5 Ways to Get Cheap Microsoft Office and Microsoft Word Licenses (2023)

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Microsoft Office is a useful tool for both study and work, but it doesn't come cheap. If you're looking for the cheapest way to get Microsoft Office, there are methods you can use to get the productivity suite for a fraction of the price.

Here are some ways to get Microsoft Office cheaply versus buying it full-price at the store.

1. Use Microsoft's Student Office Plans

If you're wincing at Microsoft Office's price because you're a student, you may be entitled to Office 365 for free. Not all students can claim this offer, as your institute needs to enroll with Microsoft to benefit from this plan. However, it's worth giving it a shot to see if you can get Office for free.

To check if you're eligible, head to the official Office 365 Education page and enter your school email address into the box. If you're eligible, you should receive a code for Office 365, which you can use right away.

It's worth noting that this isn't a lifetime gift. Once you graduate from your current school, Microsoft may check up on you to see if you're still eligible.

If you're not, you'll have to buy Office out of pocket. Not to worry, however; you're still eligible to purchase Microsoft's alumni deal at $12 for a year.

While we're on the topic, why not explore some amazing discounts you can get with a student email account? They're a great way to save some cash on a student budget.

(Video) The cheapest, legal way to buy an Office product key

2. Use Microsoft's Office Online Website

Did you know that you can use Microsoft Office online for free? It's not getting an Office license per se, but it's an excellent way to use Word without paying anything.

If you head over to Office.com, you'll find the entire Office suite ready for you to use. All you need to do is log in with a Microsoft account, and you can start using Office at no extra cost.

Office Online supports uploading, editing, and downloading Office files from your computer. If you have a Word document you want to read, but you have no word processor, you can upload it to Office Online to read it.

So, what's the catch? Office Online does not have the full range of features that Office 365 has, and it lacks several useful features.

Microsoft will continuously remind you of this as you use it, prodding you to purchase a subscription while you use Office Online. However, for a free alternative to Microsoft Office, it fits the bill.

3. Use the Mobile Office Apps for Android and iOS

Speaking of free Office software, you can also find each component of Office for free on mobile. Again, it's not strictly getting an Office license, but it's still advantageous if you want to save money legally.

Both the Android and the iOS app stores have them, and Microsoft is working on a more extensive, all-encompassing Office app for release later down the line.

(Video) How to Get Microsoft Office for Free

Download: Word | Excel | PowerPoint | OneNote | OneDrive (Android)

Download: Word | Excel | PowerPoint | OneNote | OneDrive (iOS)

4. Use Third-Party Retailers and Hunt for Sales

If you want to purchase Microsoft Office legitimately, it's worth checking for Microsoft Office deals from verified sellers. Some of them may have some great Microsoft Office 365 deals, and others may even list Office for a lower price than Microsoft themselves.

For example, the Microsoft Store currently lists Office 2019 at $149, but how much is Microsoft Office on, say, Amazon?

As it turns out, you can buy a digital download on the Amazon store for a lesser amount. This is a great way to save money on Office while still going through legitimate channels.

Alternatively, from a reputable seller like Mr Key Shop, you can purchase Microsoft Office suite licenses from just $44.99, delivered digitally in seconds. Ranging from Microsoft Office 2010 to Office 2021 Professional; there's a wealth of options for personal, student, and business use.

Buy Office 365 from Microsoft.com

5. Get Microsoft Office Cheap on Gray Market Stores

If none of the above work for you, the gray market is your best bet. Gray market websites can offer a huge Microsoft Office discount that's hard to resist.

These websites are called a "gray market" because people sell keys without the blessing or authorization of the original developer or publisher. This means there's no surefire guarantee that you'll get what you pay for, or that the developer will support the purchase.

So, why bother with gray markets? Simple; their unbeatable price.

(Video) What Microsoft doesn’t want you to know about Microsoft Office

While Microsoft sells Office 2019 for $149, and Amazon sells it for $109, Kinguin currently sells keys for as low as $35—a saving of $115 over Microsoft.

The Moral Issues of Gray Market Stores

However, before you grab a key from a gray market store, consider why these keys are so cheap in the first place. A price cut like this doesn't come without a few downsides, after all.

First, make sure you know who you're buying from. Gray market stores will often work like eBay, where individual people and small companies list the products. As such, scams can happen, to the point where some gray market stores ask for an additional cost to protect your purchase.

Also, a seller may put a key up for a low price because it's an OEM key. These aren't as desirable as retail keys, as you can only install an OEM on one machine, and one time only. If that machine is lost or breaks down, you'll need to wrestle with Microsoft tech support to get a reactivation. If they say no, you'll have to buy Office again.

Finally, gray market stores are a goldmine for thieves. Criminals can steal credit and debit cards and then use the funds to purchase many Office keys. They can then flip the Office keys on gray market websites for a lower price than retail, then direct the profits to their bank account.

What Is an OEM Key?

We briefly touched upon OEM keys above, so it's worth going into detail on what these are. You should consider OEM keys when buying a license to avoid any future headaches.

OEM stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer," and keys labeled as OEM are intended for computer builders. If you've ever bought a computer or a laptop that came with Office pre-installed, there's a good chance that it uses an OEM key.

(Video) The BEST Way To Buy Microsoft Office [2022]

Computer manufacturers and builders purchase the OEM key and immediately install it onto a device. You can't use an OEM key to install Office on multiple machines; that's what the retail version is for.

As such, if a computer with an OEM version of Office is stolen or fails, you can't re-use the key on a new computer. Some OEM keys will even identify if you change the hardware on your machine and make the OEM invalid.

OEM keys are cheaper than buying retail Office suites, so manufacturers can supply Office with their computers without hiking up the price. This is how manufacturers can sell laptops with Office pre-installed at around the same price as the retail version of Office.

Despite using them outside their intended use, buying an OEM key by itself isn't illegal. Just as long as the key was bought through legitimate means, there's no reason to worry about the legality of buying OEM keys.

Improving Your Productivity for Less

Microsoft Office's price can be prohibitive, but it doesn't have to burn a hole in your pocket. By using the free versions, finding a cheap deal, or using a gray market website, you can get your hands on this powerful productivity suite for less.

If you'd rather use a free alternative to Office, don't worry. There are plenty of alternatives out there, and a huge number of them are worthy of your time.

FAQs

How do I get a free Microsoft Office license? ›

How to get Microsoft Office suite free if you're anyone else
  1. Go to Office.com.
  2. Click Sign up for the free version of Office under the "Sign in" button.
  3. Log in to your Microsoft account or create one for free. ...
  4. Select the app you want to use, and save your work in the cloud with OneDrive.
28 Oct 2022

How do I activate Word without paying? ›

  1. Activating your free Office suite via Microsoft. Open the Microsoft Office program of your choice. ...
  2. Step 1: open the Office program. ...
  3. Step 2: choose an account. ...
  4. Step 3: log in to Microsoft 365. ...
  5. Step 4: accept the conditions. ...
  6. Step 5: get started.
2 Sept 2022

How do I activate Microsoft Office without product key? ›

Step 1: Go to www.office.com/setup or Microsoft365.com/setup. Step 2: Sign in with your Microsoft account, or create one if you don't have one. Be sure to remember this account so that you can install or reinstall Office later, without a product key.

Can I buy Word without buying office? ›

Yes. You can buy standalone versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Mac or PC. Go to the Microsoft Store and search for the app you want. You can also get a one-time purchase or a subscription version of Visio or Project, available for PCs only.

Is free office really free? ›

Always free to use with Windows, Mac and Linux

FreeOffice 2021 is a full-featured Office suite with word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. It is seamlessly compatible with Microsoft Office and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Best of all, it's completely free for both personal and business use.

Is free office free? ›

FreeOffice 2021 is free for personal and business use.

FreeOffice 2021 is a complete Office suite with a word processor, a spreadsheet application and a presentation program – all seamlessly compatible with their counterparts in Microsoft Office.

Can I use unlicensed Microsoft Word? ›

All editing functionalities are disabled on an unlicensed copy of Microsoft Office. Upon opening a blank document, you will see “PRODUCT NOTICE: Most of the features of Word/Excel/PowerPoint have been disabled because it hasn't been activated” message with the Activate button next to it.

How do I activate Microsoft Office permanently? ›

How to Activate MS Office with Product Key
  1. Open one of the Office apps like Word, Excel, etc. ...
  2. In the pop-up Welcome window, click the Sign in button to enter your Microsoft account credentials to sign in to Office.
  3. Click File -> Account.
  4. Click Activate Product.
  5. Click Use a different account option.
1 Nov 2022

How do I activate word for free 2022? ›

If you have the Office 365 suite installed on your PC, you can try the following guide to activate it:
  1. Run any Office apps you have installed on Windows 10/11 like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.
  2. Select File from the top toolbar and click on Account.
  3. Click on Activate Product and select Use a different account.
8 Nov 2022

How do I find my Microsoft Office key code? ›

If Office came with your PC, Mac, Laptop, or tablet, look for the product key on the Certificate of Authenticity that came with your computer. Tip: You may have one certificate of authenticity for Windows and another for Office.

Is there a cheaper alternative to Microsoft Word? ›

Google Docs

Arguably, Google Docs is a powerful word processor and among the better-known alternatives to Microsoft Word. It mirrors Microsoft Word in terms of functionality. It allows users to create files and share them in various formats.

Can I buy Microsoft Office without renewal every year? ›

That purchase of a license to legally run the software gives you the right to use that version of Office 2021 in perpetuity. In other words, the license has no expiration date, and users may run the suite for as long as they want.

Can you permanently buy office? ›

Yes. You can purchase Microsoft 365 subscriptions for both Mac and Windows. Office Home & Business 2021 or Office Home & Student 2021 are also available for Mac as a one-time purchase. Office applications available for a Mac are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

What is the cheapest version of Office? ›

  • Microsoft 365 Family. Buy now for $99.99/year Try free for 1 month.
  • Microsoft 365 Personal. Buy now for $69.99/year.
  • Office Home & Student 2021. Buy now for $149.99.

Is FreeOffice any good? ›

FreeOffice is a good alternative to MS Office or other office suites if you want something free and lightweight. It has all the basic functionalities and apps like a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation maker, that you will need for your daily office/school work.

Which MS Office is best free? ›

The best free office software makes it simple and easy to use office documents and spreadsheets without needing paid-for Microsoft apps such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
...
The best free office software of 2022 in full:
  1. Microsoft 365 online. ...
  2. Zoho Workplace. ...
  3. Polaris Office. ...
  4. LibreOffice. ...
  5. WPS Office Free. ...
  6. FreeOffice. ...
  7. Google Docs.
1 Nov 2022

Is Microsoft Office free for students? ›

Students and educators at eligible institutions can sign up for Office 365 Education for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams, plus additional classroom tools. Use your valid school email address to get started today.

Is Microsoft Office available for lifetime? ›

A lifetime license gets you access to the Office 2021 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneNote (the Windows package(opens in a new tab) also includes Publisher and Access). You'll receive license keys for each platform immediately upon purchase, as well as download links for quick setup.

How can I download Microsoft Office for free on my laptop? ›

Sign in to download Office
  1. Go to www.office.com and if you're not already signed in, select Sign in. ...
  2. Sign in with the account you associated with this version of Office. ...
  3. After signing in, follow the steps that match the type of account you signed in with. ...
  4. This completes the download of Office to your device.

How much is Microsoft Office for lifetime? ›

$349 $54.99 for Mac; $59.99 for Windows

It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, and OneNote.

How do I get Office 365 full version for free? ›

On to the ways to get a full free Office 365.
  1. Get Office 365 through your school. Microsoft offers Office 365 Education for free through many schools and universities. ...
  2. Get the free trial of Office 365. ...
  3. Get the free trial of Office 365 ProPlus. ...
  4. Convince your company to get Office 365. ...
  5. Free Office 365 (with purchase of a PC)

How do I activate my Microsoft Office 2010 product key for free? ›

Activate Office 2010 online

Click File > Help > Activate Product Key. If you don't see an Activate Product Key button, your software is already activated, and you don't need to do anything. Follow the steps in the Activation Wizard.

What is the Microsoft key code? ›

A product key is a 25-character code that's used to activate Windows and helps verify that Windows hasn't been used on more PCs than the Microsoft Software License Terms allow.

How do I activate Windows 10 freely? ›

Method 1: Manual activation

Click on the start button, search for “cmd” then run it with administrator rights. Step 1.2: Install KMS client key. Use the command “slmgr /ipk yourlicensekey” to install a license key (yourlicensekey is the activation key that corresponds to your Windows edition).

What app is better than Microsoft Word? ›

The best alternative is LibreOffice - Writer, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Microsoft Word are Google Docs, WPS Writer, Apache OpenOffice Writer and ONLYOFFICE. Microsoft Word alternatives are mainly Word Processors but may also be Novel Authoring Tools or Note-taking Tools.

Why do I have to buy Office every year? ›

Microsoft, like many other software vendors, has turned to a subscription method of licensing. This started with Office 365. Previously, one purchased a license to a specific version of the software. If the software was updated, one had to pay for an upgrade or continue to use the older version.

Does Office 365 expire after 1 year? ›

All regular Microsoft 365 licenses expire after 12 months. However, Microsoft offers a grace period of up to three months, starting at the expiration date. You can still benefit from all the tools included in your current plan.

Can you still use Word after it expires? ›

Admins and users no longer have access to the services or Office applications that came with the subscription. All customer data—from user data to documents and email—is permanently deleted and is unrecoverable. At this point, you can't reactivate the subscription.

Can I buy an old version of Office? ›

Microsoft doesn't sell old versions of Office retail but some retailers might have some old copies still available for sale. Ebay and, to a lesser extent, Amazon might host merchants selling older Microsoft Office licenses.

Can Office 2016 still be purchased? ›

Microsoft has made it possible for Windows and Mac users who would want to purchase Office 2016 to do so. Interested users can now purchase Office 2016 as a one-time purchase, not part of a monthly or annual subscription plan.

What happens if Microsoft Word is not activated? ›

If Office activation fails, you'll see Unlicensed Product or Non-commercial use / Unlicensed Product in the title bar of your Office apps, and most features of Office are disabled.

Can you buy a lifetime subscription to Microsoft Word? ›

A lifetime license gets you access to the Office 2021 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneNote (the Windows package(opens in a new tab) also includes Publisher and Access). You'll receive license keys for each platform immediately upon purchase, as well as download links for quick setup.

How much does Microsoft Office cost? ›

Microsoft 365 Personal, (opens in new tab) which is for one person across multiple devices, is $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. You can use Microsoft 365 Home for free through a one-month trial. Microsoft 365 Family (opens in new tab), for up to six people, is $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year.

How do I uninstall unlicensed Microsoft Office? ›

Click Start > Control Panel. Click Programs > Programs and Features. Right-click the Office application you want to remove, and then click Uninstall.

Can I use Office 2010 without activation? ›

What happens if you don't activate Office 2010. If you don't activate your software, eventually Office 2010 switches to Reduced Functionality mode where it lets you open files to view them but not edit them. You can still activate by going to File > Help > Activate Product Key.

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