Microsoft Word is part of Microsoft Office and requires an up-front purchase or a Microsoft 365 subscription. If you’re using a computer without Word installed, there are other ways to view that DOCX or DOC file.

Microsoft once offered a free “Word Viewer” application that would let you view Word documents, but discontinued it back in November 2017.

Here are some other ways you can view Word documents on a Windows PC:

  • Download Word Mobile from the Store on Windows 10. The mobile version of Word lets you view (but not edit) Word documents. You can install it for free. It’s intended for tablets but runs in a Window on a Windows 10 desktop PC.
  • Upload the document to Microsoft OneDrive and open it from the OneDrive website. It will open in Microsoft Word Online, a free web-based version of Word. You can even edit documents in Word Online—no purchase necessary. You just have to use your browser.
  • Install LibreOffice, a free and open-source office suite. This is an alternative to Microsoft Office. LibreOffice Writer, which is included, can open and edit Microsoft Word documents in DOC and DOCX format.
  • Upload the document to Google Drive and open it in Google Docs, Google’s free web-based office suite.
  • Get a free month-long trial of Office 365 to get full access to Microsoft Word and the rest of Microsoft Office for free—for a limited time.

Word Mobile on a Windows 10 desktop PC

RELATED: How to Get Microsoft Office for Free

On Android, iPhone, and iPad, you can also download Microsoft’s free Word application to view Word documents without purchasing or subscribing to Office. Get Word for Android or Word for iPhone and iPad.

Mac users can also use Apple’s free iWork suite. The Pages application can open Word documents.

RELATED: The Best Free Microsoft Office Alternatives

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »