Office for free? You want it, right? Microsoft Office remains the top dog of office apps. As good as the apps are, however, we understand that not everybody can afford to pay for them. We’ve covered here the best free Office alternatives, like Google Docs and LibreOffice, but we also know that some of you might want the real version of Office. Don’t worry though, Softonic has your back: put that credit card away (except for number 5) because here are 7 ways to get free access to the Microsoft Office suite on Windows and Mac.
7 tricks to get access to free Microsoft Office
1. Use Microsoft Office Online
Little by little, Microsoft has been growing the number of Office apps that you can use for free online. You’ve got Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Sway, Email, Contacts, Calendar, OneDrive and Docs.com all without the need to install Office on your hard drive. If you have a Microsoft account and a reliable internet connection, you can use these free office programs on a Windows PC, Apple Mac, or Linux using web browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Office Online programs even offer some cool and unique features like real-time Skype chats while collaborating on documents with friends or colleagues.
Try out Microsoft Office online here, choose the app you want to use, and log into your Microsoft account. You’ll also find Office Online in the Products menu over at office.com.
You won’t get all the Office 365 features with Microsoft Office Online, but you will at least be able to edit documents.
2. Use mobile apps
The Mobile office apps work just like the online versions we’ve already mentioned. The difference is that they’ve been optimized for mobile devices.
Here we’ve listed the available Microsoft Office mobile apps, which are available for free on Android:
For iPhone and iPad, it’s more difficult to list the mobile Office applications as there are different versions for both Apple devices. You can find the list of all Office apps for Apple devices, including those for the new iPad Pro, on Microsoft’s iTunes listing.
Again though, don’t expect the full Office 365 experience, but this free version of Office will allow you to do basic editing.
If you want to get Office 365, you’ll have to try one of the following methods.
3. Get Office from your school
If you’re a student or teacher, you may be entitled to an Office 365 education subscription. Enter your school email address here. You’ll get Office software including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive storage among other tools, totally free. If your school isn’t registered, let them know what they’re entitled to ASAP!
4. Persuade your boss
Huh? What kind of company doesn’t have Microsoft Office 365? If yours doesn’t, it could be time for you to step up. You’ll have to sell it though, and go through the numerous Office 365 options available and the benefits they’ll bring to the business. The important thing is that your company will foot the bill!
5. Sign up for a free month trial of Office 365
Try out the Office 365 Home version. You’ll have a 1 month trial to experiment with the Office 365 personal package that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook… Also, the trial gives you access to 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive.
Keep in mind, however, that to download the trial, you’ll have to enter a current debit or credit card number. When your one-month trial ends, you’ll automatically be charged for an Office 365 subscription so make sure you don’t forget to deactivate your account before the trial ends.
6. Sign up for a free trial of Office 365 ProPlus
Have you already finished your one-month free Office 365 personal trial? What about 30 MORE days? Well, here you go. Sign up here for Office 365 ProPlus. You’ll have to sign up for the Evaluation Center, but in our final trick, we’ll go into this in a little more detail.
7. Try your luck with the TechNet Evaluation Center
Microsoft likes having users try out their products’ new features before officially launching them and this includes everything from DocX Word documents to Microsoft’s latest and greatest software innovations. This allows the software giant to resolve any software issues and problems, before they’re rolled out to all users.
This is where Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center comes into play. If you sign up, you can get free access to the products Microsoft needs testing. This usually means you’ll get to try them for 30-60 days. Sometimes, you might even cross paths with Office, like with the trial for the ProPlus version we just told you about.
Remember though, that the versions you’ll find in the Evaluation Center are still rough around the edges. You should expect all sorts of surprises!
What if you’ve used up all these options?
What happens if you’ve already used up all your free trials? Then you’ve got no choice but to buy Office (unless you’re satisfied with the online and mobile versions). Our personal recommendation is Office 365 Personal, which costs $69.99 a year or $6.99 a month.
If you don’t want to invest in the office package, don’t worry because there are other options out there! Try out these free alternatives to Microsoft Office and you won’t be disappointed.