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Minimum Requirement for Installing Windows 8

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When thinking of installing Windows 8, a lot of people immediately think about buying a new machine or atleast upgrade some parts of the computer to make it run with the latest . But the truth is you may not need to upgrade or buy a new PC. Remember the days when Windows Vista was released. After the successful Win XP, Microsoft released Vista which boasts about giving the windows line a very new look. But Vista was a total disaster. Forget the never ending bug issues in Vista, what people hated most about Vista was its high end hardware requirement. To make it worse, even the basic requirement suggested by Microsoft was not enough it to run Vista well. It was as if Microsoft was forcing people to buy new computer with a better configuration in order to experience their latest OS. Microsoft was even accused of collaborating with their partners to increase their computer sales.

To cut story shot, Microsoft learned from their bitter experience. When they released Windows 7, they made it sure it was “Vista Capable”. In other words, if you have a configuration good enough to run Vista properly, then you should be able to install Windows 7 as well. Before letting you know if your computer is compatible with Windows 8, let’s see the minimum configuration requirement for Windows 8.


To run windows 8 in your PC or laptop, you should have a 1GHz or more faster processor. Most of the computers released after the year 2000 qualify for it. Faster the processor, better the performance of your computer.

RAM Memory

Windows 8 come with a 32bit version and 64 bit version. For 32 bit version, you need to have a minimum 1GB RAM. For 64 bit version, you need a minimum of 2 GB RAM. (Minimum Requirement is the minimum needed to install Windows 8. But if you need a reasonable performance, RAM should be double the minimum requirement specified by Microsoft). More the RAM better the performance and you should have it as much as you can. However if you are using a 32 bit version, the maximum RAM it supports is only 4GB. Anymore additions is possible, but won’t be detected by the OS (Maximum RAM memory detected by any 32 bit OS is 4GB). With a 64 bit version, you can have as much as 128 GB RAM.

Hard disk space

When it comes to the storage space required for installing windows 8, 32 bit version needs 16 GB free space and 64 bit version require 20 GB free space. If there is SSD (Solid State Drive) it would make it much better. SSD’s are faster than hard disk and its presence can tremendously improve the performance by loading the boot files much faster. Some have achieved a boot time of 5secs using good configuration and SSD’s.

Monitor and screen resolution

One of the main features of Windows 8 is the improved support for touch screen. Normal monitors won’t be able to use touch screen. For that you need a tablet or PC monitor which supports touch screen. A screen resolution of atleast 1024 *768 is recommended. 1366*768 screen resolution is required if you want to snap apps. Windows 8 also requires a graphic card which supports DirectX 9 or more which should not be a problem unless you are still using a XP compatible computer.

Additional Requirements

Windows 8 also requires an active internet connection. Internet is needed for doing updates. Also the apps can only be downloaded from Windows Store which requires an internet connection.

To wrap it up it in one word, Microsoft have done a great job in keeping the minimum configuration same for all their releases starting from Vista. You don’t have to worry about the minimum configuration for Windows 8, if you already have a computer which smoothly runs either Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you are still using Windows XP, you might need to check computer configuration and install it after making sure that it satisfy the minimum requirement.

Windows 8 Minimum Requirements:

  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • 1GB RAM for 32bit, 2 GB RAM for 64bit
  • 16 GB HDD free space (32 bit), 20 GB HDD free space (64 bit)
  • Direct X 9.0 with WDDM or more compatible graphics card

Additional Windows 8 Requirements:

  • To use touch screen, a tablet or monitor which supports multitouch
  • To download and run Apps from Windows Store, an active internet connection and screen resolution of minimum 1024 x 768
  • To snap Apps, a screen resolution of 1366 x 768
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About the author: Anup Raman A Tech Enthusiast|Blogger|Tech Trainer with 10+ yrs experience in the field of IT. My expertise are in Operating Systems, mainly Windows and Computer security which comes from my experience, working as Tech Support and Trainer for Microsoft, Symantec and McAfee. Loves blogging about Technical Troubleshooting, discussing latest Gadgets, Games and doing Reviews.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Vinod Dec 27, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Hi there,
    Article is very help full. I have a doubt on hard disk space. When you say 64 bit needs 20 GB free, Is that a size after installation or before installation ?. I mean, i installed windows 8 in my 47 GB C drive. Installed windows 8 weighs near 20 GB. Balance is 27 GB. And after installing some programs, now my C drive have only 14GB free space. Is that enough ?

    • Anup Raman Dec 27, 2014, 2:37 pm

      20 GB free space is minimum needed for installing Windows 8. Since you had 47 GB space, that requirement is met.
      OS needs some free space after installation to ensure smooth functioning. 5-10 GB free space is recommended after installing everything. In your case, after installing Windows and other programs, you only have 14GB free space. For the time being,it is alright. But after a period, this 14 GB also gets exhausted mainly because of installing the future windows updates, other program updates and other downloaded files. As long as you can maintain at least 5 GB of free space on the main drive, you may run it like this.
      To future proof your machine, add an additional drive and install new programs on the new drive. Also move all the downloaded files like documents, music or video files to a separate folder in the new drive, so as to ensure maximum free space in primary drive.
      Hope this helps.

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