Skip to main content

Windows 10 could get a simple switch to turn S mode on or off

Windows 10

Fresh speculation concerning Windows 10 has popped up which suggests that Microsoft is planning on introducing a switch that will allow users to easily turn S mode on or off.

So, a quick bit of background which might be useful: Windows 10 S was originally a fresh spin on the desktop OS that was designed to be more secure and locked down to run only apps from Windows 10’s store, and Microsoft later turned this into a simple mode, rather than a standalone variant of the OS.

And when it comes to a machine pre-installed with S mode turned on, it’s easy enough to switch back to standard Windows 10 using a simple app from the Microsoft Store.

This is a one-way switch, though – or rather it’s no trivial matter to reverse course – but Thurrott.com spotted that this may change, as the latest preview build of Windows 10 has a ‘Switch to S mode’ option under Windows Settings.

This isn’t actually an implemented feature in the test build, merely a placeholder option that pops up when you type in the Settings search box. So it merely suggests that Microsoft is going to implement a Switch to S mode, and the speculation is that this would be a simple switch that allows you to turn the mode on or off at will.

Switch tricks?

Thurrott further speculates that perhaps the switch will allow you to turn S mode off, and install drivers, or apps that aren’t in the Microsoft Store, under full-fat Windows 10, then switch S mode back on and keep those applications in place.

But that seems unlikely as it rather defeats the whole point of having S mode as a secure spin on the operating system.

Indeed, nothing may come of this at all – it could be something Microsoft is vaguely mulling that never sees the light of day. However, it’s a better bet that if Switch to S mode becomes a reality, it’ll just be an easier way for folks to make their way back into S mode if they wish (without maintaining non-Store apps and the like in place after the reversion).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).