7 Ways to Get Microsoft Office Free

Microsoft Office icon on a computer screen

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While there are many free Microsoft Office alternatives available for you to use and trick out your computer with — thanks to the open-source movement — nothing quite compares to having the original. But those who have paid for Microsoft Office know it doesn’t come cheap, even if you do get access to the full applications and features available.

If you’re cash strapped, these seven legit ways of getting Microsoft Office free will hold you over, at least until you can afford to get your own, complete copy of the software.

Microsoft Office Free Trial

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 done once

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

Microsoft Office 365 is the only Microsoft Office version available with a one-month free trial, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other Office programs. 

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, and use the entire first-month trial fully.

Office 365 ProPlus Trial

What We Like

  • It is a full version of Office

  • Unrestricted access

  • 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. 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

What We Like

  • Files can be shared with anyone

  • Allows for collaboration as multiple people can work on a file at the same time

  • No need to download software

  • Free templates

  • Work is automatically saved

  • The interface is nearly identical to Microsoft Office

  • Opens any MS Office file type

  • Spellchecking 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 either Word, Excel or PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, plus 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

What We Like

  • Create, edit and view documents on the go

  • Access to 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 Apple App Store and Google Play Store, respectively.

The Office apps give basic editing and creation tools, compared to using Office 365 that grants you access to more advanced ones.

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

What We Like

  • The possibility of using Microsoft Office products for free

What We Don't Like

  • The waiting period before getting a free trial or service

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

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

Sign up and find out what products Microsoft wants you to try for 30-60 days. You could land on Office apps for free, for example, one-month Office 2019, which was planned to release in the second half of 2018. This version included Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, alongside Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business.

Check With Your School

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 in use 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, unlimited OneDrive storage, Yammer, and SharePoint sites, among other tools.

All you need is your school email address, to 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

  • A good offer can get you a longer subscription period of or a full installation

What We Don't Like

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

While you may rarely find Microsoft Office bundled with a new desktop computer or laptop, with the exception of introductory deals, you may have to buy it as an add-on.

However, there are PCs that come with a Microsoft Office 365 Personal one-year subscription, while others come with full Microsoft Office installation without the need for subscriptions.