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How to get Microsoft PowerPoint for Free? There are plenty of different ways to access PowerPoint, with not all of them require you to pay money. Here are the main free options
Alongside Word and Excel, Microsoft’s PowerPoint has been a regular fixture in many people’s lives for more than 30 years. It’s changed a lot in that time but retains the same core function – producing compelling and eye-catching slideshow presentations.
For many years, paying for Office outright was the only way to access Excel. However, that all changed with the release of Office 365 (now Microsoft 365), which offered access to all the apps and regular updates in exchange for a monthly fee.
How to get Microsoft PowerPoint for Free
But Microsoft continues to release new standalone versions of Office apps every few years. The latest of these is Office 2021. Here are three potential free methods, plus the key details if you do end up paying.
Option 1 – Web version
Accessing Microsoft PowerPoint and other core Office programs is free via the web, and all you’ll need is a Microsoft account.
Head over to Office.com and click ‘Sign in’ to enter your details. If you don’t yet have an account, choose ‘Sign up for the free version of Office’ and follow the instructions.
Once that’s complete, you’ll be taken to your main office homepage. From the left pane, choose ‘Create’ then ‘Presentation’ to open a new PowerPoint document.
As you can see, there’s also the option to create documents in Word and PowerPoint here, alongside Outlook and a free version of Microsoft Teams. These are all ‘Web Apps’, meaning you can only use them via your browser and not a desktop app. When you work on a file here, it will be saved to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service.
In fact, you probably have Google to thank for this software is available in web app form, as its free Docs, Sheets, and Slides software and their integration with Google Drive made it difficult for Microsoft to keep asking users to pay.
Check out our guide to the best cloud storage services to see how both compare to the rest of the competition.
The web version of PowerPoint is a more stripped-back version of the software, so the comparison to Google Slides is more reasonable than the full desktop program. Nonetheless, both services should provide everything a casual user is looking for.
In fact, you probably have Google to thank for this software is available in web app form, as its free Docs, Sheets, and Slides software and its integration with Google Drive made it difficult for Microsoft to keep asking users to pay.
Option 2 – Use on mobile
Perhaps again in response to Google, Microsoft’s Office mobile applications are completely free and available across modern mobile devices.
You can download the Microsoft PowerPoint app for Android and iOS. While Microsoft understandably reserves some premium features for its Office 365 subscription, the mobile apps are still very capable and offer integration with OneDrive.
Option 3 – Check if your school or workplace gets it free
Many employers offer Microsoft 365 apps to their employees free of charge. Even if your work email address ends with the name of the company, it may still be used to sign into a Microsoft account. Of course, you may be working in an office job where Excel and the like are already the defaults.
If your school has signed up to Microsoft 365 Education, all staff and students should be able to access Office apps for free. To check, enter your education email address on the Microsoft website.
But if your school isn’t yet signed up and you’re in a position to change that, compare plans and begin the sign-up process here.
Option 4 – Pay full price
However, these free options aren’t suitable for everyone. If you need more than just basic PowerPoint functions and the app isn’t available to you via school or work, the only alternative is to pay full price.
At the time of writing, the cheapest Microsoft 365 subscription is Personal, which is £5.99/US$6.99 per month or £59.99/US$69.99 per year. Stepping up to the Family plan gets 2-6 people access for £7.99/US$9.99 per month or £79.99/US$99.99 per year. Both offer a one-month free trial.
Your other option is to pay for Office 2021, the latest standalone release. This is a one-off payment of £119.99 in the UK or $149.99 in the US. Unfortunately, there’s no way to pay for PowerPoint on its own.