Before now, if a person wanted to legally download Windows 8.1 ISO, the only way was to use the Windows 8.1 Setup file which had too many limitations. Even though the setup file offered options to download Windows 8/8.1 ISO, users had to enter a valid product key.
The other limitation was that the setup didn’t offer options to select the edition of Windows and language. In simple words, when you run the setup file on a PC running Windows 8.1 Pro with 32-bit architecture the setup would automatically download the same edition of Windows 8.1 with 32-bit architecture without offering options to choose a different architecture and edition.
Luckily, Microsoft has addressed all the shortcomings of the setup file by releasing a free utility called Windows Installation Media Creation Tool.
With Windows Installation Media Creation Tool you can download any edition of Windows 8.1 ISO image file without having to enter the product key, at least when you’re running the tool on a Windows 8.1 machine. This also means that users who don’t have a valid Windows 8.1 product license key can use this tool to download Windows 8.1 ISO.
As you can see in the above image, the tool lets you all editions of Windows 8.1, including Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 N, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Pro N editions. The tool also offers you to download Windows 8.1 Single Language ISO. However, note that N edition is available in select languages only.
Besides that, you can choose between 32-bit and 64-bit architecture.
Download Windows 8.1/Windows 8.1 Pro ISO
As with the case of original setup file, Windows Installation Media Creation Tool also allows you prepare Windows 8.1 bootable USB without actually downloading the ISO file. That is, you don’t need to download the ISO image first in order to prepare the bootable media. You can simply select USB option when asked to allow Windows Installation Media Creation Tool to automatically download required files and prepare the bootable USB.
For those who aren’t sure how to use the tool, here is how to use it to download the ISO of Windows 8.1 or prepare the bootable media without actually downloading the ISO image file.
Step 1: Visit this page and click Create Media button to download Windows Installation Media Creation Tool. It’s a small executable with less than 2 MB of size.
Step 2: Run Windows Installation Media Creation Tool by double-clicking on the executable file (.exe) that you have downloaded to see the following screen:
Step 3: Select the language, edition of Windows 8.1, and then architecture before clicking the Next button.
Step 4: In the following screen, select USB (selected by default) if you want to prepare Windows 8.1 bootable USB without actually downloading the ISO file. And instead if you want to download the ISO image first, please select ISO option.
Note that if you select USB option, please connect your USB drive and create backup of all data before proceeding further.
When asked to select your USB, please select your USB drive and then click Next button. And if you have selected ISO option, you’ll be asked to select a location to save the ISO file.
Step 5: Depending on your internet connection speed, the time required to download the installation files vary from a couple of minutes to hours. If you have selected USB option in Step 4, Windows Installation Media Creation Tool will automatically prepare the bootable USB after downloading necessary files.