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Can't Run Programs on Windows 10? Switch Out of 'S' Mode

by Paul Nisbet

on Sun Jan 20, 2019

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Are you unable to run your usual Windows programs (e.g. Clicker 7) on your new Windows 10 laptop or Surface Go? It may be because they are set up with Windows 10 S, rather than Windows 10 Pro. Here's how to fix it.

Yesterday I met a teacher who said Clicker 7 didn't work on their new Windows 10 HP ProBook x360 11 EE laptops. These machines are available through the HP Procurement Scotland scheme for about £250. They are designed for education, have touch screens and can be used as laptop, tablet or in 'tent mode'.

We ordered one for testing and when it arrived it was set up to use Windows 10 in S mode rather than Windows 10 Pro. Windows 10 in S mode gives better performance and battery life than 10 Pro, but you can only run apps from the Microsoft Store that work with 10S. You can't run software that isn't on the Store.

In practice, this means you're fine for Microsoft Office, for example, but you can't (currently) run software like Clicker 7; or free text readers like Ivona MiniReader; or say Grid 3. Also, the Scottish computer voices don't run on Windows in S mode.

The new Surface Go 10" tablet also seems to be supplied as standard with Windows 10 S.

There are a few assistive technology apps on the Windows Store (e.g. Read&Write for Edge and knfb Rreader) but most of our stalwart assistive technology programs aren’t there. In fact, Microsoft say "While we’re working to increase the availability of assistive technology apps in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 in S mode, your preferred assistive technology might not be available for download on a PC running in S mode."

So, can  you switch out of S mode so you can run your ordinary Windows programs? Yes you can by following these instructions which I've copied below:

Switching out of S mode is one-way. If you make the switch, you won't be able to go back to Windows 10 in S mode. There's no charge to switch out of S mode.

  • On your PC running Windows 10 in S mode, open Settings  > Update & Security  > Activation.
  • In the Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro section, select Go to the Store. (If you also see an "Upgrade your edition of Windows" section, be careful not to click the "Go to the Store" link that appears there.)
  • On the Switch out of S mode (or similar) page that appears in the Microsoft Store, select the Get button. After you see a confirmation message on the page, you'll be able to install apps from outside of the Microsoft Store.

Before you do this, though, check which processor you have in your device, because "On a Windows 10 PC running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, your preferred assistive technology apps might not work as expected, or it might not open even if you’ve switched out of S mode. Please check with your preferred assistive technology vendor to find out if their application is compatible with Windows 10 running on a Snapdragon processor." (Windows Support)

The HP ProBook and the Surface Go don’t have Snapdragon processors so they should be OK.

Tags: Windows

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