Learn how to get Microsoft 365 for $0 with these tips
Microsoft Office starts at $69.99 per year, but there are a few ways to get it free. We’ll show you how to get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office apps.
Use Office Online in a Browser; It’s Free
You can use Microsoft Office in a web browser for free, whether you have a Windows 10 PC, a Mac, or a Chromebook. You can open and create Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations right in your browser. Although the web-based versions of Office are simplified and cannot be used offline, they still provide a powerful editing experience.
You can also upload a file from your computer to Office Online page. You will be able to open it in the associated application, and you will save it to your Microsoft account’s free OneDrive storage.
The web applications for Microsoft Office have some limitations. These apps aren’t as feature-rich as the classic Office desktop apps for Windows and Mac, and you can’t use them offline. They do, however, provide completely free and surprisingly powerful Office applications.
Sign Up for a Free One-Month Trial
If you only need Microsoft Office for a few days, you can sign up for a one-month free trial. Go to Microsoft’s Try Office for Free website and sign up for a free trial to access this offer.
To sign up for the free trial, you must provide a credit card, which will automatically renew at the end of the month. You can, however, cancel your subscription at any time—even right after signing up—to avoid being billed. After canceling, you can continue to use Office for the remainder of your free month.
After joining the free trial, you can download full versions of these Microsoft Office applications for Windows PC and Mac. You’ll also have access to full versions of the apps on other platforms, such as larger iPads.
This trial will provide you with complete access to a Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) Family plan. It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It is possible to share it with up to five other people. They’ll each have access to the apps through their Microsoft account, and each will have their own 1TB of storage, for a total of 6TB.
Microsoft also provides free 30-day trials of Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprises designed for businesses. Both offers for two months of free Microsoft Office access may be available.
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Get Office Free as a Student or Teacher
Many educational institutions pay for Microsoft 365 plans, which allow students and teachers to download the software for free. You might be qualified to get free Microsoft Office if you’re a student.
To find out if your school is a participant, go to the Office 365 Education website and enter your school email address. You will get a free download if available through your school’s plan.
Even if a university or college doesn’t participate, it may offer Microsoft Office at a reduced cost to students and teachers through its bookstore. Check with your university or college—or at least look on its website—for additional details.
Try the Mobile Apps on Phones and Small iPads
Microsoft Office apps are also available for free on smartphones. You can use the Office mobile apps on your iPhone or Android mobile to open, create, and edit documents for free.
These apps will only allow you to create and edit documents on an iPad or Android tablet if you have a “device with a screen size smaller than 10.1 inches.”
You can install these apps on a larger tablet or iPad to view documents, but you’ll need a paid subscription to create and edit them.
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are free to access on the iPad Mini and older 9.7-inch iPads. You’ll need to pay for a subscription to get document-editing capabilities on an iPad Pro or newer 10.2-inch iPad.
Join Someone’s Microsoft 365 Family Plan
A person can share Microsoft 365 Home subscriptions with different people. The $69.99 per year subscription includes Office for one person, while the $99.99 per year subscription includes Office for up to six people. With Office for Windows PC, Mac, iPad, Smartphones, and other devices, you’ll get the whole experience.
Anyone who purchases Microsoft 365 Family (formerly Office 365 Home) can share it with five other household users.
The primary owner of the subscription can add up to five additional members, and each of those members will receive an invitation link. It’s highly convenient: You can control Sharing via an Office “Sharing” page on the Microsoft account website.
After joining the group, each member can sign in with their own Microsoft account to download the Office apps, just like they would if they were paying for their own subscriptions. Each user will have their own 1TB of OneDrive storage space.
According to Microsoft, you can share the subscription among your “household.” So, if you have a family member or even a roommate who uses this service, that person can add you for free.
If you’re going to pay for Microsoft Office, the Family plan is unquestionably the best deal. If you divide a $99.99 per year subscription among six people, the cost per person is less than $17 per year.
By the way, Microsoft collaborates with some employers to provide employees with a discount on Office subscriptions. To see if you qualify for a discounted price, go to Microsoft’s Home Use Program website.
Free Microsoft Office Alternatives
There are free office suites that work well with Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentation files. Consider using a different office application if you’re looking for something different. Here are a few examples:
- LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and other platforms. It is similar to the desktop versions of Microsoft Office. It can even work and create Office documents in popular file formats such as DOCX documents, XLSX spreadsheets, and PPTX presentations. OpenOffice served as the foundation for LibreOffice. While OpenOffice is still in use, LibreOffice now has more developers and is the more popular project.
- Apple iWork is a free office application suite for Mac and iOS users. It is Apple’s competitor to Microsoft Office and was previously a paid software before being made free to use by Apple. Windows PC users can also use the iCloud website to access a web-based version of iWork.
- Google Docs is a competent suite of web-based office software. Unlike Microsoft’s Office web apps, you can access Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offline in Google Chrome. Your files get stored in Google Drive, Google’s online file storage service.
There are numerous other options, but these are among the best.
You can still buy a boxed copy of Microsoft Office if you don’t want to pay a monthly fee. Office Home & Student 2019 and Office Home & Student 2021 cost $149.99 and can be installed only on one computer. You will also not receive a free upgrade to the next major version of Office.
If you’re going to pay for Office, a subscription is probably the best choice if you can share a paid plan with others.
The Microsoft Home Use Program is an employee purchase program offered through your company for Microsoft’s valued customers. It allows employees to purchase premium, up-to-date Microsoft 365 Family and Personal subscriptions at a significant discount on their devices.