The former head of the International Monetary Fund arrived in Paris to a mixed welcome.
Strauss-Kahn was accused of attempted rape by a hotel maid in New York, but the charges were dropped two weeks ago because of concerns about the maid's credibility.
Strauss-Kahn still faces a pending civil suit from his accuser.
Smiling and waving silently, he stepped off an Air France flight Sunday at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport a different man from the one who, just four months ago, had been the pollsters' favorite to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential elections.
Few expect Strauss-Kahn to return to French politics soon - his Socialist Party is already in the throes of their presidential primary - but his supporters have been eagerly awaiting his return after a monthslong legal drama in the U.S. that they saw as unfairly hostile to him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.