On average, Microsoft Office costs $70 per year, but there are several ways to acquire it for free. We’ll teach you to acquire Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office apps for free.
Use Office Online in a Browser; It’s Free
Microsoft Office is available for free in a web browser on any Windows 10 PC, Mac, or Chromebook. The web-based versions of Office are less feature-rich and do not work offline, but they nevertheless provide a strong editing environment. You can use your browser to open and create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.
Simply go to Office.com and join up for a free Microsoft account to gain access to these free web programs. To open the web version of an application, click its icons, such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
You can also upload a file from your PC to the Office.com page by dragging and dropping it. It’ll be saved to your Microsoft account’s free OneDrive storage, and you’ll be able to open it in the corresponding app.
The web applications for Office have some limitations. These apps aren’t as feature-rich as the traditional Office desktop apps for Windows and Mac, and you can’t use them offline. They do, however, provide remarkably strong Office apps that are also entirely free.
Sign Up for a Free One-Month Trial
You can sign up for a one-month free trial of Microsoft Office if you only need it for a short time. To take advantage of this offer, go to Microsoft’s Try Office for Free website and register for a free trial.
To sign up for the trial, you’ll need to supply a credit card, and it will automatically renew after one month. You can, however, cancel your subscription at any time—even after you’ve signed up—to avoid being charged. After canceling, you can use Office for the remainder of your free month.
You can download full versions of these Microsoft Office apps for Windows PCs and Macs after joining the trial. On other platforms, such as larger iPads, you’ll have access to the full versions of the apps.
You’ll get full access to a Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) Home plan with this trial. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and 1TB of OneDrive storage are included. It can be shared with up to five additional persons. They’ll have access to the apps through their Microsoft accounts, and each will have 1TB of storage for a total of 6TB.
Microsoft also provides a free 30-day trial of Office 365 ProPlus, which is designed for enterprises. You might be able to get two months of free Microsoft Office access by taking advantage of both offers.
Get Office Free as a Student or Teacher
Many educational organizations pay for Office 365 plans, which give students and teachers free access to the software.
Go to the Office 365 Education page and enter your school’s email address to see if your school is a participant. If it’s available through your school’s plan, you’ll be offered a free download.
Even if a university or institution does not participate, its bookstore may provide Microsoft Office at a discounted price to students and professors. For further information, contact your educational institution or at the very least check its website.
Try the Mobile Apps on Phones and Small iPads
Microsoft’s Office apps are also available for free on cellphones. You can use the Office mobile apps to open, create, and edit documents for free on an iPhone or Android phone.
These apps will only let you write and modify documents on an iPad or Android tablet if you have a “device with a screen size lower than 10.1 inches.” These apps can be installed on a larger tablet to see documents, but you’ll need a paid subscription to create and modify them.
In fact, this means that the iPad Mini and previous 9.7-inch iPads get a full version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free. If you want to edit documents on an iPad Pro or a newer 10.2-inch iPad, you’ll need to pay for a membership.
Join Someone’s Microsoft 365 Home Plan
Microsoft 365 Home subscriptions are intended to be shared by a group of individuals. The $70 annual subscription includes Office for one person, while the $100 annual subscription includes Office for up to six individuals. With Office for Windows PCs, Macs, iPads, and other devices, you’ll get the whole experience.
Microsoft 365 Home (previously known as Office 365 Home) users can share their subscriptions with up to five additional Microsoft accounts. It’s incredibly convenient: Sharing is controlled using Microsoft’s account website’s Office “Sharing” page. The account’s primary owner can add up to five additional Microsoft accounts, each of which will receive an invitation link.
After joining the group, each member can download the Office programs using their own Microsoft account, exactly as if they were paying for their individual subscriptions. Each OneDrive account will have its own 1TB of storage.
According to Microsoft, the subscription is intended to be shared among your “family.” So, if you have a family member or even a roommate who uses this service, they can add you for free to their account.
If you’re going to pay for Microsoft Office, the Home plan is unquestionably the best price. If you divide a $100 annual subscription among six people, each person will pay less than $17 per year.
By the way, Microsoft has partnered with several businesses to provide employees with a discount on Office subscriptions. To determine if you qualify for a discount, go to Microsoft’s Home Use Program page.
Free Microsoft Office Alternatives
Consider using a different office application if you’re seeking something different. There are a number of entirely free office suites that work well with Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Here are a few of our favorites:
- LibreOffice is a free and open-source office suite that runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other platforms. It works with and creates Office documents in standard file types like DOCX documents, XLSX spreadsheets, and PPTX presentations, and it’s equivalent to the desktop versions of Microsoft Office. OpenOffice was the foundation for LibreOffice. While OpenOffice continues to exist, LibreOffice today has more developers and is the most popular project.
- Apple iWork is a free office software suite for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users. This is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Office, and it was previously premium software until being made accessible by Apple. Users using Windows PCs can also utilize the iCloud website to access a web-based version of iWork.
- Google Docs is a powerful suite of web-based office applications. Google Drive, Google’s online file storage service, is where it saves your data. Unlike Microsoft’s Office web programs, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides may be accessed offline in Google Chrome.
There are plenty of 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 charge. Office Home & Student 2019, on the other hand, costs $150 and can only be installed on one device. You also won’t get a free upgrade to Office’s next major release. If you’re going to pay for Office, a subscription is likely the best option—especially if you can split a premium package with others.