Switch to S Mode?

Posted on June 7, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 24 Comments

Switch to S Mode?

Windows Insider Preview build 17686 includes a hint that Microsoft may soon allow users to “switch to S mode.” If true, the software giant may finally reverse on of the worst design decisions in Windows history.

You can see this hint by opening the Settings app and typing S mode. As you can see in the shot above, Settings provides a search hint for a Settings interface called Switch to S Mode.

Switch to S Mode doesn’t actually exist, at least not in this build. If you select this hint, you will navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Activation. This is where you can update your product key to change between Windows 10 product editions and perform other related tasks. But there’s no Switch to S Mode.

As I’ve complained in the past, S mode is a disaster, but the biggest problem, by far, is that it’s a one-way, dead-end street. Microsoft provides a way for those in S Mode hell to “Switch Out of S Mode”—via the Store, as I first documented in the Windows 10 Field Guide months ago. But this is new. Switch to S mode would conceivably let users go in both directions.

What happens to installed desktop applications when you make this switch is unclear. But it would be kind of interesting if you could at least switch out of S mode to install drivers and then switch back. It would be much more interesting if you could install desktop applications, switch back to S mode, and have them still work.

You never know. Maybe they’re finally listening.

Thanks to David Nation for the tip.


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Comments (24)

24 responses to “Switch to S Mode?”

  1. Tony Barrett

    This is just MS drip feeding changes to get users used to the concept. It won't be too long though before 'S Mode' is the default for all Win10 installations - exactly where MS wants Windows users to be!

  2. haajirana

    switch S mode has made my life really easy I here to just thanks to creators

    regards Raja Ali:

    Ceo at: Aniversario Mensagens

  3. Riopato

    This would be a better idea as long as you can install certain apps not in the store and then "Lock it down" in S mode. The only concern is that will these apps be allowed to run and accept updates after switching back to S mode? If not, this would be a useless feature.

  4. thea2_

    This would be useful as a non admins user on the surface go; as s mode gets better battery life.

  5. roastedwookie

    useless junk

  6. NT6.1

    Just let it go. S Mode isn't happening.

  7. LaurenDesouza

    That’s great news for windows users. I can’t wait to experience this “switch to S mode” that setting will provide search hint for a Settings interface.


    A career consultant and CV & cover letter writing services provider at CV Folks.

  8. dnation70

    ur welcome

  9. hrlngrv

    Editing: finally reverse on of the worst design decisions. Shouldn't on be one?

    Y'all are not good advertising for Grammarly.

  10. glenn8878

    Why? Switch to iOS. Windows will show you why.

  11. Shmuelie

    I'd be interested in having S Mode per user. Kind of like Admin vs Standard Account.

  12. cheeser

    After I got my Inspiron cheapo from almost a Dell give away- the next day the price dropped $30. I wonder why? Could it be people started getting hit with the same being orphaned feeling when MS decided to dump the Lumia, and Nokia?

    NO APPS- NO developers? The SAME thing has happened to S mode. NO APPS- a drought of developers making quality apps. For example-NOT one good screen shot/snipping tool available. To top it off, Dell has regressed to not backing up what they offer online- When you purchase a product you expect it- not to find out days later Dell cancelled my purchase and not once came through with an extended warranty offer- What has happened to Dell? All my hard earned Windows 10 software is sitting there USELESS- thanks Microsoft! Dell has made an antagonist out of this 15 year ambassador. All I want is a Totally Windows 10 Dell and they can sell this new Inspiron S mode (S stands for …..)