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-   -   Windows 10 S Mode (https://www.pprune.org/computer-internet-issues-troubleshooting/633177-windows-10-s-mode.html)

old,not bold 11th Jun 2020 11:55

Windows 10 S Mode
 
We just got delivery of a Lenovo all-in-one, sold with Windows 10, for use by Mrs ONB on email, Skype, Zoom, photo management, visiting web-sites she uses, etc etc.

In the box, I found a very small print leaflet in 32 languages, headed "Windows 10 in S mode". Evidently you can switch from S to normal mode, but if you do you can never go back to S mode. I infer from this that when I boot the machine for the first time it will open in S mode.

S mode comes with a need to buy apps etc only from the MS store, some apps, including some anti-virus apps, may not run properly if at all. In short MS is forcing users to deal exclusively with MS, which raises many warning flags.

So, by and large, it seems to me that S mode is undesirable for normal operations, so if the machine boots into it I will switch to normal mode. Does anyone know if that's a reasonable assessment?

I did speak to Lenovo support, but the agent knew nothing about it. He assured me that S mode is just like Safe mode. I've only used Safe mode on 1 or 2 occasions, but I recall having to repeatably press F2 while booting up, and then having a very limited range of functions. But it was there as a rescue procedure and that is not consistent with being told "if you switch out of S mode you can never go back to it."

So the question is, if the machine boots into S mode (how will I know?) is it a good idea to switch to normal mode, and if I do that, will the old Safe mode recovery feature remain available?

As always, Microsoft's on-line literature and FAQs create more questions than answers.....

All advice and guidance welcomed! Please?

andytug 11th Jun 2020 12:16

Good explanation here: https://www.howtogeek.com/354057/wha...-10-in-s-mode/

It's nothing like Safe Mode....... more of a limited mode that locks you to Microsoft only for everything. Can see situations where it might be an advantage (e.g. young children) but that's about it. Would stick with normal.

RickNRoll 11th Jun 2020 12:32

It would mean it's a lot harder to get viruses. If only apps checked by microsoft can be installed from their store, it is more secure. I think secure would be a better description than safe. That's why you can't go back, because Microsoft can't guarantee what you have done to it while it's not in S mode. For people in your wifes situation, if she can get everything she wants from the store, it is not a bad idea. Naive computer users are the ones most vulnerable to hacking.

Saab Dastard 11th Jun 2020 19:16

A few points to consider:
  • S-Mode is somewhat stripped down (sorry, streamlined), designed to compete with Chromebooks and to run better on low-spec. devices (think ARM processors) that could perform poorly with full Windows 10 Home - if your Lenovo falls into that category, you may want to stick with it.
  • By default, everything a user does in it is automatically saved to OneDrive to free up local storage
  • The default browser supported is Edge, and it's not clear what version of Edge this would be - MS have stopped developing it and have admitted defeat in the browser wars - Edge is now Chromium-based. You can install other browsers, but can't set them to be the default, and that would drive you to drink very quickly.
  • Bing is horrid in comparison to other search engines, so not being able to change the default is... unfortunate again.
  • You can trial S-mode for as long as you want, it's not an OOTB decision, so suck it and see. If your wife ends up screaming at it, it may be time to switch to full Windows 10 Home before it's thrown against the wall! ;)
  • As of August last year, there was a bug affecting some people that meant they couldn't switch out of S-Mode - MS are aware but I'm not sure if that has been properly fixed yet.

old,not bold 11th Jun 2020 19:23

Very many thanks, everyone, for all that very informative and helpful information. It has made the whole issue much more understandable. The Lenovo has quite a decent spec; good processor, plenty of RAM, so i don't think W10 should trouble it too much. The suck-it-and-see option makes a lot of sense, but I will check on the glitch with switching.

Mind you if it boots into S mode, as I suspect it might, I'll be stuffed anyway if I can't switch it to normal.

Flying Hi 11th Jun 2020 21:48


Originally Posted by old,not bold (Post 10808725)
Very many thanks, everyone, for all that very informative and helpful information. It has made the whole issue much more understandable. The Lenovo has quite a decent spec; good processor, plenty of RAM, so i don't think W10 should trouble it too much. The suck-it-and-see option makes a lot of sense, but I will check on the glitch with switching.

Mind you if it boots into S mode, as I suspect it might, I'll be stuffed anyway if I can't switch it to normal.

If you want to turn off S mode go Settings ->Updates & Security > Activation.Then click 'Go to the store'. Under 'switch out of S mode' press 'Get' and wait for process to complete.
Caution - this may not be reversible.

Loose rivets 11th Jun 2020 23:54

Huh, there's another thing I didn't know.


How to Geek. It's kind of the same as above, but . . .


You can check whether you're using S Mode by heading to Settings > System > About. On the About page, scroll down to the “Windows Specifications” section. If you see the words “in S mode” to the right the Edition entry, you're using an S Mode PC. If you don't, you're not using S Mode.31 May 2018
Mine's just not showing anything. It is however, 10 Pro. I notice Home is mentioned above.


FullOppositeRudder 13th Jun 2020 05:07

I've just come down this road myself. I needed a cheap W10 machine for a specific (non Microsoft) amateur radio application. A few days ago I came across a Lenevo with all the desired features including (according to the features ticket) Windows 10 Home. The price was excellent, so home it came. When I opened the box there was the same multi language document expounding Windows 10 Home in S Mode. To return it was a 220 km round trip, no options there. Accordingly, after going through all the strange rituals required of a new user when you first push the power button, I read up on bailing out of S mode from no less an authority than Microsoft itself. It looked easy; it was easy, I loaded my specific non windows applications, and it's been running them ever since without complaint or protest. A nice machine IMHO.

It's apparently the case that opting out of S mode is not reversible - there's no going back. But, as one reviewer observed: "Why would you ever want to?".

Regards,

FOR


old,not bold 13th Jun 2020 10:00

I had the same experience in the end; setting her new machine up with Skype and one or two other apps Mrs ONB uses was not as straightforward as it usually is, so I looked to see if the machine was in S mode, which it was. Switching out was trouble-free, thanks to Flying Hi, and now everything runs nicely.


cattletruck 14th Jun 2020 11:03

We are given these things called PAWS (Privileged Access Workstations) at work to do the supposedly "serious" stuff with and they are a bit of a joke. Besides being quite hopeless at their given task (they do tick a security box though) they employ one of the security aspects used by Windows 10 S mode, which is better known as "the clean source principle". Following (or being forced to follow) the clean source principle ensures that the all aspects of your PC/laptop have been accounted for, from certified OEM equipment, firmware installation, OS installation, applications and configuration. The latter often means the computer is neutered to the point of being a right royal pain to own and operate.

Now Microsoft itself isn't renowed for being the brightest software company on the market. When I first got my PAWS laptop I found my habitual three finger MacOSX scroll gesture would lock my screen - a bug eventually fixed with a Windows 10 patch. And there have been many similar wierd and wonderful bugs since. But as a supposedly secure system one found one could move files in and out using MS-Outlook mail client, Windows S Mode circumvents this by forcing you to use One-Drive - which has its own issues and inconveniences.

Sure, if your computer is just used as a polished turd then by all means jump on the Windows S Mode bandwagon and gloat about it to your friends, but some of us actually need these laptops to do real work and have absolutely no time for any of these "I'm really f**king useless at work" Windows themes.




Paul Lupp 14th Jun 2020 18:33

A little late to this thread but.....
Last year I bought a small, light Lenovo "netbook" thing that came with Windows "S". I had previously researched and found that on activation, you could indeed "upgrade" to the full-blown Windows 10 operating system,, but not revert back. I dutifully upgraded with no issues and no regrets. Like others, I fail to see why any normal "domestic" user would use "S" and cannot see why retailers make such a "fuss" of stating that this is the operating system but not qualifying it by saying that a free alternative to "full-blown" 10 is available


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