If you want to use Microsoft Word on your Mac without having to pay for it, here we show you how to get Word for free on a Mac.
Currently, Microsoft Word for Mac costs $159.99/£149.99 if you buy it as a standalone desktop product.
Alternatively, you can get it on subscription as part of the Microsoft 365 suite for $6.99/£5.99 per month for individuals or $9.99/£7.99 a month for a family subscription. Business plans starts at $12.50 a month per user.
The good news however is that there are also ways to use Microsoft Word for Mac free legally using a variety of methods which work on both Intel Macs and Apple Silicon M-series chip Macs.
Microsoft itself offers a free version of Word through its online Microsoft 365 service (formerly Office 365), and there are also trial versions of Microsoft Office that you can use for a limited time.
Additionally, some institutions, such as schools and universities, may provide free access to Microsoft Office 365 for students and educators.
Note that Office 365 is now known as Microsoft 365 and will be referred to as such here.
Here then are the best ways to get Microsoft Word for Mac free.
1. Microsoft 365 Online
Microsoft 365 Online (formerly Microsoft Office Online) offers a free online version of Microsoft Office that works in any browser and includes Microsoft Word Online.
Microsoft 365 online isn’t as advanced as the full subscription or desktop version of Microsoft Word but it’s fine for basic editing.
To get Microsoft Word for Mac free in Microsoft 365 Online follow these instructions:
- Go to the Office Online website.
- Sign in with your Microsoft 365 account or create one if you don’t have one. This account is free to create.
- Once signed in, you can use the limited online versions of Microsoft Word online as well as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint for free.
- Note that you can only save documents created in Microsoft Word online in Microsoft OneDrive.
- Free To Use
- Doesn’t require any credit or debit card info to use
- Works in any browser on a Mac
- Not the full version of Microsoft Word
- Only saves files to OneDrive
- Doesn’t work offline
2. Microsoft 365 Free Trial
If Microsoft Word online isn’t powerful enough, then you get a the full paid version of Microsoft Word for Mac by using a one month free trial of its Microsoft 365 suite (formerly Office 365) which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
To get the full version of Microsoft Word for Mac in a free trial of Microsoft 365 follow these instructions:
- Go to the Microsoft 365 Free Trial page and sign-up for the trial by clicking on “Start you 1-month trial”.
- Sign in with your Microsoft account or create a new one if you don’t have one.
- Note that to start the free trial, you will have to provide credit or debit card details but as long as you cancel within 30 days, you will not be charged. If you don’t cancel within 30 days, you will be charged for either a Personal or Family Microsoft 365 subscription if you choose one.
- Once you’ve signed up for the free trial, you can then download Microsoft Word for Mac free on to your Mac desktop.
- Gives access to the full paid desktop version of Microsoft Word for Mac
- Allows you to save documents on your Mac desktop
- Works offline
- Includes 1TB of OneDrive storage (6TB with Family Plan)
- Includes other apps in Microsoft 365 such as PowerPoint and Excel
- Continually updated by Microsoft
- Limited to 30 days of free use
- Requires payment details to start the trial
3. Office 365 Education
Some educational institutions provide free access to Microsoft Word through their own Microsoft Office 365 subscription for students or employees.
Check with your workplace, school or university whether it offers a free Microsoft 365 subscription.
You can find more information about Office 365 educational licenses here.
4. Microsoft Family Plan Invite
If you have a friend, relative or colleague that already has a Microsoft 365 Family Plan (formerly known as a Microsoft 365 Home Plan) then they can share it with up to five other people so that you can access the full version of Microsoft Word for Mac.
To get an invite, you must simply request that they send you one via email in the Office Sharing page in their Microsoft account.
Once you’ve accepted the invite, you can sign-in and download Microsoft Word for Mac on your Mac desktop which includes 1TB of OneDrive storage per user.
Alternatively, because a Microsoft 365 Family plan allows up to 6 users, you could agree to split the annual $99.99 Microsoft 365 Family Plan subscription fee between you and 5 others which works out at just $16.66 per user for one years access to the full desktop version of Microsoft Word for Mac.
5. Use Word For Mac On iOS For Free
If you’ve already got an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad then you can use Microsoft Word on iOS for free.
However, this is only for non-commercial use though which means you can only use Word for iPad for non-business related and only for personal reasons.
You can download Microsoft Word for iPad free from the iOS App Store.
Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are also available for free from the iOS App Store on your iPad or iPhone.
You can create, edit and print Microsoft Word documents for free although you will need to create a Microsoft ID to do so first.
Note that unfortunately, this doesn’t work on the iPad Pro as the free version for Microsoft Office for iOS does not support screens bigger than 10.2 inches.
You can however use Microsoft Office on the iPad Pro with a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Can You Download Word For Mac Free on the Mac App Store?
You can download Microsoft Word for Mac for free on the Mac App Store but to activate it, you will need a Microsoft 365 subscription.
A Microsoft 365 subscription costs $69.99/£59.99 per year for a Personal Plan and $99.99/£79.99 per year for a Family Plan which is valid for up to 6 users.
Alternatives to Microsoft Word For Mac
If you don’t want to use Microsoft Word specifically, there are also free and open-source word processing software alternatives that work on Mac.
These can be used without any cost and most of them can open and edit Microsoft Word .docx or .doc files.
The best alternative to Microsoft Word for Mac is Pages which is Apple’s answer to Microsoft Word. Pages also works on iPad and iPhone.
Other popular alternatives to Word for Mac include Mellel, Write 2, Google Docs and LibreOffice Writer.
You can find a full list of the best alternatives to Microsoft Word in our look at the best word processing software for Mac.
If you want free access to the entire Microsoft 365 suite, you may also find our look at how to get Microsoft Office for Mac free useful too.