I obtained a licence key for Windows 8 through DreamSpark. Is there a way to download a Windows 8 ISO image like you could for Windows 7? I am on a non-Windows machine, so I cannot use the Secure Download Manager to download Windows 8 directly using DreamSpark.

  • 1
    Doesn't dream spark offer a regular html download? they use too...
    – TheXed
    Oct 27, 2012 at 2:20
  • No, they don't offer a regular html download. For downloading windows 7, the following post superuser.com/questions/78761/… has the links to it. So I am looking something similar for windows 8.
    – Ishan
    Oct 27, 2012 at 3:36
  • I completely feel your pain. Their "secure download manager" is so terrible. However, if you give Microsoft a bunch of money and get MSDN you get good ol' HTTP downloads
    – Earlz
    Nov 8, 2012 at 21:54
  • 1
    There are torrents of official ISOs available on the internet. Just google the filename. Remember to check the SHA1 afterwards to ensure that you have the genuine file!
    – kinokijuf
    Apr 24, 2014 at 11:27
  • 1
    Same question for Windows 7: superuser.com/questions/78761/…
    – Wilf
    Feb 17, 2015 at 22:25

5 Answers 5


My order confirmation says:

If you need to download Windows, write down your new product key and enter it here.

And it links to the Windows Setup.exe.

Additionally, there's this option:

  1. Go to https://www.mswos.com/

  2. Fill out the details of your order.

    enter image description here

  3. You'll find the download link at the bottom of the page.

    enter image description here

  • Nice find but I think it would be great to have a ISO and not an EXE. I need to reformat and install Win8 and a physical DVD is essential. Where I can find an ISO ?
    – Warface
    Nov 6, 2012 at 15:12
  • @Warface: The installer allows you to download an ISO after you've input your product key. At least that's my understanding of it and that's what happened when I installed my upgrade. But, yeah, a direct .iso download would be a lot better. Nov 6, 2012 at 15:22
  • Yeah I just found that with this link guidingtech.com/16395/… Thanks
    – Warface
    Nov 6, 2012 at 15:36
  • 2
    I'm not on Windows so an EXE simply doesn't make sense. I need to install Windows 8 in a VM.
    – Luke
    Dec 7, 2013 at 8:47
  • 1
    @Luke Okay, so try the second suggestion. The download link on the site should lead to an ISO. Or use a different Windows VM to run the EXE. Dec 7, 2013 at 9:10

Normally you can download this from DreamSpark itself, not far from where you got the key from.

Alternatively, try this URL.


You can download Windows 8, and a Windows 8.1 upgrade for free, direct from Microsoft, provided you have a valid product key.

Both are on Microsoft's Windows 8 upgrade, product key only site.

Complete Windows 8 ISO:

Clicking the Install Windows 8 button will download an executable installer which will download the appropriate Windows 8 ISO, based on the product key you provide.

Windows 8.1 upgrade:

Clicking the Install Windows 8.1 button will download an executable that will provide you with a Windows 8.1 upgrade installer download.

Complete Windows 8.1 ISO:

If you want to download a complete Windows 8.1 ISO, you can do so as well, but there's a little bit of a trick to it.

  1. At the Microsoft Windows 8 upgrade, product key only site, click the Install Windows 8 button to download the executable installer.
  2. Run the executable installer, input your product key*, and download the appropriate Windows 8 ISO.
  3. Once the download starts, close the setup program.
  4. Return to Microsoft's Windows 8 upgrade, product key only site and this time, Click the Install Windows 8.1 button instead, this time, and it will begin to download your complete Windows 8.1 ISO.
  5. Success!

And no, no one seems to know why the the process for downloading the complete Windows 8.1 ISO is more convoluted than getting the complete Windows 8 ISO.

*As noted in the answer here, The Windows 8 downloader for the ISO will not accept Windows 8.1 product keys, so you will have to use a generic placeholder key (334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT for Core, XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB for Professional) if you only have a Windows 8.1 license. This placeholder key will not let you activate Windows, so this is key will simply allow you pass the key check on the Windows 8 downloader, and allow to proceed to downloading the Windows 8.1 ISO.

  • 3
    @StevenPenny Well, good luck with that, then - the bounty is going to go to waste. Because unless you have a volume licensing agreement and access to the MS volume licensing site, you can't legally download a Windows 8 ISO without downloading the exes first. Microsoft uses those exes to enforce their licensing (by restricting the downloads to those with a valid product key), and they don't make the ISO downloads available to the general public otherwise. Apr 25, 2014 at 1:02
  • 2
    @StevenPenny His answer meets the bounty restrictions. You say "if possible" no EXEs. Well, it isn't and therefore his answer fulfills your request.
    – Jacob
    Apr 25, 2014 at 1:17
  • 1
    @StevenPenny You can get direct ISO downloads with an MSDN subscription, but those are tied to your account and the links won't work for the general public anyway. I think this answer is about the best you can do. But who knows, someone might come up with something better in the next few days... Apr 25, 2014 at 1:24
  • 2
    @StevenPenny Unfortunately, the only way to get a legal copy is to go through whatever method MS provides. They did not see fit to provide a plain ISO download. That is their decision, and you are welcome to ask them to reconsider, but there is no other way to obtain a legal copy of the retail edition, as far as anyone knows (barring some resellers, but they would need MS's permission anyway).
    – Bob
    Apr 25, 2014 at 1:42
  • There's a better way now, one that doesn't require any product keys (but still requires one to run an EXE on a Windows machine for whatever reason): the Media Creation Tool described in this answer.
    – RomanSt
    Apr 13, 2015 at 13:56

If you have a computer which has already Windows 7 or later, you can use this official tool to create a Windows 8.1 installation media.

All you need to provide is your product key. The tool will download the installation files, and you will be able to create an ISO file, then burn it to a media.

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  • 1
    This solution is already explained in the accepted solution. This also only works with non OEM versions of Windows 8.1. You would be unable to use this method with an OEM license.
    – Ramhound
    Apr 30, 2014 at 9:52
  • 2
    Product key isn't required anymore with this method.
    – gronostaj
    Feb 13, 2015 at 23:28
  • 2
    Great for those already on Windows, impossible for those who are not. They know how to make it difficult, don't they...
    – RomanSt
    Apr 13, 2015 at 13:55

Here is a magnet link you can use to download a clean image from Microsoft.


You can learn how to use magnet links to download torrent files here: http://dev.deluge-torrent.org/wiki/Faq#HowdoIsetDelugeasmydefaultprogramforMagnetURIs

Remember to include everything including the word "magnet"

  • I assume everything after the colon is the link? How does one use it?
    – fixer1234
    Apr 2, 2016 at 20:50
  • No include the entire line. Even the word magnet. You will need a bittorrent client to download it. dev.deluge-torrent.org/wiki/… Please upvote my answer if you found it useful. Thanks Apr 5, 2016 at 10:56
  • 2
    It still isn't clear how to accomplish your solution. Can you expand your answer with full, detailed instructions? Thanks.
    – fixer1234
    Apr 5, 2016 at 18:58

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