Exploring the Availability of a Free Version of SharePoint: A Guide

Exploring the availability of a free version of SharePoint can be quite a handy skill, especially for small businesses or individuals looking to collaborate and manage projects without the hefty price tag. The good news is that yes, there is a free version of SharePoint available, known as SharePoint Foundation. It offers the core functionality of SharePoint without some of the more advanced features of the paid versions. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to access and use this free version.

Step by Step Tutorial: Exploring the Availability of a Free Version of SharePoint

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand that SharePoint Foundation is no longer being developed by Microsoft, and the latest version was released alongside SharePoint Server 2013. Despite this, it’s still available for download and can be a useful tool for basic collaboration needs.

Step 1: Check System Requirements

Before downloading, make sure your system meets the necessary requirements for SharePoint Foundation.

SharePoint Foundation has specific requirements, such as Windows Server and SQL Server. It’s important to ensure your system is compatible to avoid any installation issues.

Step 2: Locate the SharePoint Foundation Download

Search for “SharePoint Foundation 2013 download” in your web browser to find the official Microsoft download page.

While SharePoint Foundation is free, it is essential to download it from a reliable source. The Microsoft website is the safest bet to avoid any malicious software.

Step 3: Download SharePoint Foundation

Click the download button on the Microsoft page and choose the version that matches your system’s architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

The download process is straightforward, but the file size can be large, so it may take some time depending on your internet connection.

Step 4: Install SharePoint Foundation

Once downloaded, run the installation file and follow the on-screen instructions to install SharePoint Foundation on your server.

The installation process will guide you through configuring the basic settings necessary for SharePoint to run smoothly.

After installation, you’ll be able to create and manage sites, lists, and libraries within SharePoint Foundation, leveraging its capabilities for your collaboration needs.

Tips for Exploring the Availability of a Free Version of SharePoint

  • Ensure you’re installing SharePoint Foundation on a supported Windows Server version to avoid compatibility issues.
  • Consider the limitations of SharePoint Foundation compared to the paid versions, as some features won’t be available.
  • Regularly check for any updates or patches for SharePoint Foundation, as these can contain important security fixes.
  • Explore community forums and support groups for tips and troubleshooting, as the product is no longer actively supported by Microsoft.
  • If you require more advanced features in the future, research the upgrade path from SharePoint Foundation to a paid version of SharePoint Server.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is SharePoint Foundation still supported by Microsoft?

No, SharePoint Foundation is no longer actively developed or supported by Microsoft.

Although Microsoft is not releasing new versions or updates for SharePoint Foundation, the 2013 version is still available for download and can be used as is.

Can SharePoint Foundation be used for commercial purposes?

Yes, SharePoint Foundation can be used for both personal and commercial purposes.

Since SharePoint Foundation is a free version, businesses can leverage its features without worrying about licensing costs.

How does SharePoint Foundation differ from SharePoint Online?

SharePoint Foundation is a standalone product that you install on your own server, while SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service that is part of Microsoft 365.

While SharePoint Online offers more features and is continuously updated, SharePoint Foundation can be a good starting point for those with limited budgets or specific on-premise requirements.

Can I upgrade from SharePoint Foundation to a paid version?

Yes, it is possible to upgrade from SharePoint Foundation to a paid version of SharePoint Server.

When your needs outgrow SharePoint Foundation, you can migrate your data to a more robust version of SharePoint to access additional features and capabilities.

Are there any alternatives to SharePoint Foundation?

Yes, there are alternatives such as open-source platforms or other free collaboration tools.

If SharePoint Foundation doesn’t meet your needs or if you’re looking for ongoing support, exploring other collaboration platforms could be beneficial.


  1. Check system requirements for SharePoint Foundation.
  2. Locate the SharePoint Foundation download on the Microsoft website.
  3. Download SharePoint Foundation.
  4. Install SharePoint Foundation on your server.


While SharePoint Foundation may not be at the forefront of Microsoft’s offering anymore, it still presents an opportunity for those looking for a free, basic collaboration platform. It’s essential, though, to weigh the pros and cons, considering the lack of support and updates. As an authority on the topic, I’d recommend SharePoint Foundation for those who are just starting out or have simple collaboration needs. However, for businesses looking to scale and require advanced features, exploring the paid versions or other alternatives would be the way to go. The world of collaboration tools is vast and constantly evolving, so keep your options open, and don’t be afraid to try out different solutions to find the perfect fit for your team. Remember, effective collaboration is the key to success in any venture – and SharePoint Foundation could be the stepping stone you need.

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