How to get out of Windows 10 “S mode”

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If you buy a brand new computer, there’s a chance you might turn it on and find that it’s not just running Windows 10. It might be running Windows 10 in S Mode. Most people don’t want that. Here’s how to get out of S Mode.

Windows 10 S mode


What exactly IS “S Mode” anyway?

You could think of S Mode as being sort of Windows 10 in “Lockdown”. Maybe with the recent Coronavirus situation, “lockdown” might not be a good term to use. But it’s accurate though.

Windows 10 S Mode means you cannot install the software that you might normally use. You can ONLY install apps from the Microsoft Store. You can’t use Chrome or Firefox – you’re pretty much stuck using Microsoft Edge, which almost no one uses willingly. And you can’t even set your default search engine as Google – you are forced to search by default using Bing, since that’s Microsoft’s search engine.

What if you want to use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc)? Of course you can do that – because Office is a product of Microsoft!

But seriously, for most users, the restrictions on a computer running Windows 10 S Mode are just too much. So if you buy a computer that happens to come with S Mode already running, you’ll probably want to get it out of that status and back into “regular” Windows 10 like you’re used to.

How to get your computer out of Windows 10 S Mode

First a warning: once you get out of S Mode, you can’t go back. It will never be able to go back to S Mode again. I’m guessing you’re probably okay with that, since you’re about to learn how to get it out of S Mode to start with.

You need to go to the Microsoft Store. To do that, you can either click the Start button in the lower left and scroll down alphabetically and click on “Microsoft Store”:

Microsoft Store


Or, you could just click the Microsoft Store icon that is probably on your taskbar:

Microsoft Store


When you click that and go to the Store, find the search function in the upper right (the magnifying glass), then click on it and search the phrase “Switch out of S Mode”. When you see it, click on “Learn More” and it will just take you right through the process. You don’t have to pay anything for this.

After you’re done (just takes a few clicks), it would be good to restart your computer (in fact, it’s always a good idea to restart your computer). Now the fun part starts – getting all your software installed!

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Sheryl Nicholson
April 2nd, 2020

Hey Scott when I went to the microsoft bag icon and typed in switch out of s mode – all i got was 163 games to look at. So alerting you in case they have changed something or I did it wrong.

Scott Johnson
April 2nd, 2020

Sheryl – it might not show since your computer is not in S Mode.