How to Install Windows Media Center Pack to Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 doesn’t include Media Center, but you can install it as a separate download pack. And Microsoft is offering it for free until January 31st.

Windows 8 doesn’t include Media Center like its predecessor, but you can install it as a separate download. And the grooviest part is that Microsoft letting you download it for free until January 31st.

Update: Windows 8.1 has reached the end of mainstream support. According to the company:

Windows 8.1 reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018, and will reach end of Extended Support on January 10, 2023. With the general availability of Windows 8.1, customers on Windows 8 had until January 12, 2016, to move to Windows 8.1 to remain supported.

Note: You’ll need to be running Windows 8 Pro to install the Media Center Pack. Earlier this year, we covered how to install Windows Media Center on the Release Preview, and while the steps are essentially the same, there are some differences to note.

Get Windows Media Center Pack Product Key

To get Windows Media Center (WMC) for free, head to Microsoft’s special offer site and enter your email address. You’ll get a message telling you the key will arrive within 24 hours and to check your junk folder for it just in case. In my case, it took several hours for Microsoft to email me the product key. I’m not sure why it takes so long, but keep this in mind when you set this up. You might not be able to get it done in one sitting.

Send Product Key

Install Windows 8 Media Center Pack

After you get your key, there is a couple of ways to install the Media Center Pack. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + W to bring up Settings Search and type: add features.

Add Features

Then click the icon under the search results.

Add Features to Windows 8

Alternately, from the Desktop, select System from the Windows 8 Power User menu.

Windows 8 Power User menu

Then click “Get more features with a new edition of Windows.”


Either way, you’ll get to the following screen. Click “I already have a Product key.”

Already have a Product Key

Then copy and paste in the key Microsoft emailed you. The key will be confirmed. Then click Next.

Enter Product Key

Next, agree to the license terms and click Add Features.

Accept EULA

Windows Media Center will be installed on your computer. Keep in mind that your system will reboot at least once during the process.

adding features reboot

After installation is complete, you’ll find the Media Center tile on the Start screen.

Windows Media Center Tile

To access it easier from the Desktop, pin the icon to the Taskbar.

Windows Media Center icon Taskbar

Now you can go through and set it up. By the way, you can still stream WMC content to Xbox 360 from Windows 8.

Launch Windows Media Center

Hopefully, you’re able to get the Media Center pack while Microsoft has the free offer – available until January 31st, 2013. After that, it looks like the pack will cost you $9.99 – of course, that could always change.

Windows 8 Media Center Pack



  1. Ziggy

    November 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks, Brian! Always good to get a freebie from Microsoft. They must be in Christmas mode already. Whoa!

    • Brian Burgess

      November 3, 2012 at 12:51 am

      You bet Ziggy. Actually, MS should just have included it in Win8 imo … but I understand they are moving forward.

  2. Jon

    April 23, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Hopefully, you see this, but I was wondering if I could reinstall the freebie even after I activated it already. My laptop was stolen but I was able to get someone to set up a program to wipe my computer. I been using windows 8 but can I still use the code to reinstall it? I’m still in the process of finding the code in my backup.

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