How to Use Microsoft Office for Free

The Microsoft Office Suite, which includes popular applications like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams, is essential for work and education. Unfortunately, the Suite’s subscriptions can be quite expensive, ranging from $70 to $100 per year. While Microsoft does offer a one-time flat rate of $150 for Office Home and Student 2021, many of us working or learning from home are looking for a free alternative to save money. Surprisingly, there are indeed free options available. In this article, we will explore three methods that allow you to access the Office suite without any cost.

What’s the Catch?

You might be wondering why you should pay for Microsoft Office if you can access all the apps and programs for free. While the cloud-based methods we’ll discuss incur no expense, there are a few trade-offs. Firstly, these methods require a constant internet connection. Secondly, the amount of storage provided by Microsoft is limited. Lastly, certain software tools and features are exclusive to the paid versions.

How to Get Microsoft Office for Free

There are a few different methods you can use to enjoy Microsoft Office without paying. Let’s dive into each method and find the one that suits you best.

Method 1: Access through Office.com

The first method involves accessing Microsoft Office through the web. All you need is a stable internet connection. Similar to Google Drive, you can log into your Microsoft account on Office.com and use the cloud-based versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and more, without having to install them. This option is perfect if you only need access to the standard Office apps, basic editing and formatting capabilities, and 5GB of OneDrive cloud storage.

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Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

Method 2: Download the Office App for Mobile

If you find yourself working from your phone more often than not, the Microsoft Office app for mobile is the way to go. Just like the web version, this app allows iOS and Android users to access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other programs through the OneDrive system. Moreover, the latest version of the app enables you to transfer and edit your phone’s photos in Word and Excel documents seamlessly. You can even create and sign PDFs without switching to a computer.

Method 3: Microsoft 365 Education for Students and Teachers

For students and teachers with active school email addresses, Microsoft offers Office 365 Education, which grants complete access to the Office suite for free. With Office 365 Education, you can utilize Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and even Microsoft Teams. Teachers can take advantage of Microsoft Teams’ new classroom tools for enhanced organization and file management. Simply visit the Microsoft Education homepage, enter your school email address, and check if you qualify. If the registration is denied, consult your institution’s IT department to gain access.

And there you have it! By following these three methods, you can start using Microsoft Office without spending a dime. Choose the method that aligns with your needs and start enjoying all the advantages of the Office suite without the financial burden.

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