Windows 11 S mode: what is it, and do you need it?

Windows 11 S mode is designed to provide users with a faster, more secure experience on Windows 11, and to make it easier for people to transition to the Windows operating system. The S mode feature focuses on providing enhanced security protections, improved performance, and an optimised app store experience.

But do you really need this new mode? What are the benefits and risks of using it? In this article, we'll take a look at the features of Windows 11 S mode and explain why you may or may not need (or want) to switch to it.


What is Windows 11 S mode?

Windows 11 S mode is a security feature Microsoft has brought over to its latest operating system, Windows 11, from the previous Windows 10. It is designed to give users enhanced protection against malicious software and other potential threats.

This mode locks down the system, allowing only apps from the Microsoft Store to be installed, ensuring that all apps are secure and up-to-date. It 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. With S mode enabled, users can rest assured that their data is safe and that their systems are as secure as possible.



Increased security

The main advantage of S mode is that it protects users against malicious software. This feature is the underlying reason for the S mode. It prevents users from installing apps from non-trusted sources, and it also blocks apps that make changes to the system, such as drivers and system services. These apps are often malicious, so blocking them from running on your system can help protect you from malicious software.

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.

Better performance

Another advantage of S mode is that it runs faster than standard Windows mode. It uses less memory and fewer resources, so it doesn’t bog down your system as much as standard Windows mode. Therefore, your computer will run faster and more smoothly, even when you have multiple apps open at once.

S mode also has less background activity, so your computer is less likely to slow down over time.

Managing multiple devices

Another advantage of S mode is that you can use it to easily manage multiple devices, such as school computers. If you are using S mode on school computers, it allows you to remotely manage these devices from one location, even if you don’t have access to that computer.

S mode allows you to control who has access to which programs, set up security protocols, and ensure that all devices are up-to-date with the latest software. You can also set up multiple users and sync all devices, so everyone can have the same experience. Plus, you can access programs across devices, making it easier to stay productive and organised.



Less usability and customisation

Although the added security of S mode is a major advantage, it comes at the cost of reduced usability. This mode is less user-friendly than standard Windows mode, so it offers fewer features and is less convenient to use. It only allows applications from the Microsoft Store to be installed and used, which could be especially inconvenient for users who need particular, non-Microsoft programs to do their work, like Adobe software.

S mode also has reduced accessibility features, and it doesn’t support assistive technologies. This means users with disabilities may find it difficult to navigate and use the system. Additionally, since users can't install any new software, it further limits their ability to customise the system to meet their needs.

Only allows Microsoft Edge

Another disadvantage of S mode is that it only allows the use of Microsoft Edge, the default browser. You won’t be able to use any other browser, including Google Chrome or Firefox. This could be a drawback for some users, as other browsers offer many more features and add-ons than Edge.


Should you use Windows 11 S mode?

S mode is ideal for students, teachers, and large enterprises with many users and devices. It will help protect your users against any security threats on the computer it is enabled, ensuring that your computer remains safe and secure. It’s also recommended for people working in offices, as it provides additional protection against malicious software.

The Microsoft specialists at Essential Tech can help you deploy Windows 11 S mode across your workplace, customise it for your needs, and manage the environment. Talk to them about your OS and security needs today, and find the right solution for your business.

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