If you purchased a Windows computer or laptop recently, you might have noticed that you can’t install certain apps. This could happen if you have a computer running Windows 10 S. But what is Windows 10 S, and what does it do? Here’s everything you need to know about Windows 10 S mode and how to turn it off for free.
What is Windows 10 S Mode?
Windows 10 S Mode is a configuration that is designed to give you faster boot times, longer battery life, and better security. However, with Windows 10 S, you can’t use certain web browsers or download any apps that are not in the Microsoft Store.
Why You Should Keep Windows 10 S Mode
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 S Mode “delivers predictable performance and quality.” Windows 10 S Mode offers several benefits, including faster boot times, improved performance, better security, and more.
- Consistent performance:With Windows 10 S Mode, you don’t need to use as much memory or processing power. This means that your computer will run like new for longer.
- Faster boot times:A computer running Windows 10 S should start up in under 15 seconds. According to tests, Windows 10 S computers booted 80% faster than computers running Windows 10 Pro.
- Longer battery life:Since it’s a stripped-down version of Windows, S Mode consumes 15% less power, which will prolong your laptop’s battery life. According to Microsoft, a Surface laptop with S Mode enabled will last up to 14.5 hours on a single charge.
- Automatically save files to the cloud:If your computer is running Windows 10 S, your files will be automatically saved on OneDrive. This means you can access anything on your computer with an internet-connected device.
- Better security:You can only download apps from the Microsoft Store with Windows 10 S. This decreases the likelihood that you will accidentally download malicious software or bugs that could harm your computer. However, Microsoft still advises that you use the Windows Defender Security Center to protect your computer.
- Lots of apps to choose from:When S Mode was first released, the Microsoft Store was a little barren. Now there are plenty of apps to choose from. Whether you’re looking for productivity apps or entertainment apps, the Microsoft Store has lots of free and premium apps you can download.
Why Turn Off Windows 10 S Mode?
Windows 10 S Mode has some disadvantages that might make you want to remove it. You will only be able to use the Edge browser and Bing as your search engine. Also, you can’t use any third-party apps or some peripherals and configuration tools.
- You can only use Edge and Bing:When you’re in S Mode, you can only use the Edge browser with Bing as your search engine. That means you won’t be able to use Chrome or Firefox, and you’ll have to go to Google.com when you want to use the search engine.
- No third-party apps:Windows 10 S only lets you download apps from the Microsoft Store. If you try to install an app that is not on the Microsoft Store, you will see a pop-up window that blocks you from using it.
- Limited support for accessories:Windows 10 S only lets you use certain computer peripherals, such as printers, webcams, and wireless mice. To find out if your devices are compatible with Windows 10 S, check out Microsoft’s list below:
Printers and scanners
The following manufacturers provide webpages that discuss use of specific printers and scanners with Windows 10 in S mode. If your manufacturer is not listed, please contact them for compatibility information.
BROTHER INDUSTRIES, LTD.: English only
EPSON: English only
KONICA MINOLTA, INC.: English only
Lexmark International, Inc.: English only
Toshiba: English only
Keyboards and mice
The following manufacturers provide webpages that discuss use of specific keyboards and mice with Windows 10 in S mode. If your manufacturer is not listed, please contact them for compatibility information.
Webcams and cameras
The following manufacturers provide webpages that discuss use of specific accessories with Windows 10 in S mode. If your accessory manufacturer is not listed, please contact them for compatibility information.
Most other hardware accessories will work as designed with a Microsoft provided inbox class driver. Some functionality provided by accompanying software may not be enabled. Please contact your hardware manufacturer for further information.
Microsoft Display Adapters
Elecom: Japanese only
I-O Data: Japanese only
Buffalo: Japanese only
- No OS customization and configuration tools:With Windows 10 S, you won’t be able to access the Command Prompt, PowerShell, or the Windows Registry for system configuration and troubleshooting.
How to Check if You Have Windows 10 S Mode Enabled
To check if you have Windows 10 S Mode enabled, go to Start > Settings > System. Then scroll down the left sidebar and click About. Check the Windows specification section to see which Windows edition you have installed.
- Open the Windows Start Menu. You can do this by clicking the button with the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Or you can hit the button with the Windows logo on your keyboard.
- Then select Settings. This is the button with the gear icon.
- Next, click System.
- Then scroll down the left sidebar and click About.
- Check under Windows specifications to see if you have Windows 10 in S mode enabled. This will be to the right of Edition.
How to Turn Off Windows 10 S Mode
To turn off Windows 10 S Mode, click the Start button then go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation. Select Go to the Store and click Get under the Switch out of S Mode panel. Then click Install and wait for the process to finish.
Take note that switching out of S Mode is a one-way process. Once you’ve switched out, there’s no going back. So, make sure that you want to disable S Mode for good before you proceed.
- Open the Windows Start Menu.
- Then select Settings.
- Next, click Update & Security.
- Then select You can find this in the left sidebar of the Settings window.
- Next, click Go to the Store. You’ll see this next to a shopping bag icon with the Windows logo. Clicking on it will open up a new window in the Microsoft Store that says Switch out of S Mode.
- Then click Get. This will be a blue button located just below the description.
- Finally, click Install and wait for the process to finish. Once finished, you’ll see a pop-up box that says, “You’re all set! You have switched out of S mode and can now install apps from outside the Store.”