Installing Windows 8.1 Update on Surface RT

W8_1_featI use my Surface RT a lot. I have it connected to my Office 365 accounts and online services and remote into my desktop at work if I need to use any full Windows 8 desktop applications. I have found it the Surface RT to be a very productive device. So I was keen to find out what has changed in the final release of Windows 8.1 as soon as I could and start bending it to my will. I set my alarm for 12am NZDT 18th Oct and got up excitedly to move my Surface RT from Windows 8.1 Preview to Release. Trying to find the Windows 8.1 Update in the Windows Store was the first challenge. Getting access to the store was initially difficult as many people were trying to download 8.1. But I soon discovered I need to take some additional steps.

  1. Installed a firmware update.
  2. Cleared my Windows Store cache. Start > "wsreset.exe" - Thanks @PaulBowkett
  3. Visited - Thanks @maryjofoley. The NZ link to the same content displayed a 403 - Forbidden page initially.
  4. I installed the preview from the Windows Store or I installed the preview using media while Windows 8 was running

    You can download the update for free from the Windows Store. You'll be able to keep your personal files, but you'll need to reinstall your apps. Make sure you have any original installation media that might be required for apps that were not installed from the Windows Store.

    1. On the Start screen, tap or click Store to open the Windows Store. Doing this first will make it so that you can see the progress of the installation once it starts.
    2. After opening the Store, return to this page.
    3. Click to download Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store.
  5. The Store reported Windows 8.1 was installing.
  6. Once installed, you will be guided to connect to wireless and reconnect your Microsoft account. After doing this, resist the urge to configure, play and explore. Visit the Control Panel and search for Updates. Right Charm > Settings > Change PC Settings > Update and Recovery > Windows Update > Check Now. Checking may take 20-30 min to download and offer a final firmware update. On the Surface RT, this contained 4 updates and installed in approx. 5 min.
  7. Now, play and configure to your hearts content.
    1. Explore the new Mail, People and Calendar apps.
    2. Click-2-Reinstall the apps you had installed before.
    3. Allow your settings to sync.
    4. Re-enter passwords in some apps and services, to recreate the connections and configure the app/service as it was before the upgrade.
    5. Connect to your Office 365 online services with Outlook, OneNote and download your offline mailbox / notebooks.
    6. Sign into Office with your Office 365 account or Microsoft Account and re-connect to your cloud services and storage.

Here's how the install unfolded via tweets.