A 30-day free trial gives you access to a game or service for a fixed, limited amount of time without having to pay for it until the time is elapsed. After that, the trial period ends, and you'll have to dish out the dough if you want to continue. If it's a subscription-based service, you'll often be billed automatically for another month once the trial is over.[[note]]And if you want to cancel your subscription before the trial period expires, it's not unheard of for the vendor to make it difficult to actually cancel the service. They already have your credit card number, and may continue to charge you for services you no longer want until you go through the "proper" procedures, or dispute the transaction through the credit card company. Many, however, are kinder - you'll generally be set to auto-renew by default, but all you have to do is go into the settings to cancel.[[/note]]

Thirty days is common, as is 1 hour for casuals, but any length of time counts.

Not to be confused with the {{Freemium}} model, where the free version of the game has limited content, but no time restrictions; Freemium services often include a 30-day free trial of the premium version. {{Shareware}} often uses this model as well.

If advertising plays up the trial version with phrases like "Play now for free!" while playing ''down'' the actual and full cost, it ''may'' just be an AllegedlyFreeGame.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Free players of ''VideoGame/{{RuneScape}}'' can try a 14-day free trial of [[{{Freemium}} membership]] without having to pay.
* ''Videogame/EVEOnline'' had varying lengths of free trial up until a 2016 update which allowed for indefinite trial accounts. Trial accounts under both systems are limited in which of the game's many ships they can fly.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsGalaxies'' offered new accounts a 14-day free trial of the game, rewarding those who subscribe at the end with a bonus item that boosts their ExperiencePoints temporarily.
* Most of the games at Big Fish Games have a one-hour trial period. If you want to keep playing after the hour, you'll need to buy the game. (Since they're a CasualVideoGame company, not an [[MassivelyMultiplayerOnlineRolePlayingGame MMO]], one hour is usually enough time to see if you like the game or not.)
* [=GameHouse=], another CasualVideoGame site, works the same way as Big Fish Games: The games can be played for one hour free; to play longer you need to buy it.
* ''Videogame/PlanetSide'' once had a ''Reserves'' event [[note]]Players were limited to level 6 (out of 25 at the time) and Command Rank 1 (out of 5)[[/note]] which included a ''one year long'' trial that [[WeHaveReserves stood up to its name]] by attracting a lot of players. The game also had a seven-day trial before and after the ''Reserves'', but a few years after the ''Reserves'' ended, the trials ended because they were very convenient for hackers - they'd get banned, then immediately make another trial account. The sequel switched to full free-to-play with {{Microtransactions}}.
* UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} frequently has "free weekends". Typically for multiplayer based games (the game in question also tends to be discounted for the same length of time).
* ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity'' is distributed as {{shareware}}. You can download and play for free for 30 days (though the plots cut off about the halfway point), after which many pieces of the game (certain ships, for instance) are blocked off. And in ''Nova'', Captain Hector will hunt you down and kill you.
* Playing ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' on an account that hasn't bought the game yet will limit the player to 100 minutes (5 in-game days) of gameplay on a preset world, after which their only options are to reset the world or buy the game.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' has a free 30 day trial for new players who wish to experience the game before buying it and starting a subscription. However, the trial imposes several limitations on free trial players, such as capping their level at 20 and being unable to send friend requests or private messages. This also doubles as a barrier against people who would use the free accounts to send spam to everyone or making dummy accounts for botting.
* ''VideoGame/MonkeyShines'' has a free trial that allows you the play the first world "Spooked" for a thirty days. Registering allows you the play the remaining four worlds in the game as well as custom levels.


[[folder: Other ]]

* America Online's [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_AOL#Direct_marketing_of_disks crazy free trial discs they sent out in the early 2000s]]... most people threw them away or collected them for fun. WebVideo/{{Smosh}} made several jokes about them:
--> [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D9p-wmtIJc "Yeah! My new Frisbee!"]]\\
[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly0dBk7yqYU "1099 free hours!? THAT'S LIKE FOREVER!!!"]]
** Much more useful were the floppies AOL (and some of its competitors) used in the 1980s and '90s which could be erased and used for your own data. Many people never had to buy a diskette of their own even once, thanks to the mountain of them flowing through their mail slot courtesy of AOL.
* Netflix has many different avenues of giving new customers 30-day free trials. Hulu and Amazon Prime also both offer them.
* Skype had the seven-day free trial of group video calling, back when that was a premium feature.
* Some [[MatchmakerDotCom dating sites]] will have a "communicate for free this weekend" promo for new members.
* [=WinRAR=] subverts this trope. The trial version says you have 40 days until you need to buy it, but even after that it still works.
** [=mIRC=] does the same thing, except for 30 days. However, if you're far, FAR beyond the 30 day period (as in, several years), the program might ultimately refuse to work until you buy it.
* For new registrants with [[http://www.ooma.com Ooma]], there is a free 60-day trial of their Premier service, which offers more features (for example, call forwarding and call blocking.) [[{{Freemium}} After that]], however, you can either opt for the Basic service (which doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but also doesn't have a subscription fee), or pay $10 a month for the Premier, whose features usually cost 3x as much with a regular landline phone plan.
* Extremely common for free for home use computer security software, you are allowed to start a 30 day free trial that unlocks additional features, such as fully automatic updates, and removes nag screens.
* All versions of Microsoft's [[UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows Windows operating system]] from Windows XP onwards have a 30-day free trial period from the time of installation, after which Windows needs to be activated (by entering a product key purchased from Microsoft) in order to remain fully functional.
** Windows XP and Server 2003 would stop working completely after 30 days unless you activated them.
** Because the mechanism Microsoft used for detecting pirated copies of Windows resulted in quite a lot of false positives, Windows Vista and Server 2008 were modified so that they continue to work after the 30 days are up; however, unless Windows is activated, the desktop background is blacked out, most of the personalisation options in Control Panel are disabled, a watermark appears in the lower right-hand corner of the desktop, and the computer reboots every hour.
** Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 act much the same as Vista and Server 2008, except that fewer features are disabled, and, instead of rebooting every hour, a window periodically pops up reminding you to activate Windows.
** Windows 8, Server 2012, and newer no longer start the 30-day trial period when Windows is installed, but one can still turn the free trial using Command Prompt; if Windows isn't activated, it merely disables a few personalization options and displays a watermark in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
* Music streaming service Spotify lets you use Spotify Premium for two weeks. You can download songs so you don't need Wi-Fi to listen, there aren't any ads, and you can pick individual tracks instead of always shuffling.
* In the UK, Amazon offers a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime. This became controversial when newspapers reported that people weren't being reminded their free trial was up; Amazon just started taking money if you didn't cancel.
* Netflix has a one-month free trial when you first sign up.
* Stan., Australia's own streaming service, also offers a free 30 day trial.
* Website/{{Crunchyroll}} offers a 14-day free trial for their premium membership - unless you use certain promotional codes provided by [=YouTubers=] who are partnered with them, which bump that free trial up to 30 days. Furthermore, the site offers premium members "Guest Passes" which allow them to gift their friends with 48-hour premium trials.
-->Your free trial has expired. Please purchase TV Tropes Plus to get full access to the site, plus bonus features. Nah, just kidding. [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil But please don't try to pirate us.]]