How to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

By default, you must have (or create) a Microsoft account to install Windows 11 Home (and versions of Pro that are build 22H2 and above). Although Microsoft accounts are free, there are many reasons why you would want to install Windows 11 without one.

Maybe you want to use a local account because you’re installing Windows 11 on a child’s PC, or on a PC you plan to sell, give to a friend, or donate to charity. Obviously, you don’t want anyone else to have a computer with your account on it. Or maybe you just love your privacy and don’t want to create an account with Microsoft in the first place.

Whatever your reason, there is an easy way to install Windows 11 without using a Microsoft account.

How to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

There’s a simple trick to using a local account that works on current versions of Windows and involves shutting off the internet at the right time in the setup process. However, the upcoming 22H2 build (and currently in preview) is aware of this trick and blocks it, requiring you to reconnect to the internet before continuing. If you have Windows 11 22H2, you’ll need to prepare your installation disc using Rufus, a process we document further down this page.

If you have already downloaded Windows 11 bootable disk with Rufus or other, follow these steps to setup without a Microsoft account.

1. Follow the Windows 11 installation process until you get to the login screen where you are prompted to sign in or create a Microsoft account.

Add Account screen in Windows 11 Setup

(Image credit: future)

It’s time to shut down the internet. If you have a physical connection, you can always pull the plug, but it’s easier to use a command to disable your PC’s internet until the next reboot, which will be part of the setup process anyway.

2. Press Shift + F10. A command prompt appears.

Launch command prompt

(Image credit: future)

3. Type ipconfig /release and press enter to turn off the Internet.


(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

4. Close the command prompt.

5. Click the back arrow in the upper left corner of the screen.

click the back arrow

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

A new login screen appears asking “Who will use this device?”

6. Enter a username you want to use for your local account and click Next.

Enter your name and click Next

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

seven. Enter password you want to use and click Next. You can also leave this field blank and have no password, but this is not recommended.

Enter Password

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

8. Complete the rest of the installation process as you normally would.

Using the “No Thanks” Method to Install Windows 11 with a Local Account

Another method, which even works with Windows 22H2, is to confuse Windows by entering an email address that apparently has been used too many times. It worked for us, but Microsoft might get wise.

1. Enter [email protected] as email address and click Next when the Windows 11 installer prompts you to sign in to your Microsoft account.

Enter email no thanks

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

2. Enter the text you want in the password field and click on Connect.

enter the password and click login

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

If this method works, you will receive a message saying “Oops, something went wrong”.

3. Click Next.

click Next

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

A screen appears saying “Who will use this device?” This is the local account creation screen.

4. Enter username you want to use.

Enter a name and click Next

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

5. Enter password and click Next. You can leave the field blank but it is not recommended.

Enter password

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

How to create a Windows 11 installation disc that bypasses Microsoft accounts

If you are installing Windows 11 22H2 or newer, you must use Rufus (or another method) to create the installation disc so that disabling the internet during the installation process allows you to continue with a local account . Otherwise, when you follow the steps above, you will receive a message saying “Oops, you have lost your internet connection” and asking you to reconnect to continue the installation.

Oops you lost your internet connection

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Here’s how to create a Windows 11 installation disc that will allow you to disconnect from the internet during installation so you can create a local account instead of using a Microsoft account.

1. Download Windows 11 ISO File for Windows 11 22H2 (build 22621.169 or higher). As of this writing, you can only get the ISO for this version directly using UUP dump (opens in a new tab). We explain how to perform this process in our article on how to download a Windows 11 ISO file.

2. Insert a USB flash drive that you want to use as the installation disk if one is not already inserted. Note that this drive will be completely erased in the process and it must be at least 8 GB. we’ll assume you don’t here.

3. Download and launch Rufus version 3.19 or higher. There is no installation process, but you may be prompted to confirm permissions by Windows User Account Control.

4. Select the USB key in the Rufus menu if it is not already selected.

Click Select

(Image credit: future)

5. Click Select and choose ISO file.

Click Select

(Image credit: future)

6. Click Start at the bottom of Rufus’ window.

click start

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A dialog box appears with a few options to bypass the Windows 11 installation requirements.

seven. Enable “Remove online Microsoft account requirement” and click OK. You can also enable the other options, including removing Secure Boot/TPM 2.0, RAM, and storage requirements. But if your computer meets these requirements, it doesn’t pay.

Remove Microsoft account requirement

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

8. Click OK if warned that Rufus will destroy all data on the USB drive. It is expected to overwrite all contents of the drive.

Click OK

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Rufus will take a few minutes to copy the files to the USB stick. When it’s done, you’ll have a bootable Flash player.

About Sally E. Bartley

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