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Windows S Mode is a more secure and partly locked-down version of Windows 10 and 11. When a computer, laptop or tablet is running in S Mode it will only allow you to load new software from the Microsoft App Store/Software Centre and restricts you to using the Microsoft Edge web browser.

In addition to this, your device will usually run a bit quicker when in S Mode.

The downside to S Mode is that you cannot download and install software from other sources including getting the full free version of Microsoft Office (for current students and staff) via the method shown on our Free Office page.

Installing Microsoft Office whilst still in S Mode

You should be able to install your free copy of Microsoft Office whilst still in S Mode.

  1. Visit the following link and install the free Office app: 
  2. Login to the Office app using your University of Cumbria email address and password
  3. You should be given the option to use Office on the web and to install the Office programs on your device. 

This method does not work for all users, depending on other security settings and software installed on your device. If you are not given the option to install each of the Office programs (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) then you may need to switch out of S Mode.

Switching out of S Mode

Warning: Switching out of S Mode will allow you to install software from sources other than the Microsoft App Store, but once you have switched out of S Mode you cannot go back. 

  1. On your device running Windows 10 or 11 in S mode, open Settings Update & Security > Activation.
  2. In the Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10/11 Pro section, select Go to the Store. (If you also see an "Upgrade your edition of Windows" section, be careful not to click the "Go to the Store" link that appears there.)
  3. On the Switch out of S mode (or similar) page that appears in the Microsoft Store, select the Get button. After you see a confirmation message on the page, you'll be able to install apps from outside of the Microsoft Store.

You can now visit the Free Office page on My.Cumbria and follow the instructions to install your free copy of Microsoft Office Professional.

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