Can Apple iPad Run Microsoft Office?

Over a billion people use Microsoft productivity applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft Office 365, a one-in-all app that brings PowerPoint, Excel, and Word together, is used by over a million companies worldwide to streamline tasks and boost productivity.

If you have an Apple iPad, you might wonder whether your device can run Microsoft Office, which is offered by a rival operating system.

Can Apple iPad Run Microsoft Office?

The answer is yes; Apple iPad can run Microsoft Office. You can use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on your iPad as standalone apps or opt for the inclusive Office that allows you to use all three in one place.

Microsoft first launched Office for iPad in 2014, and since then, it has tweaked available features to make it more valuable and accessible for tablet users. Read on to find out how you can access and use Microsoft Office with your Apple iPad today.

History of Microsoft Office on Apple iPads

While Microsoft has Office, Apple has iWork, an office suite that provides iPhone and iPad users with productivity tools.

With Microsoft and Apple being rivals in the software industry, it would seem that you wouldn’t be able to use Office on iOS devices. However, Microsoft made this possible when they introduced an Office version developed specifically for iPads in 2014.  

Given that some Mac users are successfully using Windows on their Apple PCs, it’s no wonder that many turn to Microsoft Office when they already have access to iWork.

When Microsoft introduced Office apps for iOS, only users with an Office 365 subscription could edit or create documents. Even then, the editing features available for Office 365 users on iPads were quite limited compared to those available for Windows devices. Apple users without a subscription could only view Office files made elsewhere and had no access to editing features.  

Also, iPad users could only use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as standalone apps. It wasn’t until 2020 that Microsoft launched the Office app that blended Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. The app was under improvement for the next year, and it wasn’t until 2021 that Microsoft fully optimized it for the Apple iPad.

Using the New Microsoft Office for iPad

In the beginning, only Office 365 subscribers could edit files on the iPad Microsoft Office apps. However, today, you can create new documents, edit, share, or view files without an Office 365 subscription. That is unless you use the iPad Pro, where you’ll require a paid subscription to create or edit files.

Office 365 offers a premium version of the features you’ll find on the free Excel, PowerPoint, and Word applications. It’s made for commercial purposes, and it’s the version used by companies to streamline workplace tasks.

When using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint on Office 365, you’ll also get 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive. Without a subscription, you only have access to 5GB of cloud storage.

How to Get Microsoft Office for Apple iPad

Getting the Microsoft Office for your Apple iPad is easy—all you have to do is search it on the App Store and download it. Downloading Microsoft Office for iPad is free, and so is using it, unless you’d like to subscribe to Office 365 or use an iPad Pro.

But, before you can use the app, you’ll need to sign in to your Microsoft account. If you don’t already have a Microsoft ID, you’ll need to register for one using your email. You can complete this process through the standalone apps or the Office app. Either way, once you register and sign in, you’ll be logged in on all three Office applications.  

Should You Keep the Standalone Office Apps on Your iPad?

Now that there’s an inclusive Office app for iPad, should you keep the standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps?

The all-in-one Microsoft app takes up less space than the three separate apps. If you’re concerned about space on your tablet, you’ll benefit from deleting the standalone apps and keeping the Office app.

But, if space is not a significant concern for you, it might benefit you to keep the standalone apps. This is especially if you use them frequently and often find yourself multitasking.

Keeping the separate apps alongside the Office app means you can work on two files simultaneously, using the different apps. For instance, you can open a document on the Office app and another on the Word app. If you need to check one file while working on another, this saves the hassle of switching from one file to the other on the same app while working.


Here are answers to frequently asked questions about using Microsoft Office on an Apple iPad.

What can I do with the iPad Microsoft Office app?

You can do the following with the combined Excel, PowerPoint, and Word Office app:

  • Create documents and share them with others in real-time
  • Store and access files from Excel, Word, and PowerPoint on OneDrive cloud storage
  • Edit and share presentations
  • Utilize several templates available to create spreadsheets
  • Scan pdf and convert them to word documents

Should I use Microsoft Office or iOS iWord on my iPad?

iWord is the office suite from Apple, including Numbers, Pages, and Keynote. Pages is the word processor, same as Word, while Numbers is a spreadsheet application. You can make presentations with Keynote, which is similar to PowerPoint.

One major difference between the two is that while you can access your Microsoft Office account on Apple, Android, and Windows devices, you can only use iWork on iOS or macOS unless you use third-party applications.

Therefore, if you use multiple devices with different operating systems, you’ll have better access to your files when using Microsoft Office. Because of this, Microsoft Office is more convenient for large companies since it allows streamlined sharing of files regardless of the operating system used by individual employees.


Not only can you use Microsoft Office on an iPad, but it’s also pretty easy to set up. You can download the apps, login to your Microsoft account, and start working on your projects right away. If you use other Apple products, such as an iMac, your files can be saved and transferred across devices as long as you stay logged in to your Microsoft account.

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