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Microsoft 365: Here’s How To Get It For Free



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Josh Miller / CNET

Chances are you’ve spent more time at work or PC this year because of the pandemic, so you may need some basic tools like Microsoft 365Formerly known as Office 365, Microsoft 365 is a service that adds more functions to traditional office software. But if you don̵

7;t want to pay the money, there are a few ways you can get the service and the popular apps for free.

Microsoft’s productivity software – including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint – typically cost $ 150 for a one-time installation (like Office 365), or between $ 70 and $ 100 each year to access subscription services across devices and family members (like Microsoft 365). Microsoft is also planning to release a new standalone version of the Microsoft Office for both Windows and Mac – for a fixed price, no subscription required – sometime later this year.

Read more: How to Download Windows 10 for Free Now that Windows 7 is Dead

Here are the versions of Office 365, Microsoft 365 and their apps you can find online for free right now.

If you are a student or a teacher

If you have a student, teacher or faculty member with a school email address, you are likely eligible for free access to Office 365 through Microsoft, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and additional classroom tools.

All you need to do is enter your school email address on this page on Microsoft’s website: Get started with Office 365 for freeIn many cases, you get instant access thanks to an automated verification process. If you go to an institution that requires verification, it can take up to a month to become eligible.

Recent graduates who want to stay with Office 365 can also go Office 365 Personal for $ 12 for 12 months, with a valid school email address.

If you are someone else

Anyone can one month free trial from Microsoft 365 to try it out. You do need to enter a credit card, though, and if you don’t cancel before the month is up, you’ll be charged $ 100 for an annual subscription to Microsoft 365 Family (formerly called Office 365 Home).

The good news is that if you don’t need the full suite of Microsoft 365 tools, you can access some of its apps for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, Calendar, and Skype. Here’s how to get them:

  • Go to Office.com.
  • Sign in to your Microsoft account (or create one for free). If you already have a Windows, Skype, or Xbox login, you have an active Microsoft account.
  • Select the app you want to use and save your work to the cloud with OneDrive.

Read more on TechRepublic: Microsoft 365: a cheat sheet

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Use the browser-based version of the Microsoft Word app for free.

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

Is there a catch to the free version?

You might say, hang on – if I can get all those apps for free, why pay for Microsoft 365 in the first place? The reason is that the functionality of these apps is limited: they only work through your web browser and you cannot use them when you are not online. There are also fewer features than the full Microsoft 365 versions.

However, there are still a number of 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.

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