Can Your Current PC Still Run Windows 8.1?

If you want to upgrade to Windows 8.1, your computer probably won’t complain. Windows 8.1 should run without problem on any PC currently running Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. In fact, Windows 8.1 may run faster on your old PC than Windows Vista did, especially on laptops.

If your PC runs Windows XP, it may still run Windows 8.1, but not at its best.

If you have a technogeek in your family, have him or her translate the table, which shows the Windows 8.1 hardware requirements.

The Windows 8.1 Hardware Requirements
Architecture x86 (32-bit) x86 (64-bit)
Processor 1 GHz
Memory (RAM) 1GB 2GB
Graphics Card DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
HDD free space 16GB 20GB

In common language, the table simply says that nearly any computer sold in the past five years can be upgraded to Windows 8 with little problem.

Windows 8.1 runs nearly any program that runs on Windows 7 and Windows Vista. It even runs some Windows XP programs as well. Some older programs, however, won’t work, including most security-based programs, such as antivirus, firewall, and security suites. You’ll need to contact the program’s manufacturer for an upgraded version.

Windows 8.1 drops the Windows Experience Index rating, leaving no easy way to check a PC’s performance on the showroom floor. But because showroom floors are rapidly disappearing from the world’s shopping malls, most people won’t miss it.

Don’t know what version of Windows runs on your current PC? If clicking the Start button brings a Start menu, right-click the menu’s Computer entry, and choose Properties. The screen that appears lists your Windows version.

If there’s no Start button, you’re running Windows 8. And if clicking your Start button fills the screen with a bunch of colorful tiles, you’re running Windows 8.1.

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