Windows 10 S Mode - What it is and How to Switch Out of it

Many new computers that have Windows 10 installed are set to something called S mode by default. This mode prevents any applications or programs that are NOT available in the Windows Store from being installed. This article instructs users on the free process of switching the machine out of S mode.

Definition and function:

Windows 10 in S mode is a version of Windows 10 that's streamlined for security and performance, while providing a familiar Windows experience. in an effort to increase security, it allows only apps from the Microsoft Store and requires Microsoft Edge for safe browsing. While this is intended to improve security and device health, it can be an inconvenience to many users as the restrictions may effect functionality and access to commonly used applications and web browsers such as Google Chrome, Google Drive, and Mozilla Firefox.

How to check to see if your machine is in S mode:

Go to Settings > System > About. On the About page, scroll down to the Windows Specifications section.
If you see the words “in S mode” to the right of the Edition entry, you’re using an S mode PC. If you don’t, you’re not using S Mode.
Windows 10 S mode

Switching out of S mode:

NOTE: Switching out of S mode is one-way. If you switch out of S mode, you'll need to keep using the standard version of Windows 10 and will not be able to switch it back.

In order to switch out of S-Mode, users MUST have their original Microsoft username and login that was used upon purchasing the computer. This is usually the same email that is associated with the default user for the computer. The default user is the name that appears on the log in screen when the computer is powered on. If you need assistance in recovering your Microsoft account credentials, please reference the following Microsoft support article: 

With your Microsoft credentials at the ready, you may switch out of S mode by following these steps:

Step 1
In the bottom left hand corner of  your display, type "Settings" in the search box and click the top option displayed.

Step 2 
A window will open, displayed below, with a selection of different items and icons. Select on Security and Updates.

Settings menu

Step 3
In this menu, there are many options that can adjust a variety of settings for your computer. In this case, select Activation.

Updates & Security menu

Step 4
This pane will detail extra information concerning S Mode. About halfway down the screen, select Go to the Store.

Activation pane

Step 5
A new window will open with the option to Switch out of S mode highlighted, and a button that says "Get" should be on the right side of the pane. Please click that button to start the process of switching out of S mode. At this point,  depending on how you set up your computer, it may ask you to enter a password before completing this "purchase". There is no cost associated with switching out of S mode, and the password is the Windows account password mentioned at the start of this article.

The process should only take a few moments and it will complete automatically. If any step appears differently or errors occur, the Tech Service Desk can assist with troubleshooting the issue.

Keywords:Windows 10 Smode S-Mode switch s mode disable remove win OS operating system Edge Win10 deactivate   Doc ID:97610
Owner:John D.Group:Parkland College
Created:2020-02-04 13:03 CDTUpdated:2020-02-13 16:18 CDT
Sites:Parkland College
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