If you have recently purchased a Surface 2-in-1 laptop like a Surface Go or other recent Windows 10 devices, there is a great chance that it’s running on Windows 10 S mode. In this guide, we will show you what S mode does and how you can switch your Windows 10 out of S mode.
What are the pros and cons of Windows 10 S mode?
Windows 10 S mode is designed for security and performance. As you may have already noticed, you can’t install any app or program from third party sources outside of Microsoft Store. All apps in Microsoft store are verified and marked safe by Microsoft. This is to ensure that you don’t install software or program that may be malicious.
You will also not be able to use any other browser and search engine other than the built-in Edge and Bing while in S mode. All these are to make sure your device stays safe and fast.
If you switch your device’s Windows 10 out of S mode, you will lose all the said protections (and restrictions), but at the same time gain back the freedom to install whatever software you want and use whatever browser you like.
How to know if your Windows 10 is in S mode
To check if you truly have Windows 10 in S mode, go to Start menu > Settings > System > About. On the right, under Windows Specifications, you should see “Windows 10 Home S Mode” as your Windows 10 edition.
How to get Windows 10 out of S mode
To switch Windows 10 out of S mode, follow the steps below:
- Go to Start menu > Settings (or Start menu > gear icon on the left).
- Select Update & Security.
- In the left pane, select Activation.
- Under Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro, click on the Go to the store link.
- You should see something like in the screenshot below that says “Switch out of S mode” with a Get button. Click on the Get button to begin switching your Windows 10 out of S mode.
Please note that the switch is a one-way process. There is no going back to S mode after switching out of it. Think twice before you decide.
Microsoft store doesn’t have the “Switch out of S mode” option
If you don’t see the option even if you search for it in the Microsoft Store, it might have something to do with the store not being updated. Check on your Windows Update and try to run it (Settings > Update & Securities > Windows Update > Check for updates).
This will allow Windows Update to check for and update Microsoft Store to the latest version. Once updated, follow the steps above again or simply search for “switch out of S mode” in Microsoft Store and see if the page can be found.
If you see “Something happened and we couldn’t start the upgrade” error
There are several reports in this Microsoft’s forum where some users may see the “Something happened and we couldn’t start the upgrade” error when they click on the “Get” button to attempt to switch Windows 10 out of S mode.
If that’s what happened to you, try to create a new local user account (non-Microsoft account) and add it to the local admin group (detailed instruction here). Restart your PC and log into your newly created account. Open Microsoft Store and login to your actual Microsoft account. Search for “switch out of S mode” in the store. You should then be able to see the “Get” button.
Can I switch Windows 10 out of S mode without Microsoft account?
Unfortunately no, you cannot do this without a proper Microsoft account as you will need to have access to Microsoft Store in order to switch your Windows 10 out of S mode.
How much does it cost to get out of Windows 10 S mode?
In most cases, there is no charge to switch out of S mode. The switching is entirely free. You may want to contact Microsoft directly if you see otherwise.