Can’t Switch Out Of S Mode on Windows 11? Here’s the Fix!

Windows 11’s S mode is a feature that makes the operating system more secure by preventing third-party applications from being installed. 

Recently, there have been reports of users failing to switch out of S mode in Windows 11. We had a look into the issue and discovered that it can be due to the following reasons:

  • Corrupt Windows Store cache – when cached files get piled up, it is common for them to become corrupted, preventing you from performing the relevant operations successfully. 
  • DNS Settings – your DNS settings may be configured in a way that prevents you from switching out of S mode. The fix is simple, as all that you need to do is modify the settings using the method we described below.
  • Network Settings – like the DNS settings, your network settings may also not be configured properly, causing the problem at hand.
  • Corrupt Windows Store installation – your Windows Store may also be affected by a bug or a corruption error, leading to an issue under discussion. If this scenario is applicable, you can reset the Store to fix the problem.

Now that we know about the potential causes, let’s have a look at how to resolve the issue.

Reset Windows Store Cache

There is also a good chance that your Microsoft Store cached files have become corrupt, leading to the issue at hand. This issue is not uncommon to Windows users and is the culprit behind most of the Microsoft Store-related errors that users encounter.

The solution is simple, as all that you need to do is reset the cached files using Command Prompt to fix the S mode problem. Here is all that you need to do:

  1. Type cmd in the search bar and click on Run as administrator. This will launch Command Prompt for you as an administrator.
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type the command mentioned below and hit Enter.

    wsreset.exe
    wsreset-cmd
    Reset cached files
  3. Once the command is executed, check if the error is resolved.

Disable Proxy

Another scenario leading to the S mode issue is when a proxy server is enabled. Many users have reported that they resolved the issue entirely after disabling the built-in proxy function within the Internet Properties tab, which is why we recommend you give it a shot. 

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows + R keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open a Run dialog box.
  2. Inside the text field of the dialog box, type ‘ms-settings:network-proxy’ and press Enter to open up the Proxy tab of the Settings menu.
    ms-settings-network-proxy
    Run ms-settings:network-proxy
  3. Once you’re inside the Proxy tab, turn the toggle for Automatically detect settings off. Check if this allows you to switch out of S mode on Windows.proxy-network-settings

Change Your Network’s DNS

If you are unable to switch out of the S mode, it might also be because your DNS settings are configured incorrectly. If this scenario is applicable, you can change your Network’s DNS as described below to fix the issue at hand.

  1. Right-click on the Network icon on your taskbar.
  2. Then click on Open Network and Internet Settings.

    network-settings
    Network settings on taskbar
  3. In the Change your network settings panel, select Change adapter settings. This will launch the Network Connections folder.
  4. Right-click on your primary network connection and select Properties.
  5. Now, find the Internet Protocol Version 4 and select it.internet-protocol-version-4
  6. Then click on the Properties button.
  7. Now choose the Use the following DNS server addresses radio button and enter 8.8.8.8 for preferred and 8.8.4.4 for alternate.

    Change the DNS Server of Your PC
  8. Now click Apply to apply the new DNS settings. Then check if you can get out of the S mode.

Reset the Network Settings

Just like the DNS settings, there are situations when the Network settings are not configured correctly, which then prevents you from performing the network-related tasks successfully. 

The best way to fix any network-related issues on your operating system is by resetting the Network settings. This is like a factory reset, where all the stored settings and preferences revert to their original state. Keep in mind that if you decide to move forward with this method, your WiFi names, passwords, and Bluetooth settings will be reset as well.

  1. Launch Windows Settings and select Network & Internet from the left pane.
  2. Scroll down and click on Advanced network settings.
    advanced-network-settings
    Open advanced network settings
  3. Hit the Network reset button.
    network-reset
    Click Network reset

     

  4. Finally, click on the Reset now button and hit Yes in the UAC prompt. Once done, check if you can switch out of S mode successfully.
    s mode

Use Command Prompt

An independent advisor on the official Microsoft forum suggested the affected users executed several commands via Command Prompt to fix the issue. It has proved to be effective for several users, and here is how you can try it as well. 

    1. Type cmd in the search area of your taskbar and select Run as administrator.
    2. In the Command Prompt window, type the commands mentioned below one by one and hit Enter after each to execute them.

      netsh int ip reset
      
      netsh advfirewall reset
      
      netsh winsock reset
      
      ipconfig /flushdns
      
      ipconfig /release
      
      ipconfig /renew

cmd-code

  1. Once done, restart your PC and check if you can switch from S mode.

Reset Microsoft Store

Furthermore, the Microsoft Store may contain a bug or be corrupted, preventing you from switching out of S mode. It might be a good idea to reset the Windows Store in this situation.

Resetting Microsoft Store will remove all of its cache files and allow it to reinstall. You will also be deleting the app’s data and your sign-in information from your device.

Here is all that you need to do:

  1. Press Windows + I keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open Windows Settings.
  2. In the Settings window, select Apps from the left pane.
    windows-settings-app
    Windows Settings Apps
  3. Click on Apps and features in the right side of the window.
    apps-settings
    Apps and features
  4. Locate Microsoft Store in the right pane and click on the three dots associated with it.
  5. Choose Advanced options from there.

    s mode
    Navigating to Microsoft Store Advanced Options

     

  6. On the Advanced settings screen, scroll down and click the Reset button as shown below.
    s mode
    Resetting Microsoft Store
  7. Restart your PC after you have done this to see if you can switch out of the S mode.
Zainab Falak
Zainab is a self-motivated information technology professional, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation, and administration.

Expert Tip

Can’t Switch Out Of S Mode on Windows 11? Here’s the Fix!

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