Whether you’re a student, a writer, or working in an office, Office 365 can be crucial to your success.
The cloud-based Office 365 is a huge improvement over the original Microsoft Office. Now you can access your files from anywhere, easily share them with team or project members, and take advantage of the large selection of professional-looking templates for all of the Office apps.
Office 365 does come with a pretty big price tag, but I have an easy hack for you to get it for free. Instead of downloading the software, you can create an Office account and get all the apps for free in your web browser.
If you don’t want the browser-based Office 365 check out my step-by-step guide on how to download Office 365 and get a free month.
How to Get Office 365 for Free (No Download Required)
- Go directly to the Office website by clicking on the DOWNLOAD button on the sidebar. (Don’t worry, this won’t download anything to your computer, it will only redirect you to the Office page.)
- Click on the SIGN IN button. If you don’t have an account yet, you’ll be able to create one in the next step.
- If you already have a Microsoft account, just log in and you’ll jump straight to the Office apps. If you don’t have an account yet, click the CREATE ONE link to register your account.
- Enter a real email address (it will need to be verified) and click NEXT.
- Create a strong password and click NEXT.
- You should immediately receive a verification code in your email — enter it here and click NEXT.
- Solve the Captcha to prove you’re not a robot.
- That’s all there is to it! Now you have access to the entire suite of apps and 5GB storage on OneDrive.
How to Get a FREE 30-Day Trial of Office 365
Whether you want to test out Office 365 for a month or you just need to use it for a limited time, a 30-day free trial is a great option.
While you won’t be charged during the first 30 days, you will need to enter a payment method.
- Click the DOWNLOAD button on the sidebar to visit the Office website. (This will not start the download process, it will just redirect you to the Office homepage.)
- Whether you have a Microsoft account or not, click on the GET OFFICE button.
- Click on the TRY OFFICE FREE FOR 1 MONTH link.
- Click on the TRY 1 MONTH FREE button.
- If you have a Microsoft account you can sign in here click NEXT. Otherwise, click the CREATE ONE FOR FREE link to create your account.
- You will need to use a real email address since you will receive a verification email.
- Log in to your account and confirm that you want a free trial. Then click NEXT.
- Choose your payment method to complete the process. Don’t worry, 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.
How to Uninstall Office 365
One of the nice improvements with Office 365 is that everything comes as a single program. This means that you won’t have to uninstall each program, just one Office app.
- Type Add or Remove Program in the Windows search bar.
- Scroll down until you find Office, and then click UNINSTALL.
- This will remove Office from your computer.
- Type Add or Remove Program in the Windows search bar.
Office 365 Features
Microsoft has long been a leader in the writing and editing industry. Aside from the well-known apps, there are some great features that perhaps you didn’t know about.
- Multiple authors can edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint documents in real-time.
- With Skype integration, you can chat, share screens, and have video or audio conversations with co-workers or collaborators.
- Instead of attaching files, you can just insert a link to the document and OneDrive access will automatically be given to the recipients.
- Easily convert files to PDF and edit PDF documents.
- Quickly pick up where you left off with the Resume Reading feature for Word.
- Access OneDrive from any device.
- Outlook can de-clutter your inbox.
Office 365 Apps
This is easily the most important update from the original Microsoft Office. OneDrive is cloud-based storage that allows users to access files from anywhere, collaborate with others in real-time, and sync your work across all devices. You will get 5GB of storage with a free account and 1TB with a year subscription.
While there have been many competitors coming out, none of them can match all of the features that come with Word. It has excellent grammar and spell-check tools, it works with plug-ins, and it has over a hundred fonts, professional templates, track changes, editing tools, comments, and much more.
Millions of businesses around the world swear by Excel. No other spreadsheet software has been able to match all its tools. From simple number crunching to pivot tables and mapping data, Excel can really do it all.
While PowerPoint is one of the few Office apps that isn’t the best in its category, it’s still a top presentation tool. Creating a professional-looking presentation is easy, with hundreds of templates, transitions, and animations that don’t require any graphic design knowledge. One of the nice updates to PowerPoint is you can use your mouse as a laser pointer to help out while you’re presenting.
This more than just an email client. Outlook will organize your contacts and calendar and makes it easy to share document links from OneDrive within your organization.
One of the lesser-known apps in this suite, Publisher has carved out a nice little niche for itself. It can be used to create complex templates with a wide range of designs and fonts. If you’re creating magazines, newsletters, advertising material, etc., this is a better option than using the Word templates.
Create and manage databases with Microsoft Access. This is a better option than Excel when collating lots of data and information. Access isn’t available for mobile devices.
Free Alternatives to Office 365
OpenOffice: The first true competitor to Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is a free open-source program. It has 6 apps that are similar to the Office apps and, while not quite as powerful, are a great free option.
G-Suite: If you have a Google account, you’ll have access to the entire collection of G-suite apps. It has apps that are similar to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and of course, Gmail is one of the most popular email clients in the world.
LibreOffice: Developed as a “Fork” or child of OpenOffice, LibreOffice has made some changes to the code to develop another popular free, open-source alternative to Office 365. It has its own variations of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
Q. Is Office 365 free?
A. Office 365 is a subscription-based program. However, there is a free browser-based version that not only gives you free access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and Publisher but you’ll also get 5GB of free storage on the cloud-based OneDrive storage.
Q. Can I just buy one of the Office 365 apps?
A. One of the major changes that Microsoft made with Office 365 is combining all its apps into a single file. This means that you can’t purchase or download just one of the apps on your computer. However, on mobile devices, it’s a different story. You can go to Google Play or iTunes and download individual apps to your smartphone or tablet. You will still need a Microsoft account to use these apps, but otherwise, they are free.
Q. How do I cancel my Office account?
A. Canceling your Office account is actually pretty easy. Go to Office.com and log in to your account. Then toggle the recurring payment button to off. You will continue to have access to your account until the end of the current billing cycle.
Q. Is Skype part of Office 365?
A. Skype is a Microsoft product that integrates with Office 365 apps. However, there is no need to purchase an Office subscription to get access. It’s available with a free download and a Microsoft account.
Q. Are there mobile apps for Office 365?
A. Microsoft recently released an all-in-one mobile app for Android and iPhone that has Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. But if you prefer to download separate apps just for the programs that you use, you can still download Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook as standalone apps. In both cases, you can connect to your OneDrive account and your work will be saved. This will give you access to your files from anywhere.
Q. Do I have to be online to use Office 365?
A. No. You can work offline and all of your work will be saved locally. Then, when you are back online, all your changes will be synced to your OneDrive account.
Q. Are the free Office alternatives, such as OpenOffice and LibreOffice as good as Office 365?
A. This really depends on what features you need. If all you want is the basic word processing, spreadsheet building, presentation making options, then they are excellent choices. For more advanced options, such as cloud-based storage, professional templates, and advanced formulas — you will be happier with Office 365.Office 365 Review