How to Get Microsoft PowerPoint for Free

Along with Word and Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint has been an integral part of many people’s lives for over 30 years. It has changed a lot over this time, but retains the same main function – producing compelling and eye-catching slideshow presentations.

For many years, outright payment for Office was the only way to access Excel. However, that all changed with the release of Office 365 (now Microsoft 365), which offered access to all apps and regular updates in exchange for a monthly subscription.

But Microsoft continues to release new standalone versions of Office apps every few years. The latest is Office 2021. Here are three potential free methods, plus key details if you end up paying.

Option 1 – Web Version

Access to Microsoft PowerPoint and other basic Office programs is free via the web, and all you’ll need is a Microsoft account.

Go to Office.com and click “Login” to enter your information. If you don’t already have an account, choose “Sign up for the free version of Office” and follow the instructions.

Once this is complete, you will be redirected to your main office home page. In the left pane, choose “Create” then “Presentation” to open a new PowerPoint document.

Free PowerPoint

As you can see, there’s also the ability to create documents in Word and PowerPoint here, alongside Outlook and a free version of Microsoft Teams. These are all “web apps”, which means you can only use them through your browser and not through a desktop app. When you work on a file here, it will be saved to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service.

In fact, you probably have Google to thank for making this software available as a web app, because its free Docs, Sheets, and Slides software and their integration with Google Drive made it difficult for Microsoft to keep asking users to pay.

Check out our guide to best cloud storage services to see how the two stack up against the rest of the competition.

The web version of PowerPoint is a simpler version of the software, so the comparison with Google Slides is more reasonable than the full desktop program. Nonetheless, both services should provide everything a casual user is looking for.

In fact, you probably have Google to thank for making this software available as a web app because its free Docs, Sheets, and Slides software and integration with Google Drive has made it difficult for Microsoft to keep asking users to pay.

Option 2 – Use on mobile

Perhaps again in response to Google, Microsoft’s Office mobile apps are completely free and available on modern mobile devices.

You can download the Microsoft PowerPoint application to android and iOS. Although Microsoft naturally reserves some premium features for its Office 365 subscription, the mobile apps are still very capable and offer integration with OneDrive.

Option 3 – Check if your school or workplace gets it for free

Many employers offer free Microsoft 365 apps to their employees. Even if your work email address ends with the company name, it can still be used to sign in to a Microsoft account. Sure, you might be working in an office job where Excel and the like are already the defaults.

If your school has signed up for Microsoft 365 Education, all staff and students should be able to access Office apps for free. To verify, enter your education email address on the Microsoft website.

But if your school is not yet registered and you are able to change this, compare plans and start the registration process here.

Option 4 – Pay full price

However, these free options are not for everyone. If you need more than just basic PowerPoint functions and the app isn’t available to you through school or work, the only alternative is to pay full price.

At the time of writing, the cheapest Microsoft 365 subscription is Personal, which is £5.99/$6.99 per month or £59.99/$69.99 per year. Upgrading to the family plan allows 2-6 people access for £7.99/US$9.99 per month or £79.99/US$99.99 per year. Both offer a one-month free trial.

Your other option is to pay for Office 2021, the latest standalone version. This is a one-time payment of £119.99 in the UK Where $149.99 in the US. Unfortunately, there’s no way to pay for PowerPoint on its own.

To learn more, check out our comprehensive Microsoft 365 buying guide.