[Guide] How to Setup Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account

[Guide] How to Setup Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account

/ Cris Mamon

To install Windows 11 Home or Pro, having or creating a Microsoft account by default is necessary. However, there may be various reasons one would prefer to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account, even though these accounts are free.

For instance, if you plan to give away or donate the PC or want to ensure privacy by not creating a Microsoft account. In such cases, a straightforward method is available for installing Windows 11 without a Microsoft account.

How to Install Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account

A straightforward method is available for using a local account on current builds of Windows, which involves disconnecting the Internet at a specific point during the setup process. However, this method is no longer effective on the latest build, 22H2, which demands that you reconnect to the Internet before continuing.

If you have Windows 11 22H2, you must prepare your installation disk using Rufus, a process that we will provide further details about later on this page. Suppose you downloaded and created a Windows 11 disk boot using Rufus or another method. Follow the instructions below to set up the Windows 11 operating system without using a Microsoft account.

Steps to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account:

1. Proceed with the Windows 11 installation process until you reach the login screen that prompts you to sign in or create a Microsoft account.

add microsoft account screen in windows 11

2. Disconnect your Internet connection by unplugging the network/ethernet cable or using a command to turn off the PC’s Internet until the next reboot.

3. Press Shift + F10 to open command prompt.

4. Type ipconfig /release and press Enter to disable the Internet.

ipconfig release

5. Close the command prompt.

6. Click on the back arrow in the top-left corner of the screen to skip Microsoft account creation.

back arrow button in microsoft 11 account sign in

7. Enter your preferred username for the local account and click Next.

enter preferred username in windows 11

8. Set a password and click Next again. Leaving this field blank is not recommended.

setup windows 11 password

9. Complete the rest of the installation process as usual.

Using the “No Thank You” Method to Install Windows 11 With a Local Account

Another method can be used even with Windows 22H2, which involves entering an email address allegedly used too many times, confusing the system. While this method has been successful for some, Microsoft may catch on to it in the future.

1. In the Windows 11 setup, type no@thankyou.com as the email address and click Next.

nothankyou email

2. Enter any random password and click Sign in.

enter random password

3. If successful, you’ll receive a message saying Oops, something went wrong.

4. Click Next.

next on account sign in in windows 11

5. This will take you to the local account creation screen, which asks Who’s going to use this device?

6. Enter the username you want to use.

7. Enter a password and click Next. It is not recommended to leave this field blank.

Windows 11 Setup Wizard

The Windows 11 Setup Wizard is an easy-to-use tool to help you quickly and easily set up your new PC or laptop. It walks you through the entire setup process, from selecting a language to choosing security options and setting up your accounts. Its simple, step-by-step instructions make getting started with Windows 11 a breeze.

You can also use it to customize your settings and ensure you have all the software, drivers, and updates needed for optimal performance. The Setup Wizard is designed to be fast, efficient, and secure so you can get up and running quickly.

If you’ve already got Windows 11 pre-installed on a new desktop or laptop, you can disregard these steps and proceed with the network disconnect or disabling internet solutions. These instructions are intended for those who want to perform a clean installation, which will erase all data from the computer. Before proceeding, it’s essential to back up your computer.

1. Start your computer with the Windows 11 USB flash drive.

Note: If you encounter issues starting the computer from the USB bootable drive, follow these alternative instructions.

2. When prompted, press any key to boot from the device.

3. On the Windows Setup screen, click the Next button.

language time input selection

4. Click the Install Now button.

install now button on windows

5. If you reinstall Windows 11, select the I don’t have a product key option. Otherwise, enter the product key if this is your first time installing Windows 11.

no product key

6. Click the Next button.

7. If applicable, select the edition of Windows 11 you wish to install.

8. Click Next.

select windows 11 version to install

9. Select the I accept the license terms option to proceed.

10. Click Next.

11. Select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option to perform a clean installation.

select custom installation

12. Select the partition with the current installation (usually labeled Drive 0), and click the Delete button.

delete partition

Tip: If Drive 0 contains multiple partitions, you must select and delete each partition to allow the setup to use the entire hard drive. The Windows 11 setup will automatically create the required sections during installation. It’s not necessary to delete partitions for secondary purposes.

13. Click the Yes button.

14. Select the empty drive labeled Drive 0 Unallocated Space.

15. Click the Next button.

After completing the steps above, the installation process will begin, and during the out-of-box experience (OOBE), you have two options to proceed. You can use network disconnect to disconnect from the network, allowing you to create a local account.

Alternatively, you can use the disable internet requirement option to bypass the initial setup requirement of configuring a Microsoft account. Another option is to enter incorrect local account information, resulting in an error and fallback to the local account creation.

It’s worth noting that if you’re setting up a Windows 11 Pro installation, you can continue without a Microsoft account using the offline account option during the account setup process.

Out-Of-Box Experience (OOBE) Network Disconnect

1. Choose your region by selecting it from the list.

2. Click on the Yes button to proceed.

select installation region

3. Choose your keyboard layout from the list of available options.

select keyboard layout

4. Click on the Yes button to confirm your choice.

5. Click the Skip button to move on to the next step.

6. Connect to a wireless connection if you need to. Please note that your device will automatically connect to the network if you use an Ethernet connection.

7. If you want to, you can enter a name for your device.

name your pc

8. Click on the Next button to continue. Please note that if you proceed with this step, your device will restart automatically, but you can pick up where you left off.

Bypass Windows 11 Online Microsoft Account Requirement With Rufus

Follow these steps to create a bootable USB drive with Rufus version 3.19 or higher and bypass Windows 11 install requirements:

1. Download Rufus version 3.19 or higher and launch it.

2. If the USB drive is not selected, choose it from the menu in Rufus.

select usb drive in rufus

3. Click Select and choose the ISO file.

4. Click Start at the bottom of the Rufus window.

click start in rufus

5. A dialog box with several options for bypassing Windows 11 install requirements will appear.

6. Toggle Remove requirement for an online Microsoft account to on and click OK. You may also want to toggle on other options, but it’s unnecessary if your computer meets the requirements.

remove requirement for an online microsoft account

7. If warned that Rufus will destroy all data on the USB Flash drive, click OK.

confirm rufus operation

Rufus will copy files to the USB Flash drive, which may take a few minutes. Once completed, the USB drive will be bootable.

Create a Local Account on Windows 11 After Installation

A local account is a user account with access to the computer it is installed on. An Administrator account has access to all areas of the computer and can make changes across multiple accounts. Local accounts are limited in their ability to make changes within the system. Still, they can perform basic tasks such as managing files and folders, installing software, changing settings, and creating new accounts.

Administrator accounts can change system configuration settings, install software, and manage user accounts across multiple computers on a network. They also have access to certain security features that local accounts may not possess. While local accounts are typically used for everyday tasks like web browsing or gaming, Administrator accounts should only be used when making.

It is possible to create more Windows accounts not connected to Microsoft Accounts, but the process may not be immediately obvious.

1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Accounts > Family & Other users.

2. Click the Add Account button to create a new user account.

3. A new window will appear, asking for the email address or phone number of the person you want to add. You can dismiss this by clicking the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information link.

i dont have this persons sign in information

4. If Windows 11 tries to persuade you to create a Microsoft Account, click on the Add user without a Microsoft account link below the text field.

add user without microsoft account

5. Create a local account by entering your preferred username and password.

create a user for this pc

6. The account will be added to your computer.

7. To sign in to the new account, click Start, select your username, and choose to Sign out.

How to Convert an Existing Microsoft Account to a Local Account

Since the simple solution of using Rufus to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account became available only a few months before the 2022 Update release of Windows 11, most current Windows 11 users are likely to have Microsoft logins. Nonetheless, Microsoft has integrated a feature that quickly converts a Microsoft-based login to a local login.

1. Open the Settings app on your Windows 11 device.

2. Click on the Accounts tab, then select Your Info.

accounts your info

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Sign In With A Local Account Instead.

4. If you use BitLocker to encrypt your drive, you’ll be prompted to back up your recovery key before proceeding.

switch to a local account

5. Follow the prompts to create a new username, password, and password hint for your local account. When you’re done, click Sign Out And Finish.

enter local account info

6. Restart your PC to ensure that any issues are resolved.

Remember that your new account is local-only, which means that Microsoft won’t be able to help you if you forget your login credentials.

Use OOBE\BypassNRO (Windows 11 Home Only)

OOBE\BypassNRO is a feature on Windows that allows users to bypass the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) and go straight to their desktop. This is useful for enterprise systems, which often must simultaneously set up hundreds or thousands of computers. By bypassing OOBE, users can skip over all the setup options and quickly get to their workstations.

If you are a Windows 10 Home user, you can follow these steps to set up a local account instead of a Microsoft account:

1. When you reach the let’s connect you to a network stage in the OOBE, open a Command Prompt window using Shift + F10.

2. Type oobe\bypassnro and hit Enter.

oobe bypassnro command in cmd

3. Your computer will restart automatically, and you may need to begin the OOBE process again.

4. You can now set up a local account instead of a Microsoft account.

By typing in the provided command, the configuration in OOBE will be altered, allowing you to set up Windows 11 without requiring an internet connection. As a result, you can create a local account instead of being prompted to sign in with a Microsoft account.

Use Netplwiz

Netplwiz is a Windows utility tool that allows users to quickly set up and manage user accounts on their computers. It can be used to configure settings such as changing the default user account password, creating new user accounts, and enabling automatic login for specific users.

With Netplwiz, you can also control which programs and services run at startup and which programs or services can run when a user logs in. It also allows you to control which files and folders are accessible to each user on the computer and configure which account is used for the default administrator profile.

The following steps can be taken to use a local account instead of a Microsoft account on either Windows 10 or Windows 11, and you have administrative privileges.

1. Open the Run box by pressing the Windows key + R.

2. Type netplwiz or control userpasswords2 and click OK.

run netplwiz

3. This will open the User Accounts menu, where you can add, remove, and configure accounts on the PC.

4. To add a local account, click on the Add button.

add user permission option

5. On the “How will this person sign in?” page, select Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended) and click Local account.

sign in without a microsoft account

6. Next, fill in your local account’s username, password, and password hint, and click Next.

7. Finally, click Finish to complete the local account setup.

Should You Use Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account?

Whether or not to use Windows 11 without an MS account depends on your preferences and needs. Value the convenience of syncing your settings and data across devices or want to access features such as the Microsoft Store.

Using a Microsoft account may be beneficial. However, setting up a local account may be better if you prioritize privacy and security or prefer not to link your personal information to your operating system. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and what works best for your situation.

Setup Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account: A Hassle-Free Guide

This comprehensive guide explored setting up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. By following these hassle-free methods, you can enjoy the benefits of Windows 11 while maintaining your privacy and independence. Whether you prefer using a local account or need to bypass the Microsoft account requirement, this guide has you covered. Now you can customize your Windows 11 experience to suit your preferences and enjoy a seamless setup process. Say goodbye to account restrictions and embrace the freedom of setting up Windows 11 your way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Setup Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account

Why Can’t I Access My Microsoft Account?

Microsoft accounts are an important part of using Windows, Office, and other Microsoft products. When logging in to your Microsoft account, you may encounter difficulty accessing the account. This can be due to several reasons, including incorrect passwords, security settings, or outdated information stored on the account.

Why Can’t I Setup Windows 11 off of My Account?

Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft, with many exciting new features. However, some limitations may prevent you from setting up Windows 11 off your account. The first limitation is that Microsoft requires users to have an active subscription to install Windows 11 on their machines. You must purchase a Windows 11 license to install it on your computer.

Can I Set up Windows 11 Without a Microsoft Account?

No, you cannot set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. You must create or sign in with an existing Microsoft account to use most operating system features. This includes personalizing your computer, signing into apps and services like Office Online, and using cloud storage solutions like OneDrive.

What Is the Microsoft Account Requirement for Windows 11?

The Microsoft Account requirement for Windows 11 ensures users can easily access their device’s settings and features. It also allows for the syncing of files across multiple devices and allows for one-click sign-in to services such as Outlook, OneDrive, Skype, Xbox Live, Office365, and more.

How Do I Install Windows 11 Using My Microsoft Account?

Once you’ve decided to install Windows 11, the first step is to create a Microsoft Account. This single sign-on account can access your Windows products and services like Office 365, OneDrive, Outlook, Skype, and more.

Will My Account Settings Affect Windows 11 Setup?

When setting up Windows 11, your account settings will not affect the setup process. However, if you have chosen a specific plan or feature for your device, these may be affected by changes in your account. For example, using a subscription-based product like Office 365 and changing your payment method or plan details could affect the features you can access.

Why Can’t I Use My Microsoft Account to Set up Windows 11?

Microsoft Accounts have a different role in Windows 11. Instead of being the primary method used to set up the operating system, they are now mainly used for account sign-in and access to online Microsoft services. When setting up Windows 11 on your device, you must create a local user account instead.

How Long Does It Take To Set up Windows 11?

The process takes just a few minutes of your time, making it an ideal operating system for those who wish to get their new computer up and running quickly. Once you have purchased the software, insert the installation disc (or download the setup from Microsoft’s website) and follow the on-screen instructions.

Is It Secure to Set up Windows 11 With My Microsoft Account?

Setting up Windows 11 with your Microsoft Account is a secure way to access the operating system. Your data and settings will be securely stored on the cloud, allowing you to access them easily from any computer or device. Microsoft accounts are also highly secure, making it difficult for hackers to access your account or use your information without permission.

Can I Use an Existing Microsoft Account for Microsoft 11 Set Up?

You can use an existing Microsoft account for your Microsoft 11 setup. Your account is the access point to all the services and features available in Microsoft 11. It’s also the same account you use to log into Windows, Office, Xbox Live, OneDrive, Skype, and other products and services from Microsoft.

Can I Use Command Prompt to Set up Windows 11?

Yes, you can use Command Prompt to set up Windows 11. Microsoft has made this process easier by introducing the Windows Terminal, a modern command line interface version. This allows users to access and configure their system using command-line utilities that are more efficient and powerful than ever before.

Why Can’t I Set up Windows 11 on My PC?

Unfortunately, Windows 11 does not exist yet. Since Microsoft released Windows 10 in 2015, they have continuously updated the operating system with new features and improvements. The latest version of Windows is called the Windows 10 May 2021 Update. It includes several enhancements to make your computing experience smoother and more efficient.

Will Windows 11 Slow My PC Down at All?

No, Windows 11 will not slow down your computer. Microsoft has designed the new operating system to work efficiently and with minimal impact on system resources. In addition, the latest version of Windows utilizes advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to optimize performance.

Can I Use My Local Account to Set up Windows 11?

Yes, you can use your local account to set up Windows 11. This is a convenient way to access all the features and services available with this operating system. You’ll need to provide basic information during setup, such as your name, email address, and password. Once you finish the setup process, you can log into your account and customize the settings.

Are There Security Questions in Windows 11 Set Up?

Yes, there are security questions in Windows 11 setup. Security questions are used to authenticate users and help safeguard important online accounts. They provide an extra layer of protection against hackers, who may attempt to gain access to your account by guessing passwords or other personal information.

Why Am I Unable to Access My Microsoft Accounts?

Microsoft accounts provide access to various services, including Outlook.com and Office 365. However, if you have difficulty accessing your Microsoft account, check your internet connection by checking your browser’s connectivity settings. If the problem persists, there may be an issue with your account.

Are There Settings on My PC That Will Make It Difficult to Install Windows 11?

Yes, certain settings on your PC may make it difficult to install Windows 11. Any existing operating system installed, such as Windows 7 or 8/8.1, must be completely removed before installing Windows 11. In addition, hardware settings and drivers need to be updated to the latest versions for the installation of Windows 11 to succeed.

How Much Storage Does Windows 11 Take?

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s latest operating system and is designed to be more efficient than its predecessors. However, it does take up some storage space on your computer. The amount of storage needed for Windows 11 will depend on your version. The Home version takes approximately 20GB of hard drive space, while the Pro version takes up closer to 32 GB.

Cris Mamon
Meet the author

Chris has been writing professionally since the early 2000s. He has written articles for newspapers and magazines, books on Windows software development, and technical documentation on Microsoft products. He also has a passion for helping people get started with technology.