Excel is free if you have Windows

Get Microsoft Excel for free

Birgit Götz, Anyron Copeman

Microsoft's Excel has been the leading spreadsheet software for more than 30 years. You don't necessarily have to pay for the program.

A Microsoft 365 subscription makes perfect sense in the corporate world. It may not be right for you. You can use MicrosoftExcel completely legally but also free of charge.


Option 1 - web version

Microsoft Excel and other important Office programs can be accessed free of charge over the Internet, and all you need is a Microsoft account. Go to Office.com and create an account, or sign in to an account you already have.

As soon as you are logged into your Microsoft account on office.com, you will see a welcome screen and either on the left or at the top a bar with the available apps, from Excel, Word and Powerpoint to Outlook and Skype.

These are all web apps, which means that they are applications that you use online without installing them on your computer. If you work on a file here, it will be saved on Onedrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service.

In fact, you probably owe it to Google for making the software available in the form of a web application, as the free text and spreadsheet software and its integration with Google Drive made it difficult for Microsoft to keep charging users.

The web version of Excel is a stripped-down version of the software, so comparing it to Google Docs is more reasonable than the full desktop program. Nonetheless, both services should offer everything a normal user could want.


Option 2 - use on the smartphone

Maybe in response to Google again: Microsoft's mobile Office applications are completely free and available on modern mobile devices. You can download the Microsoft Excel for Android and iOS. Although Microsoft understandably reserved some premium features for its 365 subscription, the mobile apps are still extremely powerful and the perfect option if you want to be productive on the go.


Option 3 - Get the full version

Of course, if only the full version of Excel is enough for your needs, then you need to subscribe to Microsoft 365. Like Adobe, Microsoft prefers that you pay a regular fee to access its software rather than buying it directly.

On the positive side, it will give you regular updates, which should ensure that the software is more secure than a big annual release.

Buy Microsoft 365 from Microsoft


This post was first published by our English colleagues on techadvisor.co.uk