How to Get Excel for Free: 6 Easy Methods

Microsoft Excel is the most used spreadsheet software. It is mostly used by individuals for personal work, businesses, and institutions. Over the years, it has become a powerhouse of the most advanced features.

The problem is that not many people know how to get Excel for free. This is partly because Excel, like most Microsoft Software, comes at a price. Luckily there are several legit ways you can get the latest Excel version for free.

1. Use Excel Online

Excel online is already free of charge. If you have an account on, then you probably have access to Microsoft Excel online, and you didn’t realize it. Besides, you also have access to other software such as Word, Outlook, Publisher, and PowerPoint online. Follow these steps to Use Excel online for free.

1. Create an account by signing up on If you already have one, just log in

2. Once you log in, you will see some apps on the left side panel

3. Click on the Excel Icon to open the online version

4. You can now click on New Blank Workbook to start using this online software

Create Excel file free

Viola, that’s how to get Microsoft Excel for free, regardless of your operating system. Although most of the features available offline can be found in the online version, there are a few differences.

Offline Excel Vs. Free Online Excel Version


Excel Offline Version

Excel Free Online Version


Installed on a local computer

Accessible via a web browser


Saves files locally

Saves files to OneDrive or SharePoint


Limited collaboration options

Real-time collaboration with multiple users

Add-ins and Macros

Supports all Excel add-ins and macros

Supports a range of add-ins; some advanced add-ins may not be available

Data Analysis

Full range of data analysis tools

Limited data analysis capabilities (e.g., PivotTables, Data Analysis ToolPak)

File Size Limit

Depends on the computer’s storage capacity

Limited by online storage (typically up to 5 GB for free Microsoft accounts)


Extensive customization options

Limited customization features (e.g., limited themes, templates)

Offline Access

Accessible without an internet connection

Requires an internet connection for full functionality

Version Compatibility

It may require manual updates for compatibility

Automatically updated to the latest version


Typically requires a paid license

Free to use with a Microsoft account

How to use the classic ribbon on Excel Online

The online Excel comes with a new Ribbon on top of the existing ribbon. The classic ribbon is wide and contains features in similar locations to the Offline Excel. This means that it will be easier to navigate if you are used to the offline Excel version. This top ribbon contains a search bar that allows you to easily search for features or data on the spreadsheet. It also has the location where your file is saved. Lastly, it provides easy access to your profile and preferences settings.

The top ribbon also contains a big section displaying “Buy Microsoft 365”. You can change back to the classic ribbon by following these steps.

1. Click on a drop-down menu located in the far right corner of the toolbar.

How revert to classic ribbon in free Excel

2. Excel will automatically revert to the old ribbon

Similar Read: 7 tips to make Excel less laggy

2. Use the free App

Microsoft Excel App on the Playstore and Appstore is free of charge. It’s the best version to use on the go. If you are always on the road and need to fill in some data fast, this is the easiest way. You just have to open your phone, tablet, or IPad, and you get access to Excel features. This is how to get Excel for free on your phone, tablet, or iPad.

1. Open the Playstore or Appstore

2. Search for Microsoft Excel

3. Locate Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets and install them on your device

How to get free Excel on Mobile

The best thing about using the Excel app is that it syncs your documents to OneDrive. Therefore you can easily switch devices and continue working. Furthermore, it has all the latest functions released by Excel.

3. Get Microsoft 365 for free.

Microsoft 365 is the latest office suite containing all the office software you need. It comes with 1TB of cloud storage per user. The good news is that you can try this version for 30 days free of charge. Therefore if you are looking to use the desktop version for a few days, then this might be the best route to take.

1. Visit Microsoft 365 Website

2. Click on Try 1 month free

How to get Microsoft 365 for free

3. Add a Payment Method and follow the prompts. Once done, you can download and install it on your device. You will not be charged until your free trial ends.

4. Get Excel for Free Using School Email Address

If you are an educator or school student with a valid school email address, you can get Office 365 Education for free. This version includes Excel, PowerPoint, Word, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, and other classroom tools.

1. Visit the Office 365 Education page

2. Type in your school Email address (Your school email address)

3. Click on Get Started.

How to get Microsoft 365 free with student email

If your school offers a lifetime domain, then you might still have access to these tools even after you complete your studies.

If your email doesn’t work, then it means your school or institution is not registered, not Microsoft. If you have a school and wish students to access these tools for free, then you can sign up. Your students will get the software for free.

5. Join the developer’s program

Under the Microsoft Developers program, you get access to all the office tools plus sample data free of charge.

1. Open the Microsoft Developer portal

2. Click on Join Now

Free Microsoft 365 for developers

Sign in with your Microsoft account and follow the prompts.

6. Use Google Sheets as an alternative

Google sheet is a free spreadsheet software that works only online. It offers similar functionalities to Excel. You can achieve almost everything you want using Google Sheets as you would have done with Excel.

1. Open Google Sheets

2. Click on the plus Icon to create a blank spreadsheet and start editing

Google sheets as an alternative for Microsoft 365

3. If you have an existing spreadsheet or Excel file, you can upload it by clicking on the file icon and then the upload tab. Finally, click the browse button and select your Excel file.

How to create or upload Excel file Google Sheets

You can also drag and drop the file to upload automatically.

Final thoughts

Excel is the best spreadsheet platform, but it comes at a price. Luckily there are various legit ways to get Microsoft Excel for free. Try any of the above six methods depending on what you want to do. Let us know in the comments if you encounter any problems.

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