If you’re a teacher or student, you can use Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365 and Microsoft Office) on a Mac or Windows PC for free simply by signing-up with your educational email address.
This allows you to both download the desktop version of Office 365 for free and use it in the Cloud too.
Microsoft 365 for Students and Teachers is free in most countries including the USA, Canada and UK.
The reason for this is because Microsoft has signed distribution agreements with educational institutions all over the world that allows students and faculty members to use its products without a subscription.
You’ll notice that currently the suite is branded as “Office 365” but Microsoft is slowly transitioning this so that it will eventually just be known as “Microsoft 365”.
If you’re confused about the naming of it (and let’s face it, it is a confusing move by Microsoft) you can read more about Microsoft’s rebranding here.
Just follow these instructions to get the student and teacher edition of Microsoft 365 for free.
Go to the Microsoft Office 365 Student & Teacher site, enter your educational email address in the box provided and click “Get Started”. You can use any educational address including .edu, .k12 or any email address that is connected to your high school, college or university.
You’ll then be taken to the registration page where you’ll need to enter your name, date of birth and a verification code. The verification code is sent to your educational email address to confirm that you go to the school, college or university with the email you signed-up with.
Once you’re verified, you’ll be taken to Office 365 in the Cloud in your browser. You’ll be able to start using all of the Office 365 apps in your browser instantly with no limitations. This includes access to Microsoft OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Teams, Sway and more. If you don’t want to use the apps in the Cloud however, you can also install Office 365 on your Mac by clicking on “Install Office” in the top right corner and then select “Office 365 Apps”.
This will then download Office 365 onto your Mac desktop so that you can work offline too.
You then need to sign-into your Office 365 account through the desktop app with your educational email so that you can use the desktop versions for free too. This will also sync your documents with Office 365 in the Cloud so that you can continue working on them in any browser if you don’t have access to your Mac. To do this, click on your name in the top-right corner of the app.
Sign-into your Office 365 account with your educational address and password. If you’re already signed-in with another license, select the option “Sign-in with a different account”.
Your desktop version of Office 365 for Mac is now tied to your Educational license and you can use it for as long as you want for free.
What If My Educational Institution Is Not Eligible?
If your school, college or university doesn’t participate in the Microsoft Educational program don’t fear, you can still use the web apps in Office 365 for Mac for free.
This allows anyone, even those that are not students, to use Office 365 in the Cloud for free.
Go to Office.com and click on “Sign-up for free”. You can sign-in with any Microsoft account (it doesn’t have to be with an educational email address). If you don’t have a Microsoft account, simply sign-up for one with any email address.
You can then use all of the Office 365 web apps for free in your browser. However, if you try to install the desktop apps, you’ll receive a message saying you need to upgrade to Premium to do so.
If you can live without the desktop apps, this is a great way to use Office 365 on a Mac for free for both students and non-students.
Which Office Apps Are Included In The Educational Edition?
The Education Edition of Office 365 includes the following apps: