Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Windows 10 has several versions which can be difficult to keep straight. One of the most prominent was Windows 10 S, a limited mode which only let you install software from the Windows Store.
In early 2018, Microsoft dropped Windows 10 S as a dedicated OS flavor and introduced S Mode instead. Now, manufacturers can choose to ship their devices with Windows 10 S Mode enabled.
If you have Windows 10 S Mode on your computer and want to leave it, here’s how.
Before You Leave Windows 10 S Mode
You should know what Windows 10 S Mode does and its advantages before you leave it, because doing so is a one-way option.
Essentially, S Mode limits you to only using software from the Windows Store. You can’t install traditional desktop software, including browsers, game clients, and more. It also doesn’t let you change the default search engine in Edge from Bing or use the Command Prompt.
For power users, S Mode is far too limiting. But for those with less experience, S Mode can actually be handy. The restricted environment makes it much harder for malware to attack a computer, and helps keep it running smoothly.
How to Leave Windows 10 S Mode for Good
Leaving S Mode is free, and isn’t difficult. Open the Start Menu and type Store to launch the Microsoft Store app. Click the Search icon in the upper-right and search for Switch Out of S Mode.
You’ll see a banner about S Mode with a Learn more button. Click this, then follow the steps to leave S Mode and get a full version of Windows. Depending on the version of Windows that shipped with your PC, you’ll get either Windows 10 Home or Professional.
If you’re looking for a lightweight computer, check out why Chromebooks beat Windows 10 S Mode.