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Download the Microsoft Word Free Trial
...and test drive Microsoft Office 2010

The Microsoft Word 2010 free trial lets you try out the software before you buy it!

There is no need to uninstall your current version of Microsoft Word. I show you how to run the free trial alongside your other version.

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This tutorial series covers everything you need to know to download and install the free trial software:

Make sure to read about the software requirements before you start the download and installation.

Get Microsoft Word for Free?

Red price tag the says free on it (©istockphoto.com/alexsl)Many people are looking for a free download of Micorosft Word to get a full copy of the sofware at no cost.

Can you use Microsoft Word without paying for it? Well, no. Although there are free open-source word processing programs available, Microsoft Word is not one of them.

There is a free ad-supported, stripped-down version called Microsoft Word 2010 Starter, but it only comes pre-loaded on new computers. You can't download it.

The only legal way to get Word for “free” is to download the free trial. Word is included in the Microsoft Office 2010 free trial but you do not have to install the whole suite. You can select what Office programs you want to use during the installation.

The 60-day free trial period is longer than most so you have plenty of time to test the new features. You might even be able to complete your term paper before the trial runs out!

WARNING: The software locks when the free trial period expires, so be sure to save your files in another format you can open before the 60-day trial runs out. If you want to continue using Microsoft Office after the sofware expires, you need to buy it.

Like any free-trial software, you will receive annoying notices when it is about to expire. You have the option to buy the software at that time, or wait until the trial period ends and discontinue using it.

Activation nag screen

You do not have to uninstall the free trial when it expires. Even though you can't modify, save, or make new files, you can still use it to open docx files if you don’t have the compatibility pack or viewer installed.

The advantage of leaving it installed is that if you buy Word 2010 at a later time, you don’t have to download and reinstall it—you can just reactivate the software with the CD key you purchased.

Determining System Requirements

Save yourself big headaches...make sure your system will actually run Office 2010 before you download and install the software.

frustrated woman with laptop (©sxc.hu/channah)The difference between meeting minimum system requirements and recommended system requirements is sometimes the difference between a frustrated user and a happy one.

If your system barely meets the minimum requirements, be prepared to accept slower performance and unavailability of some features.

To use Microsoft Office 2010, you need the following:

  • 500 megahertz (MHz) processor or higher
  • 256 megabyte (MB) RAM; 512 or higher recommended *
  • 3 gig available space on hard drive
  • CD-Rom or DVD drive
  • 1024x768 or higher resolution monitor
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack (SP) 3 (32-bit only), Windows Vista with SP1, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 R2 with MSXML 6.0, Windows Server 2008, or a later 32- or 64-bit operating system

* I highly recommend 1 GB of RAM for best performance.

If you don't know how to find your system specs, read Finding Your Computer Specs.

Downloading the Free Trial Software

To try out the newest version of Microsoft Office, all you need to do is follow the download link below to the official Microsoft website. Don't forget to come back here for additional installation instructions. (Press Ctrl+D to bookmark this page.)

While downloading, be sure to print the screen that shows your Trial License Product Key (it is a 25-digit number). You need it to install the software.


Are you finished downloading? In Part 2, get instructions for installing the software and a money-saving tip that can save you hundreds of dollars when buying the full version of Microsoft Office.

Go to Part 2: How to Install Microsoft Office 2010 Downloaded Software

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