do I upgrade to Windows 8.1 ?


© 2013 Ludwig Keck


How do I upgrade to Windows 8.1 ?

Now that Windows 8.1 is available everyone with a Windows 8 PC can get the new system at no cost. Well, it takes a bit of time, but that is all.

Before you start, be sure that you have backed up your computer. Installing a new system, and that is what upgrading to Windows 8.1 really is, is very much like major surgery, things can go wrong. So be safe, be prepared.

Do allow plenty of time. For me it took well over an hour; but then I was eager to update, right along with all the others who wanted to upgrade right after Windows 8.1 became available.

The procedure is quite easy. Go to the Start screen and click on the Store tile. You will see the invitation to update right away.


imageClick on that invitation, the Download link on the next screen, and you are on your way. The download will proceed. There is nothing you need to to for a while. You will see the “Downloading” message, then “Getting your PC ready”, finally “Preparing to restart”.

Then you see a message asking for permission to restart.


imageAfter a number of messages on a black screen with the new Windows logo advising the progress of “Setting up …”, “Getting devices ready …”, “Applying PC settings …”, “Setting up a few more things ..”, you will be presented with the License terms. You can read them, they are very, very long. You really have no choice but to accept if you wish to upgrade.


Now you will need to make some more decisions. Next you will see the Settings screen.


You can make some choices here, but clicking “Use express settings” is probably the easiest. You will be asked to sign in to your Microsoft account. Then a bit of extra security measures. You will be asked to how you want to receive a numeric code.


If you have set up your Microsoft account with a phone number, you can receive either a text or voice message. You can also receive the code by email. Texting to your phone is the easiest. For me the phone rang immediately after clicking Next.

Enter the numeric code on the next screen. You will see an option for using SkyDrive.


Once you proceed from here there will be a number of colorful screens as the final installation tasks. Shortly you will see your Start screen just as it was before on Windows 8. You can now start customizing and using the new features in Windows 8.1



© 2013 Ludwig Keck

How do I include items in my Windows 8 Photos library?

You might have photos in a folder other than “My Pictures” or on a drive other that “C:”. Those photos will not be displayed in the Photos tile on the start screen and will not shown in Photo Gallery. Rather than moving the photos or their folder around on your PC, the proper way is to include the folder containing those pictures in you Pictures library. Here is the procedure for doing that:

  • Open File Explorer.
  • In the navigation bar on the left, locate the folder you wish to include in the Pictures library.
  • Right-click the folder name.
  • In the next menu click Include in library
  • This provides a list of your libraries, click the one to use – in this case Pictures


That’s it. You have now included the folder in the Pictures library. Yes, you can include a whole drive. You will get the same menu when you right-click a drive name.

Your photos from the included folders will show up in all programs and apps that use the library, like Windows Photo Gallery, Picasa, of course, File Explorer. They will also be displayed in the Start page Photos app.



© 2012 Ludwig Keck

Can I get a start button on Windows 8?

Sure can! There are numerous downloads available to put a start button on your Windows 8 desktop. Some for free, some at a modest price. All are trying to fill the void that Microsoft has created by leaving the start button out of Windows 8.

Windows 8 START buttonOver at This ‘n That, I offered a quick solution to help out until Microsoft puts a real one back on Windows 8. There are rumors to the effect, that come Fall, the Windows 8.1 update will once again feature a start button.

Take a couple of minutes and read my post Make your own Windows 8 start button and a couple more to a reasonably good substitute on your Windows 8 taskbar.


© 2012 Ludwig Keck

How do I create desktop shortcuts in Windows 8?

Windows 8 offers easy options to place a tile on the Start screen, “Pin to Start”, and to put an icon on the desktop taskbar, “Pin to taskbar”, but the method to create a desktop shortcut is not obvious at all. Here is how you can quickly put a shortcut icon on your Windows 8 desktop for any installed desktop program. This does not work for the Windows 8 style apps that only run in the non-desktop environment.


Press the Windows logo key to open the Start screen. Right-click on an empty space and click All apps in the bar at the bottom.

Find the program – you may have to scroll – and right-click its tile.

Now you get the options on the bottom for a number of tasks. Click Open file location (see the red arrows in the illustration). shortcuts-07This switches you to the desktop and opens File Explorer. The shortcut location for the program will already be selected. Right-click on the program name, move the pointer down to Send to then horizontally over to the sub-menu and down to Desktop (create shortcut). Click that.

That’s it. You will now have a desktop shortcut for that program on the desktop. You can position it as you like. The shortcut works as expected, double-click it to open the program.



© 2012 Ludwig Keck

2012 in review

Not a question for a change …

Happy New Year to my readers! All the best for the coming year!

You did not ask, but here are some statistics:

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 58,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.