How to Get Out of S Mode

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Windows 10 introduced a feature called "S Mode" (formerly known as Windows 10 S), which is a locked-down mode of the operating system designed to offer better security and performance. This mode restricts users to only running apps from the Microsoft Store, effectively preventing the installation of applications from other sources. Let's delve deeper into what S Mode is, how to switch in and out of it, and the pros and cons of doing so.

What is S Mode?

S Mode is essentially a more streamlined version of Windows 10. Its primary aim is to offer users a more secure and consistent computing experience by limiting app installations to those available in the Microsoft Store. By doing this, Microsoft can ensure that all apps undergo a rigorous vetting process, reducing the risk of malware and other security threats.

Switching In and Out of S Mode

Switching into S Mode is straightforward, but exiting it requires a bit more effort. Here's how you can do both:

Switching to S Mode:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Choose Activation from the left-hand menu.
  4. Under Switch to Windows 10 Pro, click Go to the Store.
  5. You'll be directed to the Microsoft Store where you can find Switch out of S Mode.

Switching out of S Mode:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Update & Security.
  3. Select Activation.
  4. Under Switch to Windows 10 Home/Pro, click Go to the Store.
  5. Choose Switch out of S Mode and follow the on-screen instructions.

Pros of Using S Mode:

  1. Enhanced Security: One of the most significant advantages of S Mode is enhanced security. By limiting app installations to the Microsoft Store, users are less likely to encounter malicious software. This is especially beneficial for less tech-savvy users who might inadvertently download harmful programs.

  2. Performance: S Mode can lead to better system performance since it restricts background processes and non-Microsoft Store apps. This can result in smoother operation, quicker boot times, and improved battery life, especially on less powerful hardware.

  3. Consistency: S Mode provides a more consistent user experience by ensuring that all apps are vetted and optimized for Windows 10. This can lead to a more stable and reliable computing environment, reducing the likelihood of compatibility issues or crashes.

Cons of Using S Mode:

  1. Limited App Availability: Perhaps the most significant drawback of S Mode is the limited app availability. Since you can only install apps from the Microsoft Store, you might find yourself unable to use certain essential or specialized applications that are not available in the Store.

  2. Restrictive Nature: S Mode's restrictive nature can be frustrating for users who are accustomed to the freedom of installing any software they choose. This can be especially problematic for professionals or enthusiasts who rely on specific software that is not Store-compatible.

  3. Switching Costs: While switching out of S Mode is possible, it can be a bit cumbersome and might require an additional cost. Switching to Windows 10 Pro, for example, might require purchasing a license if your device came with S Mode pre-installed.

Conclusion

S Mode on Windows 10 offers a balance of enhanced security, performance, and consistency at the cost of app availability and flexibility. For users who prioritize security and are content with the apps available in the Microsoft Store, S Mode can be an excellent choice. However, those who require greater flexibility and access to a broader range of software might find S Mode too restrictive.

Switching in and out of S Mode is relatively straightforward, but it's essential to understand the implications and potential costs involved. Whether you choose to stick with S Mode or switch out of it ultimately depends on your specific needs, preferences, and comfort level with managing and securing your device.