How to Download and Use Microsoft Word for Free: a Step-by-Step Guide in 2024

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Have you ever wondered how to get a Microsoft Word free download?

This article will guide you on how to download and use Microsoft Word for free across various platforms, including Windows 10, Chrome OS, and Linux. Whether you prefer the convenience of Microsoft Word online or need to install Office 365, we have detailed instructions for each method.

Key Takeaways

  • You can download or use Microsoft Word for free through various methods, such as Microsoft Word online, a 30-day free trial of Office 365, and student or educational licenses.
  • There are some differences between Microsoft Word online and the desktop version, which is why the online version is offered for free.
  • This article explains how to access or download Microsoft Word on different platforms, such as Windows 10, Chrome OS, and Linux.

What is Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is one of the most popular word processors. It was designed by Microsoft and is part of the Office 365 family, a suite of productivity tools from Microsoft.

Whereas in the past you’d need to install Microsoft Word by using a Microsoft Office CD, now you can install it by using the Microsoft 365 cloud-based service.

How to Download and Use Microsoft Word for Free on Mac, Windows 10, Chrome OS, Linux

If you’re looking for a Microsoft Word free download, there are several ways you can get this on different operating systems (OS).

However, the most obvious way to get Microsoft Word for free is to use Microsoft Word Online. Although you wouldn’t be downloading it, you can access it for free online on any OS. However, the online version does not have all the functionalities offered by the desktop version.

Nevertheless, here’s how to access the online version:

  • Go to the Microsoft 365 website.
  • From there, sign up (if you don’t already have an account) or sign in.
  • This should take you to the Microsoft 365 homepage, where you can see and access all your Office 365 apps.
  • From there, simply click on the Word icon.

Microsoft 365 website.

Here are all the differences between the desktop version and Microsoft Word online:

Microsoft Word Desktop Microsoft Word Online
Columns 
Designer 
Gridlines
Watermark/Theme/Page Color
ActiveX Controls
Cover Page
Embedded Objects
Gif, Emoji Emoji
Insert Video or Audio Video
Macros
Models, Smart-Art, and Charts
Screenshots/Screen Clipping
Section Break
Shapes, Textboxes, and WordArt Shapes, Textboxes
Signature Line
Bibliography 
Captions
Citations
Compare and Merge Revisions
Link to Heading
Offline Viewing and Authoring
Comment Reactions
Insert Image in Comments
Creating Envelopes and Labels
Mail Merge
Password Protection Read Only
Restricted Editing Read Only

How to Download Microsoft Word for Free on Windows 10

There are two distinct methods for how to download or access Microsoft Word for free when you are using Windows 10. We will walk you through each of them.

1. 30-Day Free Trial of Microsoft 365

You can get a 1-month free trial of the service, which means that you would download Microsoft Word locally on your PC.

Here’s how:

  • Access the Microsoft 365 website.
  • Click “Get Microsoft 365”.
  • Scroll down, and you’ll find the Microsoft 365 Family plan at  $99.99/year.
  • At the very bottom, click on “Try free for 1 month”.

30-Day Free Trial of Microsoft 365

This will give you access to install Office 365 apps – which means you won’t only get Word but also Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, and more.

If you’d like to cancel the subscription to make sure you don’t get charged once the trial is over, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Microsoft Account site.
  • Sign in with the account you used to buy your subscription.
  • Turn off recurring billing.

This ensures that your subscription will automatically expire when your remaining subscription time is up.

2. Student or Educational License

If you are a student or educator, you might be able to access the entire Microsoft suite entirely for free. This depends on whether your institution pays for a subscription with Microsoft – but you can find this out with the following steps:

  • Contact your school or educational institution to check whether they have student or educator licenses to install Office 365.
  • If they have a subscription, they will guide you through the steps you need to take to download the entire suite, including Microsoft Word.
  • Follow the instructions they provide you and install Microsoft Word on your Windows 10 computer.

The great thing about this kind of license is that you’ll get access to the full features and functionality of all the Microsoft 365 apps – entirely for free.

However, it is only available for as long as you are affiliated with the educational institution.

How to Download Microsoft Word for Free on Chrome OS

If you have a Chromebook, accessing Word on it is pretty easy.

  • Go to the Chrome Web Store.
  • Search for “Microsoft Word”.
  • Pick the Microsoft Word app – make sure it’s the official one issued by Microsoft.
  • Hit the Install button to download and set up the app.
  • When it’s done, launch the app.
  • Sign up for a Microsoft account or sign in if you already have one.

Thanks to the Android app version, you can access all the functionalities of Microsoft Word from your Chromebook.

How to Download Microsoft Word for Free on Linux

Sadly, the Microsoft Office apps do not run natively on Linux. This leaves you with 2 options:

  1. Use Office Online, as detailed in the first part of this article.
  2. Use a workaround to run Microsoft Word on Linux.

This section will walk you through the second step.

Download Microsoft Word on Linux via Wine

Wine is a compatibility layer designed to bridge the gap between Windows software and the Linux environment. This software offers a workaround to using Microsoft Word on Linux.

First, we will walk you through how to install Wine. The easiest way to do so is to install it from a package, which also gives you access to regular updates. These instructions relate to Ubuntu OS.

  • Open the terminal by pressing CTRL+Alt+T.
  • It’s best to update your system’s package list by running sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y. 
  • Since Wine requires 32-bit architecture, enable it with the following command (if you need to): sudo dpkg –add-architecture i386
  • Then, download and add the repository key with these commands:

You can now install Wine. We recommend installing the stable branch, which means you should run the sudo apt install –install-recommends winehq-stable command.

After installing Wine, you can now follow the steps to get the 30-day free trial for Microsoft Word or use a student/educator license, as per the instructions for downloading Microsoft Word for free for Windows 10.

Once you have the installer for Microsoft Word:

  • Save the installer file in your downloads folder.
  • Open the terminal (CTRL + Alt + T)
  • Run the installer by running this command in your terminal: wine Microsoft_Office_Online_installer.exe
  • Follow the prompts to install Microsoft 365.
  • Launch Microsoft 365 and sign in with the account on which you got your free trial or your student/educator license.

How to Use Microsoft Word for Free on iOS and Android

This is basically the Microsoft Word Web version, but in app form for convenience.

Here’s how to download and install it on iOS and Android:

  • Open the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iOS.
  • Search “Microsoft Word”.
  • Tap “Get” on iOS or “Install” on Android to download and install the app.
  • Sign in or create an account.

The Bottom Line

Microsoft Word is essential for word processing and can be accessed for free on various platforms.

Use Office Online for any OS, with some limitations compared to the desktop version. Download the mobile app for iOS or Android from their respective app stores. On Windows, use the Microsoft 365 free trial or an educational license. Chromebook users can install the Android app, while Linux users can run Word via Wine.

So if you’ve ever wondered how to use Microsoft Word for free, those are the options available to you.

FAQs

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Related Terms

Maria Webb
Technology Journalist
Maria Webb
Technology Journalist

Maria is a technology journalist with over five years of experience with a deep interest in AI and machine learning. She excels in data-driven journalism, making complex topics both accessible and engaging for her audience. Her work is prominently featured on Techopedia, Business2Community, and Eurostat, where she provides creative technical writing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English and a Master of Science in Strategic Management and Digital Marketing from the University of Malta. Maria's background includes journalism for Newsbook.com.mt, covering a range of topics from local events to international tech trends.