Microsoft Office has a nice suite of tools that is useful to almost any computer user no matter what platform you are working on. It’s been the leader in word processing, spreadsheets, slide shows, and more for many years now and even as a Mac user, It’s a tool that’s hard to avoid.
Its popularity means it’s used everywhere, especially in business settings. But it can be pricey for single users. The good news is that there are a couple of ways that you can get Microsoft Office for free, even on your Mac.
My name is Eric and as a longtime PC user, I have been accustomed to using Microsoft Office on Windows systems. There are many times I wish to use it on my Mac but don’t want to pay for it. There are a couple of ways that you can get it for free and I can show you how in this article.
Keep reading to learn more!
- Method 1: Microsoft 365 Online
- Method 2: Download Microsoft Office Desktop Apps to your Mac For Free
Method 1: Microsoft 365 Online
If you don’t mind using the online version of Microsoft Office, then this is probably the best solution for you. The great thing about it is that you can use it from anywhere. Use it from your Mac, from your PC, from a Google Chromebook, and even from your phone.
Not only is it flexible and can be used from any computer with internet access, but it is free and you can quickly sign up for it. Just follow the steps below and you can be using Microsoft Office for free in a matter of minutes.
To get access to Microsoft Office products from Microsoft 365, you will first need to create a Microsoft account if you don’t already have one. If you have one, you can skip to Step 4.
Step 1: Go to Outlook.live.com
Use your browser (either Google Chrome or Safari) to navigate to outlook.live.com.
Step 2: Create a Free Account
Click on the Create Free Account button.
Step 3: Setup Your Account
Follow the onscreen instructions for setting up your free Microsoft account.
Step 4: Log in to your Microsoft account
Go to outlook.live.com and click on the Sign In button.
Step 5: Locate the Microsoft Office Applications
Once you have logged in, you will see the Office applications on the left side of the screen as shown below. You can click on any of them to run them in your browser.
With a free Microsoft account, you will have access to the following Microsoft Office Applications in your browser.
Microsoft To Do
These are apps that are visible on the left pane. Also if you click the symbol at the bottom of the application symbols, you will find OneNote.
These Microsoft applications are included with your free Microsoft account. The only drawback is that you have to use the online browser versions of them. You cannot download the applications and use them locally on your machine.
For most users, this is not a problem and it is often a benefit because you can now use them from any system that has internet access. If you do wish to download and have the apps available locally, there are paid subscriptions available for this, but if you want to download them for free, see the next section.
Method 2: Download Microsoft Office Desktop Apps to your Mac For Free
For most users, the free online version of Office 365 will work just fine, but for others, you may want to have the desktop applications. This is especially true if you don’t always have internet access but wish to be able to use them.
Luckily there is a way that you can download Microsoft Office to your Mac for free. The process is a bit long but I will walk you through it and when complete you will be able to use the desktop applications for free on your Mac system. Just follow the steps below.
Step 1: Go to developer.microsoft.com
Use your preferred browser to navigate to developer.microsoft.com.
Step 2: Click on Microsoft 365 Product
Scroll down the page until you find Microsoft 365 under the Start Building with these Microsoft products and click on it.
Step 3: Join Microsoft 365 Developer Program
Scroll down to the Join our programs section and click on Join the Microsoft 365 Developer Program.
Click on Join the Developer Program today and then Join now.
Step 4: Register
Fill out the required fields in the registration form. Check the checkbox to agree to the terms and conditions and then click the Next button.
Step 5: Choose a primary focus
In the next screen select your primary focus as a developer. Custom solutions for my own customers is the one that I have chosen.
Step 6: Select the Areas of development
The next section will ask you to select the areas of development you are interested in. You may select whatever you like. Select at least one of them. I chose MS Teams.
Step 7: Select Configurable Sandbox
On the next screen select Configurable sandbox.
Step 8: Create Login Credentials
The next screen is very important. Here you will create your username, domain name, email address, and password. Write these down as you will need them to log in and download the apps. Be sure to even keep the email address shown under the Create Domain as you will need this to register Office when you first start it.
Step 9: Add your phone number
Select your country code and then enter your phone number. Click on the button to send a code to your phone. Once you receive the text message with the code enter it in the text box.
Step 10: Wait for setup to complete
Once you have verified your phone number with the code that is sent to you, you will need to wait for the setup to complete. You should see a screen similar to the one below.
Once the setup has been completed you will see a screen showing your expiration date and other information about your account. Don’t worry too much about the expiration date. As long as you keep using the apps it will automatically renew after 91 days.
Step 11: Log in to your Subscription
Click on the Go to Subscription link at the bottom of the screen shown above. This will take you to the login screen for your developer subscription. You should see the email address that was created above. Enter the password that you created in step 8.
Step 12: Click on Install and more
Once logged into your developer account, you will see the main page. Click on the Install and more button near the top right side of the screen and then click on Install Microsoft 365 apps.
You may be asked to select a Microsoft account, if so select your new developer account that you just created.
Step 13: Install Office
Click on the Install Office button as shown below.
Step 14: Click on the downloaded file
Once the file has been downloaded, click on it to open the installation package and begin the installation process.
Step 15: Follow the onscreen instructions to install Office
Follow the steps on the installation screen. When completed you should see a screen like the one shown below.
Step 16: Start up any of the MS Office Applications
To register Microsoft Office you will need to start up any of the applications. Open Launch Pad and find one of the Office apps such as Microsoft Word and click on it.
Step 17: Enter developer subscription email and password to register the product.
As the application tries to start you will be asked to register the product. It may have your developer account email already filled in. If it does, just enter the password you created in step 8.
If the developer account email is not shown, click on the Use Another Account button.
For the account, use the full account name or email with the domain shown in your developer account such as
This is the same email that was created in step 8 in which you were asked to write down the information for later. If you forgot to write it down or are unsure of what it is, you can find it in your developer account under My Account.
Once you have registered your version, you are good to go, you will no longer need to enter the email and password every time you start one of the office applications. You can now begin using your Microsoft Office apps.
Below are a few questions that are often asked when learning how to get Microsoft Office for Mac for free.
Can I use the Office Apps from the Free Microsoft Account on my Phone?
Yes, you definitely can. Whether you use the first method with the regular free Microsoft account or you create a developer account to download the Office apps, both methods have options to download the apps on your phone.
Will the methods above work on other types of computers such as PCs?
Yes, they will. The online Office applications that you use in a browser can be used from any system that has internet access and a browser. Just go to outlook.live.com and log in. If you choose to create a developer account and download the apps, you can log in to that account from a PC and download and install Office using the same steps as above.
Do I have to be a developer to create the Microsoft developer account?
No, you don’t. While the developer accounts are meant for developers to be able to work with Microsoft products, you don’t necessarily need to have a job as a developer. You may just be interested in how the products work and learning about how they can be used in various situations for your company, your customers, or personally.
As you can see from the information above, there are two different ways that you can get Microsoft Office on your Mac. The first is to use the free online applications with a free Microsoft account. The second is to create a developer account and download the applications.
I hope the information provided above has helped you to get Microsoft Office on your Mac. As usual, let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you.