Finally, there is an official way for average consumers to download a retail copy of Windows 8.1 from Microsoft. For a long time since Windows 8.1 was released, if you lost the original recovery disk from the OEM, then you would be out of luck getting your hands on another Windows 8.1 install disk. You can certainly purchase another Windows 8.1 but that would be a wast of money, especially if you just want to re-install Windows 8.1 from scratch and using the existing Windows 8.1 product key.
Thankfully, Microsoft has just released a new tool called “Windows Installation Media Creation Tool“. It lets you download any Windows 8.1 edition, any language, and it supports both 32-bit and 64-bit operating system. Granted that you have a valid legit Windows 8.1 product key that matches the edition and language you are going to download, go ahead and download the Windows Installation Media Creation Tool here to start.
You need to first pick the language of the operating system, then the corresponding edition. If you are confused about the overwhelming choices chances are you will most likely make the choice between Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro. N editions are uncommon from OEMs.
You then have the option to choose between downloading an image ISO file or directly putting it on a USB flash drive. Here we are going to save it as ISO file, since we can always create a bootable USB install key from the ISO file at any time. There are over four different ways we have recommended to create a bootable USB stick from an ISO file.
After the download, the wizard will go through and check the integrity of the download and that might also take a while to finish. Once everything is done you will be prompted this screen below, in which you should be able to find the ISO file from the following destination.
What’s next ?
Now you have successfully downloaded the Windows 8.1 ISO image file, you can either burn it on to a DVD or use it to create a bootable USB stick or use it as an installation disk for any virtual machines should you choose to create another VM. The choice is yours. Note that the ISO installation will still require a valid Windows 8.1 product key.
On an unrelated note, if you are looking for Windows 7 official ISO you can find them here.