Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cannot Connect To Windows Store

Back in October, my frustrations with Windows 8 had gotten the better of me, and I installed the Windows 8.1 Pro preview. When the official Windows 8.1 release came out in late November, I noticed that I was having trouble accessing the Windows Store in order to get to it. I thought nothing of it and merely went on with my life, content with the Windows 8.1 Pro evaluation copy. Well, my disregard came back to haunt me last night when Windows informed me that my evaluation had expired and that I had to download the official Windows 8.1 release from the Windows store. In the meantime, Microsoft Windows promised to reboot my computer every 2 hours as punishment.

The only way to install the Windows 8.1 update is through the Windows Store. Microsoft doesn't offer a support web page where you can download the update as an ISO or an MSI. The Windows Store is your only option. Problem is, my computer could not connect to the Windows Store. I kept getting a message that said:

Unable to connect to the Store. A problem has encountered with the server or a timeout of the network connection. Wait a few minutes and try again.

And that was weird because my computer had no trouble connecting to the Internet in every other case. Every so often, when I tried again to access the store, the Windows 8.1 download page would come up, but the heading text would be placed over the Download button in such a way that I couldn't click it.

Microsoft offers a number of potential fixes for those of you who can't connect to the Windows Store. None of them worked for me, including running WSReset.exe (Windows Store Reset which resets the Store cache). I also tried a number of third-party cleaner tools like RegCure and Windows Store Troubleshooter to no avail.

Windows Store Can't Connect? Here's The Solution:

What solved the problem for me was simply putting ms-windows-store:WindowsUpgrade into the address bar of my browser. It immediately opened up to the Windows 8.1 download page within the Store app with a perfectly clear layout so I could hit the download button without any trouble. Once I got through to that page, I no longer got the Unable to connect to the Store error.

Some Notes About Upgrading To Windows 8.1

  • There's no way to uninstall Windows 8.1 Preview Edition

  • If you've got Windows 8.1 Preview installed, you can upgrade to the official Window 8.1 release without any trouble

  • You're going to have to re-install all of your apps.

  • If you're logging in to your computer via a local account, Windows 8.1 will force you to switch to a Microsoft account. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post about the vagaries of trying to navigate Windows 8 and their Previews. Similar user experiences from friends have kept me from upgrading my machines to Windows 8. So I'm left to wonder if I will be left with no upgrade path on all 4 of my Windows 7 machines once Windows 9 comes out (2015?),