7 Ways to Get Microsoft Office Free

Use Ms Word, Excel, Outlook, and more at no cost

Microsoft Office icon on a computer screen

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While there are many free Microsoft Office alternatives available thanks to the open-source movement, nothing quite compares to the original. If you’re strapped for cash, here are seven legal ways to use Microsoft Office for free.

Microsoft Office Free Trial

Microsoft Office 365 free trial web page

What We Like

  • Unrestricted access to all features available.

  • Trial can be extended for another 30 days if it hasn’t been extended before.

  • 30-day grace period upon expiration to back up files stored in the cloud.

  • 1 TB additional OneDrive cloud storage and 60 Skype minutes to call mobile phones or landlines.

What We Don't Like

  • Trial extensions are only allowed once.

  • After the trial, you lose access to Office 365 apps and features if you do not purchase the product.

Microsoft Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other Office programs, is the only Microsoft Office version available with a one-month free trial. A valid credit card is needed to sign up for the trial, but charges don't take effect until the start of the second month. You can cancel the trial just before the end of the first month to prevent such charges.

Office 365 ProPlus Trial

Office 365 ProPlus free trial web page

What We Like

  • Unrestricted access to the full version of Office.

  • 1 TB OneDrive cloud storage.

  • Manage up to 25 users using the administration interface with one trial account.

What We Don't Like

  • No trial extensions, and you can only use the first-month once.

  • Once trial is over, you lose access to Office 365 apps and features.

Office 365 ProPlus is for enterprise customers looking for advanced capabilities, and the flexibility of cloud deployment and management. The trial version includes applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Skype for Business, and Lync. 

Microsoft Office Online

Microsoft Office Online offers free web-based versions of MS office apps

What We Like

  • Multiple people can work on a file at the same time.

  • No need to download software.

  • Free templates.

  • Work is automatically saved.

  • Spellcheck is automatic for Word, Calendar, Outlook, and OneNote applications.

What We Don't Like

  • There’s a 2 GB limit on files that can be used.

  • Doesn’t save files to their original formats. Supported formats include DOCM, DOCX, PPTM, PPTX, XLSM, and XLSX.

  • No spellchecker for Excel or PowerPoint.

  • Files have to be stored in OneDrive prior to using them.

With this free online version of Microsoft Office, you can edit and share files created in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, or OneNote, plus you have access to free OneDrive cloud storage and an online calendar. All of your work in these online apps happens through a web browser and is saved in the cloud, which means you can access your files from any location.

Microsoft Office Mobile Apps

The Microsoft Word mobile app for Android

What We Like

  • Create, edit, and view documents on the go.

  • Access files in the cloud anytime and anywhere.

  • Documents have similar formatting across devices.

  • Documents can be shared with others.

What We Don't Like

  • Office 365 subscription needed to unlock more editing features.

  • Free to create and edit, but only on a device with a screen smaller than 10.1 inches; anything larger than that can only view files.

If you don’t want to buy Microsoft Office, download the mobile apps on your iOS or Android device from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Compared to Office 365, which grants you access to more advanced features, Office apps provide only basic editing and creation tools.

For Android, the apps available include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, OneNote, and SharePoint. For iOS, you may have to find the app you need from iTunes because the iPhone and iPad have different versions. 

Sign Up for the TechNet Evaluation Center Program

TechNet Evaluation Center Program free trial web page

What We Like

  • Try brand new features before anyone else.

  • Get full access to Office applications for free.

What We Don't Like

  • No guarantee that you'll get to try the app you need.

  • There's a waiting period before getting a free trial or service.

Microsoft lets users try out new features through the TechNet Evaluation Center to resolve any of the inevitable problems or glitches that occur with new software before their official launch.

Sign up and find out which products Microsoft wants you to try for 30-60 days. In early 2018, for example, Microsoft offered free one-month subscriptions to Office 2019. This version included Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, alongside Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business.

Check With Your School

Office 365 for Education free trial web page

What We Like

  • Can be used for as long as you are working or studying at a qualified school.

  • Unrestricted access to the full features.

  • No limit on the files that can be used.

What We Don't Like

  • Eligibility will be verified from time to time.

  • When the Office 365 Education plan expires, the apps go into one-month-reduced-functionality mode (view only).

If you are a student or educator and your school has Office, you can get Microsoft Office for free through the Office 365 Education program, which includes applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer in addition to unlimited OneDrive storage.

All you need is your school email address and internet access. You must also be of legal age to sign up online, internet access, and you must be a full or part-time staff member or student. Some schools allow staff and students to install the full Office apps for free on up to 5 PCs.

Buy Hardware Bundled With Microsoft Office

What We Like

  • Free Office 365 subscriptions for a year or longer.

  • Get the newest version of Word and other office apps.

What We Don't Like

  • The hardware bundled with Microsoft Office may not necessarily be what you desire.

You may find Microsoft Office bundled with a new desktop computer or laptop. There are PCs that come with a Microsoft Office 365 Personal one-year subscription, and others come with a full Microsoft Office installation without the need for subscriptions.