Microsoft Office typically starts at $ 70 a year, but there are a few ways to get it for free. We’ll show you all the ways in which you can get Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office applications without paying a dime.
Use Office Online in a browser; It’s free
Whether you are using a Windows 10 PC, Mac or Chromebook, you can use Microsoft Office for free in a web browser. Web-based versions of Office are simplified and don’t work offline, but still offer a powerful editing experience. You can open and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents directly in your browser.
To access these free web apps, just go to Office.com and sign in with a free Microsoft account. Click on an application icon – such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint – to open the web version of that application.
You can also drag and drop a file from your computer to Office.com. It will be uploaded to your Microsoft account’s free OneDrive storage and you can open it in the associated application.
Office web applications have some limitations. These applications are not as complete as the classic Office desktop applications for Windows and Mac, and you cannot access them offline. But they offer surprisingly powerful Office applications and are completely free.
Sign up for a free one-month trial
If you only need Microsoft Office for a short period of time, you can sign up for a one-month free trial. To find this offer, go to the Microsoft website Try Office for free website and sign up for the test.
You will need to provide a credit card to sign up for the test, which will automatically renew after the month. However, you can cancel your subscription at any time, even after signing up, to ensure that you are not charged. You can continue using Office for the remainder of the free month after canceling.
After joining the trial, you can download full versions of these Microsoft Office applications for Windows PCs and Macs. You will also have access to the full versions of the applications on other platforms, including larger iPads.
This assessment provides full access to an initial Microsoft 365 plan (formerly Office 365). You will get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and 1 TB of storage on OneDrive. You can share it with up to five other people. Each of them will have access to the applications through their Microsoft account and will have their own 1 TB of storage for a total of 6 TB of storage.
Microsoft also offers free 30-day trials of Office 365 ProPlus, aimed at companies. You can take advantage of both offers for two months of free access to Microsoft Office.
Get free Office as a student or teacher
Many educational institutions pay for Office 365 plans, allowing students and teachers to download the software for free.
To find out if your school participates, go to Office 365 Education website and enter your school’s email address. You will receive a free download if it is available through your school’s plan.
Even if a university or college does not participate, it can offer Microsoft Office at a reduced cost to students and teachers through its bookstore. Check with your educational institution – or at least refer to the website – for more details.
Try mobile apps on small phones and iPads
Microsoft Office applications are also free on smartphones. On an iPhone or Android phone, you can download Office mobile apps to open, create and edit documents for free.
On an iPad or Android tablet, these apps only allow you to create and edit documents if you have a “device with a screen size less than 10.1 inches”. On a larger tablet, you can install these apps to view documents, but you’ll need a paid subscription to create and edit them.
In practice, this means that Word, Excel and PowerPoint offer a complete experience for free on older iPad Mini and 9.7-inch iPads. You will need a paid subscription to get document editing features from a newer iPad Pro or 10.2-inch iPads.
Sign up for someone’s Microsoft 365 home plan
Microsoft 365 Home subscriptions must be shared among several people. The $ 70 per year version offers Office for a single person, while the $ 100 per year subscription offers Office for up to six people. You will have the full experience with PCs, Macs, iPads and other Office for Windows devices.
Payers for Microsoft 365 Home (formerly known as Office 365 Home) can share it with up to five other Microsoft accounts. It is very convenient: sharing is managed through an Office “Sharing” page on the Microsoft account website. The primary account owner can add five other Microsoft accounts and each of these accounts will receive an invitation link.
After joining the group, each person can sign in with their own Microsoft account to download Office applications – just as if they were paying for their own subscriptions. Each account will have 1 TB of storage separate from OneDrive.
Microsoft says the subscription is intended for sharing between your “family”. So if you have a family member or even a roommate with that service, that person can add you to your subscription for free.
The initial plan is definitely the best deal if you pay for Microsoft Office. If you can split a $ 100 per year subscription between six people, that’s less than $ 17 per year per person.
By the way, Microsoft partners with some employers to offer discounts on Office subscriptions to their employees. Checks Microsoft Home Use Program website to see if you qualify for a discount.
Free Microsoft Office alternatives
If you are looking for something else, consider choosing a different office application. There are office suites completely free, with good compatibility with Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentation files. Here are some of the best:
- LibreOffice is a free and open source office application for Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems. It is similar to desktop versions of Microsoft Office and can even work and create Office documents in common file types, such as DOCX documents, XLSX spreadsheets and PPTX presentations. LibreOffice was based on OpenOffice. While Open office is still around, LibreOffice has more developers and is now the most popular project.
- Apple iWork is a free collection of office applications for Mac, iPhone and iPad users. This is Apple’s competitor for Microsoft Office and used to be paid software before Apple released it. Windows PC users can also access a web-based version of iWork on the iCloud website.
- Google documents is a capable collection of web-based office software. It stores your files in Google Drive, Google’s online file storage service. Unlike Microsoft Office web applications, you can even access Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline in Google Chrome.
There are many other alternatives, but these are some of the best.
If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee, you can still purchase a boxed copy of Microsoft Office. Yet, Office Home and Student 2019 it costs $ 150 and you can only install it on one device. You also will not receive a free update for the next major version of Office. If you’re going to pay for Office, the subscription is probably the best deal—Especially if you can share a paid plan with others.