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The much anticipated August Update for Windows 8.1, formerly known as Update 2, has arrived and it’s not what we expected; but then we already knew that.

Is it even worth bothering? In short: YES!

In April, Microsoft hinted at the return of the Start Menu, with a second Windows 8.1 update due in August. In July, we learned that the new Start Menu will not appear until 2015 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now Windows 8 won't get a native Start Menu after all. But why wait on Microsoft? Here's how you can help yourself with third party tools like Classic Shell or Start8 and other workarounds. Read More , meaning rather than making an appearance in Windows 8.1, it will be rolled into Threshold, the codename of what might become Windows 9.

Now Microsoft promised to stuff their monthly Patch Tuesday with non-security improvements to Windows, which is why it’s been renamed to Update Tuesday.

Which Improvements Are Included In The August Update?

After delivering non-security updates to the Windows Store and OneDrive in previous months, this month’s first official Update Tuesday, also known as August Update, contains only one item worth mentioning: precision touchpad improvements.

This feature adds the following three end-user settings to control the behavior of precision touchpad devices:

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  • Leave touchpad on when a mouse is connected
  • Allow right-clicks on the touchpad
  • Double-tap and drag

You can find these settings under the Mouse and touchpad menu in PC Settings.

These are the two other updates, as announced on the Microsoft blog:

  • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers, to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

Further minor updates include new settings and details for Windows Update and Recovery, support for the Ruble currency symbol, out-of-date ActiveX control blocking, and video capture metadata for MP4. Find more information in this August Update article by Microsoft Support.

Should I Install The August Update?

Yes, absolutely! Other than these minor improvements, Update Tuesday contains 9 critical security patches. Since the main point of these monthly updates is to fix security vulnerabilities, you should generally enable automatic Windows Updates Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Windows Update: Everything You Need to Know Is Windows Update enabled on your PC? Windows Update protects you from security vulnerabilities by keeping Windows, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office up-to-date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Read More , at least for important updates.

To enable Windows Updates, press Windows key + F, search Everywhere for Windows Update and open it, select Change settings on the left-hand side, and select what you’d like Windows to do when Important, Recommended, or Microsoft updates become available.

Windows Update Settings

If you don’t want Windows to automatically install stuff and force you to restart your computer How to Disable Forced Restarts After a Windows Update How to Disable Forced Restarts After a Windows Update Are you tired of Windows hassling you to reboot your computer after updates were installed? Miss a pop-up and it reboots automatically. Stop this madness and reboot at your leisure. Read More whenever it pleases, you can allow it to download updates, but then choose yourself whether or not to install them. With that, you can of course choose not to download or install specific items of any given update package.

How Can I Get The August Update?

Starting this Tuesday, the August Update has been rolled out to users who have Automatic Updates enabled. You can use Windows Update to check whether you already have the update or to install it manually, provided you already installed Update 1 Windows 8.1 Update Is Here! What It Is & How To Get It Now Windows 8.1 Update Is Here! What It Is & How To Get It Now Curious about the latest Windows 8.1 Update or not sure what this is about? KB2919355 is a cumulative update that comes with useful features. It can also be removed in case it causes issues. Read More .

Briefly, click Windows key + F, search Everywhere for Windows Update, then open it and click Check for updates in the sidebar. If you don’t see any important updates pending, the August Update must have been rolled out to your computer already.

To install pending updates, you can click the install button. To change the selection, click the text that says X important / optional updates are available and you’ll be taken to a list of those updates.

Windows Update Tuesday

The August Update can be downloaded manually here:

What Can I Expect From Future Windows 8.1 Updates?

Mainstream Support for Windows 8.1 will end on January 9, 2018. Extended Support is scheduled to terminate on January 10, 2023. Until then, Microsoft will continue to release monthly updates on the second Tuesday of every month.

In addition to bug fixes, the Update Tuesday package may or may not include non-security improvements, although I doubt Microsoft will add any major new features to Windows 8.1. In terms of development and given its reputation, it’s safe to assume that Windows 8.1 has been depreciated. Right now, Microsoft is focusing on getting Windows 9 ready to be released in 2015.

What Is Missing From Windows 8.1?

If you could request Microsoft to fix bugs or include new features with future updates for Windows 8.1, what would you ask for?

You never know who’s listening, so let’s hear it in the comments!

 

  1. Ernesto Moore
    October 5, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    microsoft is hell bent on forcing everybody to windows 10. Windows ten is a dog and a bad one at that. I have three laptops with it and everyone needs constant attention. I have 8.1 on my laptop and it has been stable for me. I installed the update and it doesn't display some pages and slow. I would buy a MAC before I go to ten. I would be better buying a fixer upper junk car, but at least I would expect to work on it. Workaround after workaround. Any class actions I can join? I am going to restore back to earlier back and turn off the automatic update. Microsoft has a big share of the market but they are not leaders anymore. Eight and seven after XP were/are their best work. Too much junk in ten that most folks never use and it is forever collection info of some kind and you have to opt out instead of opt in. Now with bundling updates for seven and eight is another bad idea.

    • Tina Sieber
      October 6, 2016 at 8:34 am

      You've got until Halloween this year to buy a Windows 7 or 8.1 computer. After that, it will be Windows 10 only or second hand purchases.

      If you're frustrated with Microsoft making decisions over your head and forcing their design / update / marketing / etc. decisions onto you, I'm not sure Apple is the way to go. If you seek freedom, Linux is the only way to go.

  2. Larry Branscum
    August 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    I just purchased a new laptop with windows 8 on it, It was a night mare upgrading to 8.1 I finally had to get the tech from the place I purchased it do it remotely for me.

  3. Marcus M
    August 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I just got the message to reboot due to updates... didn't bother look at what was updated.. I kind of stopped caring what they do...

  4. David
    August 15, 2014 at 3:22 am

    I would like to see an update long passed due and a common problem for 8.1 MSN Mail App this has been an issue for quite sometime. Actually, I just was on the phone the other day, for the 7th time speaking to tech support about this same issue, and they were unable to fix the issue for me saying that Microsoft next update may do the job and resolve it however this did not happen. So I'm stuck again!

  5. Gaurav B
    August 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I can't even think about leaving windows 7 behind and moving onto windows 8. Haven't liked the interface and don't think ever will.

  6. Craig
    August 14, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Windows 8 I thought it was Tiles 1

  7. Ian Huey
    August 14, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Windows 9 should be the next update for 8.1 from Windows update. I paid for win 8 pro with media center edition and have to install a start menu replacement to keep the machine functional? (and my sanity). Windows 9 needs to be given to us windows 8/8.1 non touchscreen users for the horror we've been put through. Windows 8/8.1 isn't even 3 years old. Windows 9 needs to be update 3.

    • David
      August 15, 2014 at 3:23 am

      I agree with you totally!!!!

  8. John Williams
    August 14, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Gotta do Windows changes slowly. I didn't use Win 98 until SE came out. Completely ignored Win 2000 and waited for XP SP1 before I jumped. Never even looked at Vista. Stayed with XP to SP3 and took up with Win 7 quite late.
    It'll be Win 9 SP1 before I change again. MS is a huge behemoth. Why, with all it's size and expertise did it get Vista and Win 8 front end so unbelievably wrong?

    Nobody raelly wanted Aero, nobody seems to want Metro. Did they do any market research or customer surveys?

    So many people now have XP embedded in their computer psyche by now that any new release from MS must be able to be set up to at least look like XP or the public will hate it.

    I hope MS get it right next time. Many hundreds of millions of people just want a start menu and a blank desktop they can put a family photo on. The OS should work in the background of the programs not try to ram itself in your face with Metro tiles and half transparent Aero stuff.

  9. Bud
    August 13, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Since I DUMPED Windows OS a few years ago and went to a Mac, and already having posted here about MS, no need to reiterate anything about MicroSucks again !!!

    HO-HUM !

  10. Neville Fursdon
    August 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I actually like Windows 8.1 and the update and wonder what all the fuss is about. One peeve I have is that I don't have the option to turn off the requirement to use a password to log into my home computer when I have more than one user Account. I use a Standard account for day to day computing and two Administrator accounts for banking and business. Yes it is easy to turn it off if you have only one User Account by using netplwiz, but it does not seem to work if you have a couple of others which you want to be passworded. It worked in Windows 7 why not in 8? Does anyone have a solution?

    • Paul
      August 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      I won't be buying another windows operating system, Linux from now on ! I have been using Ubuntu 14.04 and Linux Mint 17 Mate on an old 32bit laptop, partioned for win XP, Linux and Ubuntu, both are running like a treat, with Mint just edging Ubuntu for me at the moment. I'm in the process of learning these systems with an eye on a future new machine exclusively running Linux distro's. I will leave my desktop PC on Win 7, and the new laptop now has windows 8.1. which is OK once you get used to it or have it configured to your liking, I have it set up on a local account, no password, start menu button, straight through to the desktop after booting, I have left the charms available in the corners, now I have the best of both systems win 7 and win 8 as far as looks and navigation are concerned and the windows button flips between metro and the desktop. Win button + X still works for access to the menu also : ) I used Classic shell to get the button and there's a choice of what win version you want the new start menu to look like, there are other programs to do the same and I believe Advanced System Care 7 pro (free) has the ability to install this button and the menu, also look at Start8 program. IT SHOULD NOT BE LIKE THIS MICROSOFT, What a monumental cock up they have made!!

  11. Bob Wareham
    August 13, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I Have tried both Windows 8 and 8.1 but I don't understand what Microsoft were thinking when they produced Windows 8 for a PC.

    I have now gone back to Windows 7 and bined 8 as it is no good with a pc without a touch screen so why don't they just have two systems and then it would all be good.

    Or am I missing something perhaps Microsoft want everyone to think like them and dump it all just run Windows 8 on everything.

    • Nev Jace
      August 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Actually, Windows 8.1 is the best Microsoft OS I've ever used - and I've used all of them going back to DOS. Its way better (performance and functionality) than Windows 7. OK - maybe out of the box I can understand people going back to 7 when faced with the Metro interface, but the simple addition of a cheap (or free) replacement to fix the start (such as Start8) makes the world of difference.

  12. Howard B
    August 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Is there a definitive fix for Windows 8.1 Update 1 yet? Every time I try to install it, I wind up with a black screen; moving the mouse creates a "wait" mouse pointer (arrow and rotating "wait" animation) that promptly disappears and goes back to the center.
    I let it run like this, thrashing the hard drive, for over an hour and a half before hitting the "reset" button and letting it run Startup Repair (which ran System Restore) and trying it...again and again...
    This after installing a KBxxxxxx patch that was supposed to *fix* failed Update 1 installs.
    Help please! Will also post this in Answers...

    • Paul
      August 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      I do know that there are two updates you have to have on your computer before you update to 8.1, so after installing 8.0 update your computer with the windows update service with all the security updates including KB 2871389 and KB 2917499 Before you update to 8.1 from the store.

      Also there are versions of win 8.0 that cannot be normally updated to 8.1 these are the windows 8 Enterprise and other pro versions that uses volume licensing to companies, and preview versions.

      Run this program to make windows store shows you the most up to date windows 8.1 version for download wsreset.exe People who cannot find win 8.1 in the store should run this program also.

      I use two screens, but when I updated it switched from my pc monitor (leaving it blank), to the TV screen about halfway through the installation which wasn't switched on, fooling me for a while into thinking it had crashed.

      I hope this helps : )

    • Doc
      August 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      This is not about Windows 8.1 (which is the OS installed on this PC), but about Windows 8.1 Update (KB2919355), which adds the "Shutdown" and "Search" icons next to the username on the Start Screen and a new tile size.

  13. Neb R
    August 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Would you ever continue to drink or eat something that needs constant care, cleaning, making sure it's right and not harmful? I guess not.
    Why do you than insist on using Windows? Is there really so much value in there that you are willingly working on keeping this OS going while at the same time spending countless hours on cleaning, updating, patching, protecting and all that again and again? Plus - you pay for it!

  14. Barbra
    August 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Leave the system alone and give everyone a chance to learn it and get used to it. I can learn to live with a few inconveniences if I can establish a working routine which I know will be the same every time for programs I use most frequently.
    I teach windows 8 basics to senior citizens and the system changes routines before we can even become used to them.

    • Ashley
      August 14, 2014 at 6:01 am

      I agree.
      Microsoft, please STOP changing everything.
      I take forever to get used to using (some) new things, and then you go & change it all again.
      Linux is looking more & more tempting.

  15. Dawei
    August 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Please, please, please fix the crazy window position situation, so that in future each window remembers its size and position next time it's opened. It drives me crazy having to reposition a window over and over again. It worked perfectly well prior to W8 - who on earth decided to change it? At least give us an option. And don't say it can't be done - as far as I remember, every prior version could do it, and W8 is supposed to be an improvement! Thank you.

  16. yves
    August 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I just dread updating to 8.1.

  17. James Howde
    August 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I quite like the start menus - I'm a sucker for colourful, shiny things - but the flat nature does irritate something rotten. I like having all the applications I might use in, say, editing an image together but then have the ones I don't use much down a level or split into sup categories. Windows 8 appears designed to prevent that at all costs.

    What I'd love is to be able to include sub-folders on the Apps screen where when you clicked on them they would open out (the reverse of the current behaviour if you click on a category name). My current solution of having another start menu folder, sticking folders full of shortcuts in there, and then put shortcuts in the real start menu folder pointing at them is pretty clunky.

    Oh and is there any way to have an app/program appear in more than one category because having more than one shortcut in different folders doesn't seem to work.

  18. Amrit K
    August 13, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Windows updates are mostly bullshit. If I am using PC in US english why should I install German update?

  19. Joseph
    August 13, 2014 at 7:45 am

    With windows 8.1 update came this addition to disable the Hot Corners and Charms Bar
    1. Right-click on Taskbar and select Properties option.

    2. It'll open Taskbar and Navigation properties window.

    3. Go to "Navigation" tab and uncheck following options present in "Corner navigation" section:

    When I point to the upper-right corner, show the charms
    When I click the upper-left corner, switch between my recent apps

    Disable_Windows_8_Hot_Corners_Taskbar_Properties.png

    1st option will disable Charms Bar and the 2nd option will disable App Switch list.

    4. Apply the changes and it'll immediately disable hot corners in Windows 8.1.

    • Hunter
      August 13, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      You can check my computer, just to see those options disabled. I hate Win8 for bringing touch gestures to non touch devices. But FINALLY Microsoft designed an optimal file history and rollback system that integrates with RAID storage.

  20. Hunter
    August 13, 2014 at 2:47 am

    Besides the obvious need for the traditional start menu, I would love to see THE END of charms and corner actions. No matter my settings, the charms won't disappear.

    As a tech and sales associate, my BIGGEST peeve is the fact there's Windows 8 and 8.1. Countless number of times people ask me if their computer comes with 8.1, the difference, if it's free, and why they need to update to the 8.1. This operating system was Microsoft's biggest mistake, especially for marketing. I'd love to save 20 minutes in a sale by not answering those annoying questions.

    • James E
      August 13, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Why not just offer to update the mach for them? They will see it as great customer service and you don't have to do much but let it update off Win Update

    • Hunter
      August 13, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      The store I work for charges for software installation and PC setup for a new device. The reason why it's annoying to explain is because there are many 50+ year old too impatient for our thorough explanations to their own lengthy questions. MANY people still come in having XP or Vista currently.

    • Tina S
      August 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Hunter, I take it you tried disabling hot corners via Taskbar and Navigation properties. And this doesn't completely remove the Charms Bar.

      Have you tried the Winareo Charms Bar Killer?

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