Last Updated on May 27, 2021
Owing to the pandemic, you probably now depend on your personal computer to work from home or attend classes online. In this case, essential tools such as Microsoft 365 are invaluable. Earlier known as Office 365, Microsoft 365 is a service platform that adds extra features to the traditional MS Office Suite. But if you do not desire to dole out money just yet, there are a few methods by which you can get the Office 365 service and its associated popular apps for free.
Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools– including Microsoft Teams, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive and SharePoint — typically necessitates a cost of nearly $150 for a one-time installation (as Office 365), or somewhere between $70 and $100 annually for access to its subscription service across several devices for all family members (as Microsoft 365).
Microsoft’s standalone version of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows is in the pipeline, too (for a single price, no subscription needed).
Here is how you can avail Office 365 (or Microsoft 365) for absolutely no cost and visit setup Office 365 for setup process:
For educational purposes:
Suppose we assume that you are a student, faculty member with a school email address. In such a scenario, you are plausibly eligible to obtain Office 365 for free via Microsoft – including Excel, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams and added classroom accessories.
You would only need to register with your school’s email address on Microsoft’s website via the link: Get started with Office 365 for free.
In most cases, you will instantly get access, thanks to a computerised verification method. However, if you attend an educational establishment that needs to get verified first, your eligibility’s verification might take a month.
Fresh graduates who wish to stay with Office 365 can also access Office 365 Personal for $12 for 12 months, with a reliable school mail address.
If you are an individual
Anyone can avail access to a one-month free trial of Microsoft 365 for gaining experience. However, it does demand you to enter your credit card details, and if you do not drop before your free trial month, you shall be charged $100 for a year’s subscription to Microsoft 365 Family (previously known as Office 365 Home).
The good news is, you need not purchase the entire Microsoft 365 Suite tools; you can access its standalone apps for free online– including Excel, OneDrive, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Calendar and Skype. Here is how you can avail them:
- Visit Office.com.
- Next, you can either sign in to your registered Microsoft account (or create a free one instead). If you already have a Skype, Windows, or Xbox account, you need not make a new one for Microsoft.
- Finally, select the app that you would like to use, and save your work on the cloud via OneDrive.
Try The Evaluation Version
Microsoft has designated a separate trial experience for their business users, offering the exact Office 365 experience. For that, you can click on the link: Microsoft Evaluation Center and register for their 30-day ProPlus pack as a way to avail of their Office 365 free trial for 30 days.
Get a New PC with a pre-installed free Office 365
While this is not exactly the most cost-effective alternative, but if you’re shifting to working from home or already planning to purchase a new PC, you can opt for those that come pre-installed with a free version of Microsoft Office 365.
You can easily find Windows laptops that cost less than $500 that come pre-installed with a free Office 365 Home plan shareable by a maximum of 6 persons.
Subscribe to a joint Microsoft 365 Home Plan
Ask all the people you know to see if you know anyone who already uses the Microsoft 365 Home plan. If you come across a professional or a small business person who uses the program, you can request them to add you to it.
After all, if several people can share their Netflix accounts, why not their Microsoft Office accounts?
That way, you can easily split up the total cost of $99/year among six users. That would mean getting the entire Microsoft Office 365 experience for merely around $17/year per head. Now that is what is known as an excellent deal. If you can somehow convince them to tag you along for free, that would be an even better alternative.
Ask your Boss To Buy It For You
If the Microsoft Office suite is necessary for you to get your work done, you can appeal to your employer. In place of bearing the cost wholly, you can ask for adding it to the company expenditure.
Look for Shared Subscription deals.
Microsoft’s official website is not the only place where you can avail an authentic Office 365 subscription. If you follow all deals closely, you can find specific discounts for the Microsoft Office 365 Personal Home plans. After applying the values, the Home plan’s cost might stand around $80 (nearly $20 reduced) from Amazon.
While looking for such deals, ensure that you buy them from a legitimate site. Do not fall prey to the shady eBay sellers that offer Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscriptions for a ridiculous $1. They might work for some time, but they are most often not a legal option.
Is there something fishy with the Office 365 free version?
You may find your gut instinct tell you there’s something wrong with buying the free version. If you can obtain all of those apps for free, why pay for Microsoft 365 in the first place? The reason is that these apps’ functionality is limited: They only run through your web browser, and you can’t use them if you aren’t online. There are also fewer features than the complete Microsoft 365 versions.
However, there are still several benefits, including the ability to share links to your work and collaborate in real-time, similar to G Suite tools. If you’re looking for basic versions of each of these apps, the free version should work well for you.
Use Office 365 Mobile Apps For Free
Microsoft offers a free version of Office available for smart devices as well. If your device screen is smaller than 10.1 inches, you can edit Microsoft Office documents for free. This offer pertains to 10-inch Android tablets and the 9.7-inch iPad (but not the 10.2-inch 7th-Generation iPad).