How to Switch Out of S mode in Windows 10

If you have a device that comes with the Windows 10 S mode OS, then you would have noticed that installing apps is a rather limited affair. Unless the application you want to use comes from the Microsoft store, then you’re out of luck. Because of this, a lot of people choose to change their version to avoid this problem.

And that’s exactly what we’ll show you. How to switch out of S mode in Windows 10 and allow installation of non-Microsoft apps.

What Is Windows 10 S?

Microsoft emphasizes that Windows 10 S is a version of its operating system that was developed for use in an educational setting. It’s a mode of the Windows 10 OS that limits available apps to only those that have been verified by Microsoft and are available in the Microsoft Store. This limitation allows this version of Windows to run very efficiently, making it both fast and secure. This does, of course, comes with the disadvantage of not being able to install third party apps.

Checking Your Windows 10 Version

If you’re unsure whether or not the version of Windows that your device came with is the S version, you can either try installing a non-Microsoft store app or check the version settings under the Systems menu. To check your version of Windows:

  1. Click on the Start button on the lower left corner of your screen.
  2. Choose Settings from the menu. On Windows 10, Settings is represented by the gear icon.
  3. Choose and click on System.
  4. Scroll down and find the About tab on the left menu, then click on it.
  5. You will find your version of Windows under Windows specifications. An S mode OS will be labeled as such.
windows 10 how to switch out of s mode

Switching Out of Windows 10 S

Before you begin the switch out of Windows 10 S, you should be aware that although this process is free, it is also irreversible. Once you convert your system out of Windows S you cannot revert back to it. If you understand and accept that point, then read on.

To complete the process of leaving Windows 10 S mode, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button to open the menu.
  2. Choose Settings from the list.
  3. Find Update & Security from the menu then click on it.
  4. On the left menu, look for Activation, then click on that to open the Activation page.
  5. Depending on your version of Windows 10 S, you will either see, Switch to Windows 10 Home, or Switch to Windows 10 Pro. Under the Switch to menu, click on the Go to Store link. If you see a Go to Store link under an Upgrade your Edition of Windows menu, do not click on that link.
  6. Once you click the Go to Store link, you’ll be sent to a Switch out of S mode page. Find the Get button, click on it, then follow the instructions for confirmation. Once this is done your officially no longer on S mode, and can now install apps from outside the Microsoft Store.

Do note that upgrading your version of Windows without switching out of S mode will keep you in S mode. You can still buy a higher version of your OS by going to the Upgrade your Edition of Windows link, but it will be an S mode version of it. You can still switch out of S mode once you upgrade your Windows edition by following the steps above.

If you wish to upgrade without switching out of S mode, navigate back to the Activation page using the instructions above. This time click on the Go to Store link on the Upgrade your Edition of Windows menu. You’ll be redirected to a page where you can purchase a higher edition of your OS.

switch out of s mode in windows 10

Why Use Windows 10 S in the First Place?

Windows 10 S, though limiting the type of apps that can be run on it, does have several advantages. It’s very fast, with startups that take only a few seconds no matter how many apps have been installed. It’s also quite secure, as the mode allows only Microsoft-verified apps. These specifications make Windows 10 S perfect for use in an educational setting.

If you want a device that can handle all the demands of schoolwork but is secure against malicious software, then Windows 10 S is a great OS to have. The Windows Store has plenty of available apps, both free and paid that can be used to increase productivity.

Of course, not all school environments can benefit from this system’s proprietary limitation. Because S mode doesn’t allow non-Microsoft Store apps to install, even open software like Google Chrome or Open office is unavailable. This is a disadvantage as this renders a lot of free open license software unavailable.

A Big Limitation

Windows 10 S is a great operating system for those that do not require third party apps for their work. The advantage of being fast and secure, though, is also its biggest limitation. Not being able to install a great number of programs both free and paid is an inconvenience that not many will accept. Switching out of S mode is, more often than not, an easy decision to make.

Have you had any experience with switching out of S mode in Windows 10? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

11 thoughts on “How to Switch Out of S mode in Windows 10”

Natalie Behrends says:
I also got put back in S mode via BIOS (whatever that is) and I can’t get out. Do I now have to reset back to factory original settings and develop a new email address as suggested above???? Who allowed BIOS to do this and how do I know it won’t happen again?
John Metz says:
I follow the directions (settings>Upgrade and Security>Activation; in Activation all I have is “Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro” NO “Switch to Windows 10 Home” NO “Switch to Windows 10 Pro”; I think early on I clicked on the “Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro,” and now I can’t get back to the basic menu that includes the “Switch” options. How do I get back before the “Upgrade” option?
Julie Schramke says:
Following all those directions for the past several hours, I still get “Working on it…” I am unable to successfully uninstall S mode. This is frustrating.
Fiona says:
Every time the system asks you to log in your Microsoft account, it says there’s an error.. Well, they gotta tell you what’s the error so that at least you can keep trying… It’s so frustrating..
Lorraine says:
I did this successfully on a new computer. The next day, my computer wanted to restart, so I let it. Then it rebuilt the system BIOS(whatever that means) and put me back into S mode. Now I cannot get out of it. It also keeps “working on it.”
Fiona says:
I ended up reset the computer back to factory setting. I also had to set up a new Microsoft account with my other email address since the same issue was still there with my old account .. and then managed to switch out of S mode finally. It’s quite unnecessary…

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