This story is part of 12 Days of Tips, helping you make the most of your tech, home and health during the holiday season.
Microsoft 365, the most recent version of the Microsoft Office set of tools includes programs that you already use at home, school or work. Buying a Microsoft 365 membership is still the most popular way to access them.
On Jan. 11, Microsoft announced the release ofMicrosoft 365 Basic which costs $2 a month, or $20 for a yearly subscription. However, you can snagMicrosoft 365at no cost under some circumstances.
Microsoft's suite of productivity software consists of classics like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as newer apps like Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint.
The suite typically costs $20 to $100 every year for subscription access across devices and family members. Microsoft also has a standalone version of Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac, called Office Home and Student 2021, for a flat $150 -- no subscription required.
Here are the versions of Office 365, Microsoft 365 and their apps that you can find online for free.
Get Microsoft Office 365 Education free if you're a student or a teacher
If you're a student, teacher or faculty member with an active school email address, you're likely eligible to get access to Office 365 for free through Microsoft, with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Teams, plus other classroom tools.
All you have to do is enter your school email address on this page on Microsoft's website: Office 365 Education. In many cases, you'll be instantly granted access thanks to an automated verification process. If you attend an institution that needs to be verified, it might take up to a month to confirm your eligibility.
College students can also get Microsoft 365 Personal for $3 a month with a valid school email address.
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How to get Microsoft Office suite free if you're anyone else
Anyone can get a one-month free trial of Microsoft 365. However, it does require you to enter a credit card number. And if you don't cancel before the month is up, you'll be charged $100 for a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Family (formerly called Office 365 Home).
The good news is if you don't need the full suite of Microsoft 365 tools, you can access a number of its apps online for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, Calendar, My Content, Skype, Designer and Clipchamp. Here's how to get them:
1. Go to Microsoft365.com.
2. Click Sign up for the free version of Office under the "Sign in" button.
3. Log in to your Microsoft account or create one for free. If you already have a Windows, Skype or Xbox Live login, you have an active Microsoft account.
4. Select the app you want to use and save your work in the cloud with OneDrive.
So what's the catch for the free version?
You may be saying, "Wait a minute, if I can get all of those apps for free, why pay for Microsoft 365 in the first place?" Well, the functionality of the free apps is limited: They only run in your web browser and you can only use them while you're actively connected to the internet. They also have fewer features than the full Microsoft 365 versions.
There are still a number of benefits, however, including the ability to share links to your work and collaborate in real time, similar to what the Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) productivity tools allow. If you're looking for basic versions of each of these apps, the free version should work well for you.
For more productivity coverage, check out what Microsoft 365 Basic offers customers,all of the best features in Windows 11andhow to take screenshots in Windows 10 or 11. You can also take a look at CNET's list of the best Windows laptops.
Can you get word Excel and PowerPoint for free? ›
Use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more for free on the web.How do you get Microsoft Word and PowerPoint for free on Windows? ›
- Go to the Microsoft Office website at - https://www.office.com.
- Then you will need to log in to your Microsoft account or create one for free.
- Following that, select the app that you want to use, such as - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, Calendar and Skype.
- Choose the desired subscription plan for free trial.
- Then log in to your MS account or create a new one right now.
- Lastly, both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, as well as PowerPoint, are downloaded and installed on your PC.
#4) Microsoft 365 FREE
Microsoft recently made some apps in their Office 365 suite available for FREE. This suite includes MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and Teams. This software comes as desktop apps as well as cloud-based apps.
Microsoft 365 for the web is a free version of Microsoft 365 that you can use in a web browser. All you need is to sign up for a Microsoft account with a new or existing email address. Try the Office for the web apps.Can I get Microsoft Office for free? ›
Get started with Office 365 for free
Students and educators at eligible institutions can sign up for Office 365 Education for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools. Use your valid school email address to get started today.
Microsoft Word is available as an app for desktop (Windows and MacOS), mobile devices, and tablets (iOS and Android), and online. Is there a free version of Microsoft Word? Yes, Microsoft Word for the web is free for anyone to use online.Is Microsoft Excel is not free anymore? ›
Unfortunately, there's no way to pay for Excel on its own. Learn more in our full Microsoft 365 buying guide.How can I install Office on my laptop for free? ›
- Go to www.office.com and if you're not already signed in, select Sign in. ...
- Sign in with the account you associated with this version of Microsoft 365. ...
- After signing in, follow the steps that match the type of account you signed in with.
Microsoft makes a free version of Microsoft Word available for anyone to use on the web. You have to register a Microsoft account, but that's free too. As the app works entirely inside a web browser, you can access it from any computer, and your files are always synced and saved in the cloud.
Do you have to pay for Microsoft Word every year? ›
Microsoft 365 is the new brand for the paid service that replaces Office 365. Since this is a subscription-based service, you will be making monthly or yearly payments to use the apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, and others) on all your devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone).Can you buy Microsoft Office for lifetime? ›
With a lifetime license, you'll keep the 2021 version of Microsoft Office rather than getting the latest software updates as they're released like you would with Microsoft 365. For most users, the savings will be well worth it. This deal expires on February 1, 2023, so act fast to sign up and save for life.What is the free version of Excel called? ›
Excel Online is a free, cloud-based version of the program that can be installed as a browser extension. Excel Online stores everything in OneDrive, Microsoft's version of the cloud, and is part of a suite of free, web-based Microsoft Office programs.Why can't I use Office for free? ›
No, You Can't Use the Microsoft Word App on PC (or Mac) for Free. There's an important version of Microsoft Word you can't use for free: the local desktop app for Windows. This is a source of confusion for those who buy a new Windows computer. Most Windows installations have Office apps installed by default.Does Microsoft Office include Word Excel and PowerPoint? ›
It includes: Full Office desktop apps such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, Publisher and Access for Windows PCs, as well as access to additional OneNote features (features vary).Do you have to pay for Word and PowerPoint? ›
Office Online Is Free
This is the easiest way to get Microsoft Word for free and legally. Traditionally, you had to pay upfront for a standalone copy of the latest version of Office (like Office 2021 or Office 2019), which could cost $100 or more.
Windows 10 includes online versions of OneNote, Word, Excel and PowerPoint from Microsoft Office.How much is Word Excel and PowerPoint? ›
Microsoft's suite of productivity software consists of classics like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as newer apps like Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint. The suite typically costs $20 to $100 every year for subscription access across devices and family members.How do I activate Office for free? ›
- Activating your free Office suite via Microsoft. Open the Microsoft Office program of your choice. ...
- Step 1: open the Office program. ...
- Step 2: choose an account. ...
- Step 3: log in to Microsoft 365. ...
- Step 4: accept the conditions. ...
- Step 5: get started.
That purchase of a license to legally run the software gives you the right to use that version of Office 2021 in perpetuity. In other words, the license has no expiration date, and users may run the suite for as long as they want.
How much is Office 365 per year? ›
Microsoft 365 Personal costs $69.99 per year (or $6.99 per month), while Microsoft 365 Family costs $99.99 per year (or $9.99 per month) and covers up to five personal and ten corporate devices, respectively.Is there a free spreadsheet program for Windows 10? ›
Zoho Sheet is a free, cloud-based spreadsheet tool that supports several file types, including Excel (. xls), .Which program provides Word Excel and PowerPoint? ›
From students to the C-Suite, most people are familiar with Microsoft Office. The suite, first announced by Bill Gates over 30 years ago, included Word, Excel and PowerPoint, or, in other words, The Holy Trinity of software known as Microsoft Office.Do all laptops come with Excel and Word? ›
Although most laptops now come with Windows 10 installed, not all of them have Microsoft Office software applications installed.