How to Get Microsoft Excel 365 100% Free
While you can download a free trial of Excel and the entire Office 365 suite, you’ll have to pay a premium price to keep using it past the first month. If this is something you want to try, check out our step-by-step guide for downloading MS Excel.
However, if you want unlimited free access to Excel, I have a little known trick for you. Office has Excel (plus all the other Office 365 apps) 100% free online, with no download needed.
With the browser-based Excel, you can create your databases, pivot-tables, and most formulas as you would with the downloaded version. There are some minor differences between the two versions but overall it’s an extremely functional program.
One of the best features, in my opinion, is that you can download the Excel app for your tablet or smartphone, and work offline. Once you get back online, the document will sync with your OneDrive account and the file is accessible from any device. A free Microsoft account comes with 5GB of space on the OneDrive cloud.
Excel for Web Features
- Share your workbooks with others, then collaborate and edit shared workbooks.
- Save workbooks as: Excel Workbook files (xlsx), Excel 97-2003 (xls), excel binary workbook (xlsb), OpenDocument Spreadsheet (ods), and macro-enabled workbook (xlsm).
- Download a hard copy to your computer in xlsx or ods,
- Create calculations, PivotTables, PivotCharts, and most Data Connections.
- The majority of functions work as they would with the downloaded version.
- Tables have the same options, features, and designs as the downloaded versions.
Differences between Excel for the Web and the Excel 365 app
Although most features are the same, these differences can occur if you upload a workbook and view it in the browser.
- Some controls, like ActiveX, will block a workbook from being viewed online.
- While you can edit workbooks that have data validation, it can’t be set up in the browser.
- Not all fonts will display in the same way. If the workbook uses a font that you don’t have on your computer, a different font will be substituted.
- Legacy macro features will not be displayed in the web browser.
- If multiple people are logged into a workbook, the redo and undo features will not work.
- Password or encrypted workbooks will not open in a browser, however, if just a worksheet is protected, it can be viewed online.
Step by Step Guide: Sign Up for Free Access to Excel 365
- Click on the DOWNLOAD button on the sidebar to visit the Office website. (This won’t download anything, but instead will redirect you to the Office page.)
- Whether you currently have a Microsoft account yet or not, click the SIGN IN button.
- If you have a Microsoft account, enter your login details here. If you don’t have an account yet, click the CREATE ONE link.
- Enter the email address that you want to be associated with the account and click NEXT. It has to be a real email address because you will need to verify it.
- Create your password and click NEXT.
- You’ll be emailed a verification code – enter it here and click NEXT
- Prove you’re not a robot by entering the Captcha and click NEXT.
- That’s all there is to it! You will be redirected to the Office 365 browser apps. Click on Excel to get started.
How to Download a Free Trial of Excel 365
If you prefer to use the desktop apps, follow the steps below to download Office 365. Note: while you will be required to add your payment details, you won’t be charged as long as you cancel before the first month ends.
- Click the DOWNLOAD button on the sidebar to visit the Office website
- Click GET OFFICE.
- Click on the TRY 1 MONTH FREE link.
- Click on the TRY 1 MONTH FREE button
- If you already have an account sign in and click NEXT. If not, click on the CREATE ONE FOR FREE link to create your account.
- After you’ve logged in, confirm that you want a free month trial and click NEXT.
- You will need to pick a payment method, either a credit card or PayPal, to complete the process. You won’t be billed during the first month.
- Click the SUBSCRIBE button to confirm your payment method and begin the downloading process.
- Click the INSTALL button.
- Click the INSTALL button again.
- Office 365 will download on your computer.
Alternatives to Excel
- Google Sheets: While not as powerful as Excel, Sheets has improved greatly over the past few years. It has many of the same formulas, and in fact, you can even upload an Excel file and convert it to a Sheet file. All you need is a Google account and you’ll have free access to Sheets.It can be shared with other users, who can edit and make comments in real-time.
- Apache OpenOffice Calc: An open-source program that was designed as a free alternative to Office apps. Calc is its spreadsheet program and you can use it in a similar way to Excel. While it’s not as powerful as Excel, it can calculate, analyze, and allow you to present your data in an organized manner.
- LibreOffice: Similar to OpenOffice, this open-source program can be downloaded for free. The “Spreadsheet” module works with tables and formulas to help you create the database.
Q. Is there a free version of Excel?
A. Excel for the Web is 100% free, all you need is a Microsoft account. There is also a free trial version of Excel 365, which can be downloaded for free and used for 30 days at no cost.
Q. How do I cancel my Excel Account?
A. If you want to cancel Excel you will need to log in to your Office account, click on your avatar in the top right corner > My Account > Manage (located under the credit card information) > Cancel.
Q. Can I download Excel and not Word?
A. Unlike with Excel 2016, Excel 365 is part of the Office 365 bundle and therefore is not a standalone app. If you want Excel you’ll have to download the entire bundle. However, if you want to download it for a smartphone or tablet you can choose to just download Excel.
Q. Are Excel passwords secure?
A. While they are secure, you can increase the security by encrypting the workbook or worksheet with an AES 128-bit encryption that will all but guarantee no one will be able to see your spreadsheets.
Q. Can Excel open CSV files?
A. This is one of the differences between Excel and Excel for the Web. The downloaded version of Excel 365 can open CSV files while the browser-based Excel can not.Excel 365 Review