Microsoft has done some strange things with Windows over the years. Windows running in S mode is one such thing.
More and more, we find laptops listed as having Windows 10 running in S mode, but there is no explanation for S Mode. The advertisements for laptops also say nothing about getting Windows out of S mode and installing a regular version of Windows 10.
What is Windows 10 In S Mode?
As the name suggests, this is Windows 10 mode, not its own operating system (OS).
It is not yet known what the letter S stands for, but based on their marketing, it could be safety, speed, lesser or even schools. Maybe all of these. The Windows OS names were cryptic.
Security in Windows 10 S Mode
Windows 10 S Mode is touted as more secure than the full version of Windows 10. It only allows you to install Microsoft-verified apps from the Microsoft Store. This limits the number of applications available, but should not limit our capabilities.
As of the end of September 2019, there were over 669,000 apps in the Microsoft Store. We must find what we need. All of our day to day apps like Spotify, Slack, NetFlix and Microsoft Office Suite are here.
S Mode also uses Microsoft Edge as your default web browser and cannot be changed. Microsoft is sticking to the 2017 NSS Labs Web Browser Security Report, which says Edge is more secure than Chrome or Firefox. This report is already three years old, so it can be discussed.
PowerShell, CMD and Windows Registry tweak are also excluded from Windows 10 in S mode for added security. Basically, if it is an admin level tool, it is not in S mode, so it is much more difficult to hack.
Speed ??in Windows 10 S Mode
Microsoft also says S mode in Windows 10 is faster. Well, at least at startup. It’s reasonable to argue that if it doesn’t need to download the full version of Windows 10, it will start up faster than the full version of Windows 10.
The Edge web browser is the default browser for S mode, and Microsoft claims to be faster than Chrome or Firefox to browse. Again, this is controversial, as there are too many factors involved in web browsing to make a final, objective claim like this. P>
Windows 10 S size and mode
In a game where size matters, Windows running in S mode has a set size of around 5GB of hard drive space. A full Windows 10 installation can range from 20GB to 40GB, depending on edition and features selected. S Mode saves us at least 15 GB of disk space.
As we will see below, S Mode can also work well under the minimum system requirements of Windows 10.
Windows 10 S for Schools
The educational market is the key to OS dominance. Whichever OS young people use in the first place, most likely they will prefer that OS in later life. Whatever OS schools use to teach work skills is likely the OS that employers will use to help young employees be more productive and faster. This is a big part of how Microsoft became what it is today.
Google knows this and is shipping small, fast, and affordable Chromebooks to schools in droves. S Mode is the opposite of Microsoft.
The speed, security and even the size of Windows 10 S Mode are suitable for the school market. Additionally, S Mode provides support for educational institutions with administrative tools such as the Configure School Computers app. There is also a Microsoft Education Center where teachers can learn more about Microsoft products and how best to use them in the classroom.
A lighter OS should also consume less power, which extends battery life. The idea was that the student could use it all day without recharging.
Why are more Windows laptops selling in S mode?
We suspect this is because they may be selling a laptop with lower end hardware if Windows is installed in S mode. It’s not bad! If people need a Windows PC but can’t afford a full-featured laptop, this can help lower the barrier to entry. This makes the Windows device a rival to Chrome devices.
A full version of Windows 10 and Windows running in S mode have the same minimum system requirements to install.
- The device requires a processor with a clock speed of at least 1 gigahertz (GHz) or a system on a chip (SoC).
- A minimum of 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of hard disk space.
- It must have a DirectX 9 or later compatible graphics card and a screen resolution of at least 800×600 pixels.
- The only additional requirement that Windows 10 S Mode requires is the device’s ability to connect to the Internet upon initial setup.
We know that if we had a laptop with these minimum specs and tried to use Windows 10 Home, Pro or Enterprise on it, we would ruffle our hair very quickly. It would be almost useless. Thus, we get computers with much higher performance at a much higher price.
Windows 10 in S mode will probably work fine with these minimum specs. A device built to or near these minimum specifications will be far more affordable than full-featured laptops that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
How to change from S mode to full Windows mode
Now that we know what Windows 10 S Mode is, we don’t need to fear that we are not getting all the Windows experience. If we want to use the full version of our Windows OS, we can take it out of S-mode and switch to normal mode at any time. There are no additional costs either. Just make sure your device can handle it.
The most important warning is that once we are in full Windows mode, we cannot easily return to S mode. If we created the recovery media with the device when we received it, then we can restore the computer in S mode.
There is talk on the Internet about Microsoft, including how easy it is to switch back and forth, but there is no official notification of this yet.
- Press the Windows and X keys at the same time. In the menu that opens, click “Settings”.
- In the Settings window, click Update & Security.
- In the Update window, click Activate on the left.
- Find the “Switch to Windows 10 Home” or “Switch to Windows 10 Pro” section, click “Go to Store”.
- The Turn Off S Mode page appears in the Microsoft Store. Click on the Get button. After a few seconds, a confirmation message will appear indicating that the process is complete. The computer will now use the full version of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. Programs other than Windows Store apps may also be installed.
Can we go back to Windows in S mode?
No, if it was skipped earlier, you cannot rollback to Windows 10 in S mode. At best, the computer could be completely rebooted if we had the recovery media that was in Windows S mode.