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It is a version of Windows 10 that Microsoft designed to run on lighter devices, improve security and make management easier. There is no specific designation for the “S,” but Microsoft frequently uses terms like “secure,” “streamlined,” and “superior” to describe it.
In S mode, Windows 10 is not a different version of Windows 10. Windows 10 runs faster, lasts longer on batteries, and is more safe and more manageable in this mode because of the restrictions. Windows 10 Home or Pro can be restored if you choose to exit this mode.
What is Windows 10 in S Mode?
In terms of functionality, S mode is identical to the Windows 10 license it is based on. Schools are Microsoft’s target market and the company wants educators to have the tools they need to run their classrooms efficiently and effectively. However, in order to achieve these outcomes, the S mode also disables a number of useful features.
The primary difference between Windows 10 in S mode and the rest of Windows 10 is that only programs from the Windows Store can be installed. Because of this restriction, Microsoft is able to detect and remove malware more quickly and maintain a higher standard of program quality, but it also restricts what users can access and utilize.
Microsoft Edge is the default browser in S mode, which cannot be changed. Another reason given by Microsoft is tighter security oversight. In the same way, Bing is the default search engine for S mode activities..
When using S mode, startup times and app activity are often faster. The speed is due to the absence of Windows legacy apps that would otherwise slow things down. S mode is blazingly fast as long as you don’t use up all of your RAM in the process. OneDrive automatically saves files to the cloud, reducing the amount of space needed on smaller hard drives. Cortana, Windows Hello facial recognition, and Windows Ink for stylus use are all still included in Windows 10.
Pros of Using Windows 10 in S Mode
Following are the pros or advantages of using Windows 10 in S Mode:
1. Windows 10 in S mode is more secure
Windows 10 in S mode is better safe for one important reason: Only programs from the Microsoft Store can be installed. When it comes to getting programs for your phone or tablet from the Chrome OS Web Store, iOS App Store, or Google Play, you’ll have to visit one of those stores to ensure that the apps are safe and reliable.
Aside from the Windows Defender Security Center included into Windows 10, Microsoft has claimed in its Windows 10 S FAQ that “the only antivirus program known to work in S mode is the version that comes with it.”
Its interoperability, like other OSes regulated by the manufacturer, is its strength when it comes to protecting you.
2. Windows 10 in S mode is ideal for large-scale enterprise and education deployments
While Chromebooks dominate the market for students and businesses with a lot of computers to manage, Microsoft is attempting to enter both segments by offering S mode.
Both schools and corporations need to distribute a large number of computers to many people, keep them secure so that users don’t get infected with malware or lose a machine with valuable data, and keep the cost of the computers low. This is a common hardware demand.
As a result, S mode was designed to meet those objectives while remaining familiar to the vast majority of computer users. However, administrators can keep a closer eye on their employees by adopting Windows 10 S mode instead of Windows 10 home, pro, or enterprise.
As a result of Windows 10 in S mode’s ability to function on low-end PCs without slowing them down, small businesses and educational institutions may now afford to deploy PCs for users who simply require access to Office and a web browser.
3. It’s easy to switch to a full version of Windows 10
With a S mode-enabled Windows 10 PC, you may have been startled by the things that you couldn’t accomplish. If you’re worried that you’ll be forced to use S mode, relax. S mode can be turned off at any moment.
Navigate to Settings | Update and Security | Activation in order to convert from S mode to the full version of Windows 10. Switch to Windows 10 Pro (or Home, depending on the version of Windows 10 your computer has) in the Activation menu.
Switching to the full version will open the Microsoft Store and prompt you to “Get” the software. Afterwards, your PC will be running the full version of Windows 10 and you’ll be able to install whatever apps you choose.
Switching out of S mode is a one-way street, so be prepared. Those with low-end PCs that can’t run a full version of Windows 10 may be disappointed to learn that S mode can’t be turned back on once it’s turned off.
Deactivating Windows 10 S mode also has the drawback of putting your security in your own hands, making it much easier to get infected with malware. Check to see if your computer is capable of running the full version of Windows 10 before making the transition.
4. Long-Lasting Battery
Microsoft promises greater battery life, and with fewer background services and fewer programmes, it’s easy to see how they can do this. I’m hoping Windows 10 S will have the same battery life as Chrome OS.
Windows 10 S performs well on a PC with a lower level of hardware complexity. For about $200, we’ve seen devices with a 32-GB eMMC or 64-GB hard disc. As a result, Windows 10 S, which is well-known for its security and performance, is more accessible to the general public.
Cons of Using Windows 10 in S Mode
Following are the disadvantages of using Windows 10 in S Mode:
1. Security comes at the cost of usability
Windows 10’s S mode’s increased sturdiness comes at a cost.
Only Microsoft Store programmes can be installed, as previously stated. At first glance, this may not seem like a huge concern (because the apps you require are almost certainly available in the Microsoft Store), but there are many items that professionals use that must be downloaded from the internet or installed through alternative app management platforms.
S mode does not include Adobe applications, Apple apps, non-Microsoft video conferencing apps, or third-party security software–in other words, if it arrives to a Windows PC via a third party, it does not come to S mode at all.
That includes web browsers, which many people consider a deal breaker. For S mode users, Bing is the default search engine and Edge is the browser they’re stuck with. It’s unable to set Chrome or Firefox as the default browser or search engine on a S mode PC (none are accessible in the Microsoft Store), severely restricting surfing options.
2. Limited Apps
It is permissible for you to use only Microsoft Store-exclusive applications. Other than software from the Microsoft store, you are unable to install third-party applications.
3. Default Web Browser
There is no way to change the default browser to Chrome or Firefox, although you can download alternative browsers from the Microsoft Store if they’re available. Using the default search engine, Bing is used. You must exit S mode in order to install a browser that isn’t accessible in the Microsoft Store.
4. Switching out of Windows 10 S mode is only one-way Switch.
You must go to the Microsoft shop and search for “switch out of S mode” in order to go out of S mode and into Windows 10. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation on Windows 10 S. Choose the Go to the Store link from the Switch to Windows 10 Home section.
You’ll find a choice on the Microsoft Store page. Select the Get option to exit S mode or a related page.
You can’t go back to Windows 10 S after making this switch. Dell recommends downloading the Windows 10 S media and burning it to a USB flash drive, and then reinstalling Windows 10 S, which will erase all of your personal data.
5. Many Components are blocked in Windows 10 S
Command Prompt, PowerShell, and many other comparable components are prohibited in Windows 10 S mode. The following is a list of few components blocked in Windows 10 S:
6. Windows 10 in S mode accessory compatibility issue
Many peripherals, like printers and scanners, may cause problems for the user. To see a list of accessories that are compatible with each other, click on the following link.
How to Turn Off Windows 10 S Mode?
To disable Windows 10 S Mode, open the Start menu and navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Activation. Under the Switch out of S Mode panel, select Go to the Store and then click Get. Then click Install and wait for the installation to complete.
It should be noted that exiting S Mode is a one-way process. There’s no turning back once you’ve made the switch. So, before you proceed, make sure you want to permanently disable S Mode.
- Navigate to the Windows Start Menu.
- Then click on Settings.
- Then, select Update & Security.
- Then click on Activation. This can be found in the Settings window’s left sidebar.
- Then, select Go to Store. This will appear next to a shopping bag symbol with the Windows logo. When you click on it, a new window on the Microsoft Store will popup that states Switch out of S Mode.
- Then press the Get button. This will be a blue button directly beneath the description.
- Finally, click Install and wait for the installation to complete. When you’re done, you’ll notice a pop-up box that states, “You’re all set! You have exited S mode and can now install apps from sources other than the App Store.”
What is Windows Home?
Windows 10 Home is the most basic version of the operating system, meant primarily for use at home. The Cortana voice assistant, Outlook, OneNote, and Microsoft Edge are all included in this version, which is aimed at the general public. Security and group management features accessible to other versions of Windows are not restricted when running as a Home user.
Windows 10 Home comes pre-installed with all of the essential functions that the average user is likely to require. Voice commands, pen sketching, touch displays, Windows Hello login, and other features are all supported. Don’t confuse Windows 10 Home’s built-in device encryption with the more powerful BitLocker encryption service, which is activated by default (see below).
While the full Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is not included by default with Windows 10 Home, a free 30-day trial of the Microsoft 365 subscription service is included in the hopes that new users will subscribe once the trial period expires. Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage is also available, and it’s set up automatically using your Microsoft Account. You receive 5GB of storage in the free edition, but you can upgrade to Microsoft 365 to obtain more capacity.
Windows 10 Home includes the Xbox app, Xbox controller support, Xbox game streaming, and more.
Generally speaking, Windows 10 Home does not have many professional capabilities, although it does have mobile device management features. That might be handy for individuals or families that wish to regulate apps and security settings for connected phones.
What is Windows Pro?
The professional version of Windows 10 includes many extra features designed for businesses. It has virtually everything offered by Windows Home, plus additional security and management services. This version of Windows 10 is typically purchased in bulk by companies or schools, though you can configure desktops and laptops to include it versus using Home.
Although Home and Pro have the same root features, the added items provided in Pro aren’t necessary for the average at-home user. For example, there’s the powerful and configurable BitLocker Encryption and Windows Information Protection, which helps with advanced access control.
You’ll also find more customizable packages for education and enterprise purposes. You’ll even find access to cool features like Windows Sandbox, which lets you run untrusted apps in a virtual environment.
Windows 10 Pro includes access to business versions of Microsoft services, including Windows Store for Business, Windows Update for Business, Enterprise Mode browser options, and more. These versions include extra features to buy and upload content in bulk. Options for virtualization include Remote Desktop compatibility, Client Hyper-V, Shared PC configuration, Azure Active Directory, and more.
That all said, the additional features in Windows 10 Pro are valuable to IT administrators but not to the general PC owner.
Note that Microsoft 365 combines elements of Office 365, Windows 10, and Mobility and Security features. It’s a re-packaging of Windows services across the board. Packages like the E5, E3, and F1 plans include Windows 10 Enterprise at no additional cost. Windows 10 Pro has a slew of additional features developed specifically for enterprises. Additional security and administration functions are also included in this version of Windows Home. If you’re running a business or school, you’re more likely to use this edition of Windows 10 than the Home version.
Despite the fact that the core functions of Home and Pro are identical, the additional features offered by Pro aren’t necessary for the typical at-home user. BitLocker Encryption and Windows Information Protection, for example, provide robust and flexible access restrictions.
You’ll also be able to choose from a variety of educational and business-related options. The Windows Sandbox feature, which allows you to run untrusted apps in a virtual environment, is also available.
You get access to Microsoft services like Windows Store for Business and Windows Update for Business when you upgrade to the Windows 10 Pro edition of the operating system. Additional facilities for bulk content purchase and uploading are included in these versions. Remote Desktop, Client Hyper-V, Shared PC configuration, Azure Active Directory, and more are some of the options available for virtualization
As a result, IT managers find the additional functions in Windows 10 Pro beneficial, but not the typical PC user.
It is important to note that Microsoft 365 includes features from Office 365, Windows 10, and Mobility and Security. Across the board, Windows services are being re-packaged. Windows 10 Enterprise is included in the E5, E3, and F1 plans at no additional charge.
- Should I Buy a PC With S Mode?
Buying a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC with S Mode is a no-brainer due to the ease and cost-free removal of S Mode. Despite the fact that you may not wish to use S Mode, it is very easy to shut it off.
For example, the Surface Laptop can only be purchased in S Mode from Microsoft. However, if you prefer a Surface Laptop running a conventional version of Windows, you can just purchase one and have it unlocked.
- Should I Use the PC in S Mode?
The aim of S Mode is to keep things simple. Using the PC in S Mode is a good idea if you only need the Microsoft Edge web browser, Word from the Microsoft Office suite, and other apps from the Microsoft Store. Additional security against malware is provided by the S Mode restrictions.
Young students, small businesses, and less-experienced computer users can all benefit from PCs running in S Mode.
Of course, you’ll have to exit S Mode if you require software that isn’t available in the Store. However, you can give S Mode a go for a time and see whether it works well for you. S Mode can be turned off at any time.