Are you afraid of viruses or malware? We all are and in today’s world, protecting our system from these data-stealing bandits is quite challenging. Most viruses and malware are embedded into executable files that when executed, silently load the virus or malware on your system. To prevent the execution of third-party apps, Microsoft has introduced the S Mode for Windows 11 and 10.

The S Mode locks down Windows, which prevents you from installing anything outside the Microsoft Store. Sounds boring right? But, it provides you with concrete-level security. Let’s explore everything related to the Windows 11 S Mode via the following content.

What is Windows 11 S Mode

The Windows 11 S Mode is a security-enhanced feature from Microsoft that ensures no application on the system is installed outside the Microsoft Store. All the apps inside the Microsoft Store are marked safe and provide easy installation. Although the apps in the Microsoft Store may be less for some users, one should not compromise the system’s security at any cost. 

Windows 11 S Mode also improves the overall system performance as the number of installed apps is minimal thus more system resources are free to use. 

Should I Use the Windows 11 S Mode

You should, if you are looking for a secure desktop environment, the Windows 11 S Mode is your best bet. However, if you want to use third-party apps, such as Google’s apps and many others, you must permanently disable the Windows 11 S Mode (because there is no other way).

For many casual users, Windows 11 S Mode provides a straightforward and secure Windows experience with solid performance that also enhances the battery life. However, S Mode may be too limiting if you frequently need to install specialized or legacy Windows apps not contained in the Microsoft Store. The usage of Windows 11 S Mode depends on your requirements and preferences. 

Note: The Windows 11 S Mode is only supported on Windows 11 Home Versions.

How to Disable Windows 11 S Mode

To disable Windows 11 S Mode, try either of the following methods:

  • Using the Microsoft Store.
  • Disabling the Secure Boot.

The above methods are illustrated as follows.

Method 1: Disable Windows 11 S Mode Using the Microsoft Store

To disable Windows 11 S Mode, open the Settings app and navigate to System ? Activation:

Next, use the Open Store button to launch the Microsoft Store from where you can disable the Windows 11 S Mode:

After the Microsoft Store is launched, use the Get button to disable the S Mode:

Alternatively, copy and paste this link (ms-windows-store://switchwindows) in the browser to open the Microsoft Store page where you can get out of the S Mode.

Method 2: Disable Windows 11 S Mode by Disabling the Secure Boot

The Windows 11 S Mode is automatically disabled when you disable the Secure Boot feature. The Secure Boot protects your system verifying the legitimacy of the software components necessary to start the OS. This legitimacy check prevents the Boot Kits or boot time malware from infecting your computer. To disable the Secure Boot, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the BIOS Menu

You can only enable or disable the Secure Boot via the BIOS Menu. To access the BIOS Menu, press the Windows + i keys, navigate to Update & Security ? Recovery, and use the Restart now button under the Advanced startup option:

It now reboots the system into the Advanced options and from here, navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options and select UEFI Firmware Settings to reboot the system into the Startup menu:

After the system reboots, press the key according to what you see on your screen (F10 in this case) to enter the BIOS Setup:

Step 3: Disable Secure Boot

After entering the BIOS Menu, select the System Configuration tab, and then the Boot Options:

 In the Boot Options, find and disable the Secure Boot:

After disabling the Secure Boot, save the changes and reboot the system. Doing this disables the S mode on Windows 11.

Note: Switching out of S Mode won’t have any effect on your personal files, documents, photos, or programs. All the data and apps will remain intact. The only difference is that upon switching out, you will be able to install any Windows app, not just those from the Microsoft Store.

How to Enable Windows 11 S Mode

The Windows 11 S Mode comes pre-installed on the systems with the Home editions, and there is no way you can install it yourself. However, you can force the Windows OS to install the Apps only from the Microsoft Store via the Settings app. To do that, open the Settings app and navigate to Apps ? Advanced app settings:

In the Choose where to get apps option, select “The Microsoft Store only (recommended)” option. Doing this locks the system and you cannot install anything outside of Microsoft Store. It is not the S Mode, but works the same:

That’s everything for the Windows 11 S Mode.

Final Words

The Windows 11 S Mode is created by Microsoft to prevent the installation of apps that aren’t available on the Microsoft Store. Most of the useful apps are already available on the Microsoft Store and new ones are added daily, but a few apps such as Google Chrome are not yet available there. To be able to install the apps from outside the Microsoft Store, you must disable the S Mode, which is done via the Microsoft Store or by disabling the Secure Boot. This guide has shed light on the Windows 11 S Mode and illustrated the methods to disable it.