Microsoft Office is one of the oldest and most well-known Office suites available for personal and business use; almost anybody has used at least the basic components of Office, which are Microsoft Word and Excel.
Microsoft offers a desktop version that is still called Microsoft Office and a cloud-based version called Microsoft 365, the core components of both are essentially the same except one you own and the other you rent yearly for use.
|Microsoft 365 Personal||$69.99 / year|
|Microsoft 365 Family||$99.99 / year|
|Microsoft Office 2021 Complete||$249.99|
|Microsoft Office 2021 Home||$149.99|
Is There a Free Version of Microsoft Office?
Microsoft Office has always had a trial available, and that is still the case; however, they are moving people towards the cloud-based service rather than desktop options. Microsoft 365 offers a 30 day free trial of the full product. You can use these online or download versions to your desktop.
You can also get lifetime access to the core components of Microsoft Office, which are Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Unfortunately, access is only available online, so you can’t download a desktop version, and some of the features are not available. However, the basics are there, to write documents, create spreadsheets, and build PowerPoint presentations.
How to Download Free Microsoft Office
For anybody looking to trial Microsoft 365 for 30-days, you simply need to sign up at the Microsoft website and provide a credit card that will be billed if you don’t cancel before 30-days.
For the free Microsoft Office cloud service, you can head over to Office.com and click on “Sign up for a free version of Office’ which will not ask for any credit card information and won’t ever expire.
You can not download this version of Microsoft Office, so it is entirely web-based, and you need an internet connection to use it.
What Can The Free Version of Microsoft Office Do?
With the free version of Microsoft Office, you will have access to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneDrive with 5 GB cloud storage, and several other less-used products in the Office suite.
You can use the service as much and for as long as you want, but it’s only via your browser, and you must be connected to the internet. So there is no offline editing possible.
All of the core features of each of the core components of Office are available; you can view and create word documents, excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. In addition, everything can be printed and saved to onedrive or your personal hard drive.
Difference Between Free and Paid Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office 2020 is best for anybody who wants to pay a once-off fee with no recurring costs, doesn’t always need the latest version of the software, and doesn’t care about cloud storage or access.
Microsoft 365 is best for people that want a full suite of office products, available offline and in the cloud, so that they can access their apps and documents from anywhere and on any device.
Microsoft Office Free is the best option for anybody who only needs to get the basics out of Microsoft Office products and always has an internet connection when working with the apps.
This version is excellent for most people that specifically want a free version of Microsoft Office but don’t need a lot of extra functionality outside of the basics. However, there are certainly other potentially better free options, such as the Google suite of free and feature-rich applications.
|Microsoft Office Free||Microsoft Office 2020||Microsoft 365|
|Free Version||100% Free||No||30-Day Trial|
|Full Office Applications||Core Applications||Full||Full + extras|
|Multiple Installs||Web-Based Only||✓ , 5 desktop installs|
|Online Storage||5 GB||1 TB|
Can Free Version of Microsoft Office Be Used on All Devices?
Microsoft Office Free can be used on any device with a web browser and is connected to the internet when Microsoft Office is required. You will not be able to install this free version on any devices for offline use.
Is Microsoft Office Still Free in 2023?
Microsoft Office does offer a free version of the core components of the product suite; this includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, MS Teams, and OneDrive with 5 GB of storage.
The free version of Microsoft Office can be used on any device with a web browser and internet connectivity, so it is a perfect option when you aren’t mobile and don’t need offline access to the apps or files you’re working on.
Sign up for your Office.com account now to start using Microsoft Office Free.
Microsoft 365 is a better paid option for anybody that wants offline access to their apps, more storage, and more functionality from their apps.
Sign up for Office 365 to get the entire suite of products online and offline.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.