Windows 8.1 Removes Windows Experience Index

 Microsoft first introduced the Windows Experience Index in Windows Vista. It was used to summarize the PC’s performance in an easy-to-understand point system. The Windows Experience Index measured components of the PC such as the hard drive, RAM, CPU, graphics, gaming performance, etc. It tested each of the component and gave it a score. The lowest of the score was used as the base score of the entire PC. In theory, it was supposed to make it easy for the consumer to know if a software or game would run on their PC. For example, if a software required the PC to have a base score of 4.6 but the PC had a base score of 3.1, the user would know that the software might not be a good purchase for their PC.

However, the Experience Index did not resonate with consumers. It was also rarely used in software’s system requirements. The only people that even looked at the experience index were technical savvy people and reviewers.

Microsoft removed the Experience Index from Windows RT but kept it on the original release of Windows 8 in October of 2012. However with Windows 8.1, Microsoft has decided to kill off the Experience Index completely. I have tested this on several PCs (touch and non-touch). Before upgrading my PCs, I was able to view the Experience Index on Windows 8.0. After upgrading to Windows 8.1, they were no longer present.

As you can see on the screenshot that compares Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, the experience index is shown on Windows 8.0 and not on Windows 8.1. There is also no way the “enable” this feature. It is gone for good.

Windows 8 Experience Index

No Windows Experience Index 2

17 thoughts on “Windows 8.1 Removes Windows Experience Index

    • I really miss it! I actually used it quite a lot, and it was quite accurate. I think the problem is that only “geeks” and reviewers used it. The experience index was designed for non tech savvy consumers. Microsoft didn’t want consumers to worry about the gigahertz for CPUs or gigabytes or RAMs. They wanted a easy way for consumer to understand a PC spec. But unfortunately, it never took off. It was a great idea but I think most people didn’t even know it existed.

      However I think the biggest culprit was the fact that we are at an age that most, if not all, of our PCs can run all consumer software without a problem. Therefore, there was never really a need for consumers for the experience index in the first place. The software that did require powerful PCs were hardcore games and professional software like 3D S Max, and AutoCAD. However, for pro software and games, the users were tech savvy and were more interested in raw spec rather than representative numbers.

      Essentially, the experience index, while a great idea, didn’t have an audience. Had it been released in the 1990’s, where we needed to know our PC specs for most software, it would thrive, but in 2013, not so much.




  1. Good catch Naz. Saw this too, but I thought maybe they haven’t implemented it in 8.1 because they haven’t gotten to it. This version is a Preview isn’t it? So we are not sure for now, they may bring it back later on as we are close to the GA.

    I too will be unhappy if they don’t bring it back because it my goto tool to compare devices I want to buy. One fixed tool that you can compare across all Windows devices. It will be stupid if they permanently remove it.


  2. I have no problem with the Experience Index going. The last time I checked, the aggregate score was always brought down a ton if one of the categories was lagging. I had an older laptop that ran great, had all the RAM I could ask for, but had a terrible (I mean under 2) experience score because of an outdated integrated graphics system. The experience score in no way represented my actual experience.

    I would love a retooled experience index that could be adjusted based on what you use the computer for. Maybe you could set it as a gaming console and it would favor graphics or you could set it as a basic productivity setting and the thresholds would be lower.

    I like the idea of a score, but I think windows can do a better job of making it actually work. They could even use these scores as part of their sales program. Instead of rambling off a list of specs, which alot of consumers don’t understand, give a score out of 100 that gives them a good indication of what they are buying.


    • Good point, I fully understand you. In such cases, I just neglect those categories that don’t matter to me. It is the function of each category that most of us geeks compare with other similar categories anyway. So if my Graphic card says I am shitty, but I highly ranked CPU grade. I am already happy as I know I am not using the device for games anyway. Something in that trend. Good point tho.


  3. Have you tried running it from the command line?
    Try typing winsat formal
    Anyways, makes sense they removed it since it was supposed to work with the Games Explorer which showed all your games and their associated WEI scores. That’s gone too since they removed the games folder too.


    • Thanks Plank Time, I have completely forgotten de Command Prompt version of the WEI. Just checked, this is still functioning. So, the infrastructure is still there. I guess they may be overhauling it for the GA, that that is why they’ve removed the GUI portion of it. Curious what we’ll get for the GA.


  4. Does anybody actually care if Microsoft has removed a pointless tool which nobody actually used.To be honest with you I never used it. I build my own rigs so I know what’s inside my rig and I don’t need Microsoft to set a benchmark for my PC. For the AJP “Average Joe Public” maybe, it was a good idea. but I always found it to be a waste of resources. if you want to benchmark your PC then use Futuremark PCMark 8 which is designed for Windows 8 (Coming Soon) this isn’t available yet but will be soon.The problem with benchmarking software is that, “AJP” will tick all the boxes and then moan because their PC has stopped working because they’ve slowed down their PC to a snails crawl.


    • Nice of you to take time to voice your opinion, and of course we respect that.
      But you are forgetting that not everyone build their own rigs, and there are situation that you can’t build your own rig, like buying a laptop or a tablet. This tool afford you a chance to measure the hardware components for comparison to other possible device candidates you might want to buy. Of course everyone knows the Performance Index of all Intel CPUs, but you can never know which other components an OEM is going to put inside, i.e. HDD or SSD, graphic card etc. So it always good to have a common denominator that everyone can refer to. What even if you built this awesome gaming rig, how can you compare you awesomeness with best friend Joe to make him jealous that you’ve got something that beats his’.
      That is why some of us will really miss this tool if MS decides not to include it in the eventual GA product.
      As usual, we keep our fingers crossed. Semper Fi bro. :-)


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