How to get Microsoft Office for free

Just like other software, Word, Excel and PowerPoint are typically not free. But with Microsoft 365, you can try a free version of Microsoft Office. Read on to find out more.

Is Microsoft Office free?

Yes, you can use Microsoft Office, now known as Microsoft 365, for free. But this only applies to limited web versions of Office programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Free licenses are also available for charities, high schools, college students and teachers. Microsoft 365 also offers a free trial month.

What are different ways to get Microsoft Office for free?

In this section, we’ll show you the different ways to get Microsoft Office for free, including their requirements and restrictions.

Web application

Microsoft 365 is available as a free web app (formerly ‘Office Online’). To use browser apps like Word, Excel or PowerPoint for free, all you need is a Microsoft account, which is also free. There are, however, some restrictions and requirements when it comes to using Microsoft Office’s online web apps:

  • You need you own Microsoft account.
  • Apps can only be used in a browser.
  • Online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint have limited features.
  • You need internet access to use the apps.
  • Files (excluding images) can only be saved in the cloud, not locally.
  • Team features like collaborative editing and sharing of files are limited.
  • You can’t use touch-sensitive screens or tablet pens.

You can try free, limited online versions of Microsoft 365 via Microsoft Office Online.

Free online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint offer a limited amount of features. / Source: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-365/free-office-online-for-the-web

Free trial month

If you’re curious about Microsoft 365 and its features, you can get a free 30-day trial. A one-month trial gives you access to premium features, advanced security and more cloud storage than the 5 GB that come with a free account. Before you start, you’ll need a Microsoft account.

The benefits of a free trial include:

  • Access to the desktop versions of the most important Microsoft Office apps for free (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Defender, Clipchamp and OneNote)
  • Use for one to six people per trial
  • Up to five devices per trial
  • Compatibility with PC and Mac as well as iOS and Android
  • Up to 6 TB of cloud storage with 1 TB of storage per person
  • Auto-renewal to a paid subscription, which you can cancel anytime
  • Free trials for Family and Business packages

Explore the various packages and get a free Microsoft Office one-month trial.

With a one-month free trial, you can test Microsoft 365 for 30 days with all the premium features. / Source: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-365/try

Microsoft Office 365 Education for students and teachers

With Office 365 Education, Microsoft provides Microsoft 365 as a free education package that includes the latest Microsoft apps and premium features. The following conditions apply:

  • Must be a student or educator at an eligible educational institution
  • Must have a valid email address at an eligible educational institution
  • Can be used on up to five PCs and Macs as well as up to five iPads or tablets with Android or Windows.

The free package includes:

  • The latest Office programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Publisher
  • The online version of Office
  • Additional educational tools
  • 1 TB cloud storage with OneDrive

Learn more about this free Office package on the Office 365 website.

Microsoft Office 365 and its free Office plan for students, teachers and faculty. / Source: https://www.microsoft.com/education/products/office

Microsoft 365 for non-profit organisations

Microsoft provides free, discounted and donation-based full versions of Microsoft 365 to non-profit and charitable organisations and their employees. Free versions vary according to the size of the organisation:

For small and mid-sized non-profits: the free version of Microsoft 365 Business Basic can be used by up to 300 users and includes 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage, reliable data protection and apps like Word, Excel, Teams, PowerPoint, Outlook and Exchange. • For larger non-profits: packages for large companies are available to non-profits and their employees at highly discounted prices (price for E3 yearly package: £8.30 per month instead of £22; price for E5 yearly package: £21.00 per month instead of £36.40).

Offers for non-profit organisations can be found on the Microsoft site.You can also find out more about how Microsoft supports non-profits on this page.

What free alternatives to Microsoft 365 are there?

If you don’t want to buy Microsoft 365 or try the free trial, you can check some powerful, free Microsoft Office alternatives like LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Google, one of Microsoft’s biggest competitors in business solutions, also offers Google Workspace, a free, cloud-based Office application and collaboration software tool.

What is the free Microsoft Office version best suited for?

Despite their limited functionality, free online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint offer quite a few advantages, even for non-business purposes. After all, Microsoft’s Office services are considered a business standard.

But online Office apps aren’t the most suitable for companies. They lack important team features for many users, which, along with Teams, the Exchange server and Skype, are included in other packages. In addition, web apps require internet access, don’t offer large cloud storage in OneDrive and don’t have the advanced security features that business versions offer.

Tip

Small- and medium-sized businesses are especially dependent on cloud-based, connected work. Microsoft 365 with IONOS is a great solution for this. It includes cloud storage, collaboration tools like Teams and Exchange, Office apps and 24/7 expert support.

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