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Some users are stuck in Windows 10 S Mode hell – but Microsoft is working on a fix

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There are reports that some people are getting stuck in Windows 10 S Mode and are unable to upgrade to the full version of Windows 10.

Windows 10 S Mode is a version of Windows 10 that ships with certain devices, like the Surface Go, and only allows users to download apps through the Microsoft Store, and not from websites. 

While Microsoft argues that Windows 10 S Mode helps protect people – as you shouldn’t be able to download malicious software from the internet while using it – most people find being confined to the Microsoft Store frustrating, especially as not every program has a version available as a Microsoft Store app (also known as a UWP or Universal Windows app).

The saving grace of Windows 10 S Mode was that it’s supposed to be relatively easy to switch to the full version of Windows 10 – but people on Reddit (opens in new tab)Twitter (opens in new tab) and Microsoft’s own support forums (opens in new tab) have been complaining that they cannot switch out of Windows 10 S Mode.

Like a bat out of S Mode

Usually, the process of leaving Windows 10 S Mode is to go through the Microsoft Store (of course), where the option to upgrade to full Windows 10 will be there.

However, people are reporting that the ‘Switch out of S Mode’ page isn't loading – instead, the Microsoft Store is showing a blank screen.

It’s this kind of unreliability which makes people keen to leave Windows 10 S Mode and never use the Microsoft Store again.

The good news is that Microsoft is aware of the problem. Windows Latest got in contact (opens in new tab) with Microsoft Support, and was told that: “Microsoft is aware that some users are unable to upgrade to Pro Edition or switch out of S mode as a result of this blank page. We are investigating the cause and when a resolution is available the Store will update without any user action necessary.”

So, a fix is coming, but Microsoft notes that: “There is no current estimate on when this condition will be resolved.” Essentially, if you’re stuck in Windows 10 S Mode hell, you might be there for a little while longer.

Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Computing and Entertainment, looking after two of the best, and most exciting, channels on the site. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made. He's also a huge film and TV fan and Marvel geek, and his favorite recent film is Dune.