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Windows 11 S Mode Pros and Cons: Is the Restricted Experience Right for You?

windows 11 s mode pros and cons

Even though the journey of the popular ‘S mode’ started from Windows 10 version of the Microsoft operating system, it made its way up to Windows 11 as well, as the ‘Windows 11s’ mode. This S mode basically refers to the streamlined and secured version of Windows 11 where you can only use the apps authorized by the Microsoft Store and Microsoft Edge for safe browsing.

However, like every other feature in the Microsoft 11 OS, it also has its pros and cons, usability and disability, and so on. For this reason, in this article, we are focusing on the Windows 11 S Mode pros and cons, what are the improvements on it, whether you should use it or not, etc. So, without further ado, let’s get on to the Windows 11 in S mode pros and cons so you can be the judge for yourself.

In an overview, S mode was featured in Windows 11 to give users like you an improved performance, enhanced security, and a simplified user experience among all others. However, the limited app availability, reduced functionality, and the upgrade difficulties make its use to be unfavorable for users. Among all the other pros and cons, it still can be used if you want it for more precise work.

What is Windows 11 S Mode?

Windows 11 S Mode is an exceptional mode that was planned to enhance the privacy and security of your Windows 11 experience. If you turn on the Windows 11 S Mode from the settings option on your PC, then it all begins! You would not be able to use any apps that are not downloaded from the Microsoft Store anymore. Even though it gives you limited access to the apps, that is made up to you by its super strong protection against any kind of malware or any other sort of security threats.

Windows 10 S vs Windows 11 S

Windows 11 s mode is closely similar to its predecessor Windows 10 S. Though they maintained the same streamline and security, they also improved and added a few more features to the Windows 11 S version. For instance, there were several improvements in the boot time, memory optimization, improved security related to hardware, and ransomware protection. Moreover, they added virtual desktops, Snap Group, and Snap Layouts.

All of these improvements done to the Windows 11 S version resulted in a higher efficiency, improved performance than the previous version. In addition to that, the architecture of the operating system will offer you a more optimized battery management system. Furthermore, there are a lot more stuff you should know before shifting to the Windows 11 S mode. So, here are the Pros and Cons of Windows 11 to help you decide!

Windows 11 S Mode Pros and Cons

Pros of Windows 11 S Mode

  • Improved performance and battery life

If you want your PC to be as fast as possible with longer battery life, Windows 11 S mode is your thing. It can run very smoothly on comparatively fewer resources than the standard Windows version. Moreover, the optimized background activity will help you from booting third-party apps that are generally the prime culprit in inefficient performance. Hence enhancing a very swift and improved performance.

In addition to the improved performance, this mode is less energy-consuming than the normal Windows OS. Since the background apps and software are optimized, the battery lasts longer. So you can be more productive than the people using the standard Windows version without running to the charging adapter.

  • Enhanced security

S mode also takes advantage of the built-in security capabilities of Windows 11, such as Windows Defender and Windows Hello, to provide users with an extra layer of protection.
This is the most important advantage of using Windows 11 S mode. It prevents a few actions like using any other app that is not downloaded from the Microsoft store, blocking apps that make changes in the system, disables command line scripting, PowerShell, and Windows Registry Editing, etc, which might potentially breach the security of the OS.

  • Simplified user experience

Another one of its great benefits is Microsoft 11 S mode is extremely easy to use. You can go to the Microsoft store and download anything with just a click of the mouse. Because of its focused line of work, windows 11 S mode is preferred by professionals like business managers and IT teams alike. With this, you will get to experience the feel of using a Chromebook, with much more features than that.

Cons of Windows 11 S Mode

  • Limited App Availability

One of the main reasons why Windows 11 S mode is unpreferred is that you will only get access to the software available in the Microsoft store. But the problem is not every software is available in the Microsoft store. Take Microsoft Edge for example. We might be used to using other web browser services such as Google Chrome, Safari, etc. but definitely not Microsoft Edge! So, in this mode we will not get the browsers we are comfortable in which is a drawback.

  • Reduced Functionality

Windows 11 S mode is more into security and less into user-friendliness. So, it offers very limited functions. So, functions like command prompt and Windows registry are not accessible in this mode. So, you cannot really customize your PC according to how you want when you are using this mode of Windows 11.

  • Upgrade Difficulties

You’ll face another issue if you are using Windows 10 s Pro! Since the S mode is only supported on the Windows 11 Home version. For this reason, if you want to upgrade your Windows 10 Pro S mode to Windows 11 Pro, that is going to end up in a failure!
Moreover, once you install Windows 11 S, you can quickly turn to Windows 11 standard version. But you cannot reenable it from the standard version to S mode.

What Are Some Alternatives to Windows 11 S Mode?

Even though there are a lot of good sides to using Windows 11 S mode, sometimes the restrictive features can make you question whether it would be worth it to go for it or not. You must feel like whether there are any other alternatives to using the Windows 11 s mode.

Good news is, there are some alternatives to Windows 11 S mode. I am enlisting them below:

Windows 11 Home

Windows 11 Home is the most basic OS offered by Microsoft that has almost all the functions of the OS including security features like encryption, firewall, and other network facilities, phishing detection, MFA etc. Normally, if you turn off your S mode, you’ll see this version of Microsoft OS.

Windows 11 Pro

This Windows 11 Pro OS offers you all the facilities mentioned in Windows 11 Home besides some additional features. The additional features include some additional security measures for businesses. It has remote controlling facilities via cloud computing.

Windows 11 Pro for Workstations

This operating system is created with even more focused features on a few of the businesses and users. It has a persistent memory that can safeguard your data when the PC is turned off suddenly, SMB Direct (if you want to share files), and Resilient file system which can detect suspicious files and protect your PC by fixing it.

Windows 11 Enterprise

This version of Windows 11 is mainly made for businesses. It has all the features of the Pro and some extra features include DirectAccess, Windows To Go, and BranchCache. You can buy this version in volumes. So, one purchase can activate Windows 11 on multiple PCs.

Windows 11 Education

Just like the Windows 11 Enterprise version, how it was designed just for businesses, this version of Windows is designed only for academic activities. You will get pre-installed software that might be helpful in your education. You can purchase it in volumes as well.

Windows 11 SE

This is like the miniature version of the Windows 11 S mode! This OS mode is optimized for devices with weaker hardware and mobile phones. You’ll have pre-installed One Drive and Microsoft 365 on these devices.

Transition and FAQs

So now you know all about the Windows 11 S mode pros and cons, and therefore, you can be the judge for yourself. If you need a PC where you can work on specific important tasks where you need top-notch security and improved performance, windows 11 S mode is the way to go. However, even though there are a few disadvantages like limited app access and reduced functionality, but they can easily be overlooked based on your purpose of use.

Since the Windows 11 S mode is very specific, it can be a very useful tool for education and enterprises as they need high performance with less time and speedy access to analytical softwares which can be easily found in Microsoft Store!


Can I enable Windows 11 S mode after installing Windows 11 Home on my PC?
Actually, No, you cannot. You have to enable this mode during installation. Even though you can turn this mode off and return to the standard version, but you cannot shift back to the s mode from the standard version.

Can I use Google Chrome in Windows 11 S mode?
No, you cannot use Google Chrome. You can use Microsoft Edge instead.

Should I use Antivirus for S mode?
Yes, but the only antivirus you can use is the Windows Defender Security which is pre-installed with the system.


In conclusion, whether you’ll use Windows 11 s mode is totally upto you. Though we are here with the Windows 11 s mode pros and cons to help you decide if it will be appropriate for you or not. Basically it all boils down to your purpose of use.

In our opinion, it is best to go for it anyway. If you don’t like it, you can always revert back without any hassle. However, if you need more help regarding this, contact a local IT specialist or the Microsoft user support system so that they can give their insight on what’s best for you.

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