Microsoft makes it harder to set up a local account when setting up the Windows operating system every few years.
In February 2022, the company said that Pro versions of Windows 11 would need a Microsoft account to be set up or run for the first time. It didn’t take long for workarounds to come out, but many users might not know about them.
Some users may prefer Microsoft accounts because they have features like the ability to sync data through the OneDrive service, the ability to reset passwords remotely, and more.
Others may like local accounts because they don’t share as much with Microsoft accounts and can’t be attacked when the device is off. Computer technicians may also have to set up accounts for customers who aren’t there or can’t give them a Microsoft account.
How to use Windows 11 without a Microsoft account
There are several ways to set up a Windows device without having to use a Microsoft account.
In How to use local accounts on Windows 11 version 22H2 devices, I talked about one choice. Even though it was written for that version of Windows 11, the method described works in other versions as well.
In a sentence, it means that you make a Microsoft account during setup and a local account after setup is done. It’s not very stylish, and the first time you make an account, you have to use an email address.
For the next two ways, you don’t need a Microsoft account at all.
This is the easiest way to get around the Microsoft account creation right now, as it only takes a few steps during setup to get around it.
How it works is as follows:
- Before starting setup, turn off the Internet connection. For example, disconnect the LAN cable or turn off Wi-Fi.
- Windows will show a screen like “Let’s connect you to a network” In the next version of Windows 11, 22H2, you won’t be able to skip this step to make a local account.
- Use Shift-F10 to open a command prompt window on the screen.
- Hit the Enter key after typing OOBE\BYPASSNRO.
- Windows will restart and go back to the screen that says “Let’s connect you to a network.” This time, you can skip this by choosing “I don’t have Internet.”
- Then you choose “Continue with limited setup” to set up a local account.
Bypass 2: Use a banned email address
Microsoft has banned email addresses that were used too often when making accounts. You can use this to your advantage because it lets you skip the part of setup where you make a Microsoft account or sign in.
This method works like this (thanks Neowin):
- When setup asks you to make or sign in to a Microsoft account, choose Sign-In.
- Use the address email@example.com for your email.
- On the next screen, type any password.
- The next screen will say, “Oops, something went wrong” (Oops, something went wrong).
- When you click Next, a screen pops up that lets you make a local account.
- You can give the account a password or leave it blank.
There is a chance that Microsoft will take away the bypass options in future versions of Windows. We will add any new bypasses we find to this guide. For now, users have more than one way to set up Windows without using a Microsoft account.