come with you during the upgrade, if something goes awry, you need to have your pictures, documents, and other important data backed up.
Either create a local backup on an external drive, an offsite solution, or better yet, use both options.
If you have a slow internet connection or prefer to upgrade the traditional way, you can purchase a physical copy too.
If you're currently running Windows 7 and want to upgrade to Windows 8.1, the process is relatively easy using Microsoft's Upgrade Assistant utility.
However, there are a few things you need to know before going ahead with the upgrade.
Download and run the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant.
It's a free utility from Microsoft that will scan your computer's hardware, software, and peripheral devices (make sure they're plugged in) and let you know what is or isn't compatible with the new OS.
Usually if something isn't compatible, you just need to update a software driver or two.
Also, because you'll need to re-install your desktop programs, make sure you have a list of all of the license keys for purchased software.
Microsoft allows you to purchase, download and install Windows 8.1 over the web.
For items that need your attention, click the More info link.
Since your system is already running Windows 7, there shouldn't be any problems with it running Windows 8.1.
The main thing to know is that, unlike upgrading Windows 8 to 8.1, your files and data will transfer, but you'll need to re-install all of your software applications.
Here's a look at what you need to know, and the steps to take to make the process as easy and seamless as possible.