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How to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

Windows 11 install with a Microsoft account
Windows 11 install with a Microsoft account (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 11, Microsoft wants you to set up your device with a Microsoft account since it offers some additional benefits, including better integration with the company's cloud services (such as OneDrive and Office), content synchronization between computers, and better security.

Although there are additional benefits to using an online account, many users still want to use the more traditional experience with a local account. The problem is that the company is making it harder to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. For example, Microsoft has already removed the option from the initial setup of Windows 11 Home, and it plans to remove it from the Windows 11 Pro setup in future releases.

However, whether you are installing the Home or Pro edition of Windows 11, you have a few workarounds (via Reddit) to set up an installation with a local account instead of a Microsoft account. In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the different ways to set up a new installation without a Microsoft account.

Install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

If you want to set up a Windows 11 device without a Microsoft account, you need to proceed with the traditional setup and use one of the available solutions in the out-of-box experience (OOBE).

Windows 11 setup wizard

These instructions walk you through the clean installation process. If you are setting up a new laptop or desktop computer that came pre-installed with Windows 11, you can skip these steps and continue with the network disconnect or disable internet requirement solutions.

Warning: This process will delete everything on the computer. Before proceeding, it's recommended to back up your computer.

To start a fresh installation of Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Start the PC with Windows 11 USB flash drive.Quick note: If you cannot start the computer from the USB bootable drive, you can use these instructions.
  2. On prompt, press any key to boot from the device.
  3. On Windows Setup, click the Next button.Quick tip: If your language, time and currency, and keyboard are different from the default selections, select the correct settings before continuing.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Install now button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. If this is a reinstallation, click the I don't have a product key option to continue. Otherwise, if this is your first time installing Windows 11, enter the product key.Quick tip: You can always complete the installation and activate it using the Settings app.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the edition of Windows 11 (If applicable).

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click Next.
  2. Select the I accept the license terms option to continue.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Click the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option to continue with a clean installation.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the partition with the current installation (usually "Drive 0"), and click the Delete button.Quick tip: If "Drive 0" has multiple partitions, you have to select and delete each partition to allow the setup to use the entire hard drive for the new setup. The Windows 11 setup will create the required partitions automatically during the process. It's also not necessary to delete the partitions on secondary drives.
  2. Click the Yes button.
  3. Select the empty drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space).

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.

Once you complete the steps, the installation process will occur, and then in the out-of-box experience (OOBE), you can proceed in one of two ways. You can use network disconnect to disconnect from the network to make the local account option available. Or you can use the disable internet requirement option to disable the requirement through the initial setup to configure an account without a Microsoft account. Alternatively, you can also type an incorrect local account information that returns an error that falls back to the local account creation.

It's important to note that at the time of this writing, if you are setting up a Windows 11 Pro installation, during the account setup, you will still be able to continue without a Microsoft account using the offline account option.

Out-of-box experience (OOBE) network disconnect

To complete the out-of-box experience on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Select your region.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select your keyboard layout setting.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Yes button.
  2. Click the Skip button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Connect to the Wi-Fi network (if applicable).Quick note: If you use an Ethernet connection, the device will connect automatically to the network.
  2. (Optional) Confirm a name for the device.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.Quick note: If you proceed with this step, the device will restart automatically, but you will be able to pick up where you left off.

Continue with Solution 1 to use Command Prompt to remove the current network configuration or Solution 2 to disconnect the device from the network to fall back to the screen that lets you create a local account.

Solution 1: Command Prompt

To remove the network configuration to create an account without a Microsoft account, use these steps:

  1. Use the Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut to open Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command to release the current network configuration and press Enter:ipconfig /release

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Close the Command Prompt console.
  2. Click the Back button.
  3. Confirm the name of the local account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Create a password for the account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Choose your privacy settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Next button again.
  3. Click the Accept button.

While this option may work at the moment, it may not work in future releases of Windows 11.

Solution 2: Disconnect network

If you have an Ethernet (wired) connection, use these steps:

  1. Disconnect the network cable.
  2. Click the Back button.
  3. Confirm the name of the local account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Create a password for the account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Choose your privacy settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Next button again.
  3. Click the Accept button.

If you have a Wi-Fi (wireless) connection, use these steps:

  1. Turn off Wi-Fi.Quick note: If you have a laptop, the keyboard may have a dedicated key to disconnect from the network. If you use a USB dongle, disconnect it from the computer. If you cannot disable the wireless connection, then use "Solution 1." You could also turn off the router in the house (not in the office) momentarily to prevent connection to the internet.
  2. Click the Back button.
  3. Confirm the name of the local account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Create a password for the account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Choose your privacy settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Next button again.
  3. Click the Accept button.

After you complete the steps, the setup will be complete with a local account instead of a Microsoft account.

Out-of-box experience (OOBE) disable internet requirement

To set up a Windows 11 device without a Microsoft account disabling the internet requirements, use these steps:

  1. Disconnect then Ethernet network cable (if applicable).
  2. Select your region.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select your keyboard layout setting.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Yes button.
  2. Click the Skip button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, you can continue with the steps below to configure an account without a Microsoft account.

Solution 3: Disable internet requirements

In the "Let's connect you to a network" page, use these steps:

  1. Use the Shift + F10 keyboard shortcut to open Command Prompt.
  2. Type the following command to release the current network configuration and press Enter:oobe\bypassnroQuick note: The command is a single phrase without spaces.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Computer will boot automatically, and you may need to start the out-of-box experience again.
  2. Click the I don't have internet option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Continue with limited setup option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Confirm the name for the local account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Create a password for the account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Complete the three security questions to recover the account (if applicable).
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Choose your privacy settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Next button again.
  3. Click the Accept button.

After you complete the steps, the out-of-box experience will restart, letting you bypass the internet requirements to give you the option to create a local account.

Out-of-box experience (OOBE) typing local account during account creation

Alternatively, you can also type a local account and password instead of a Microsoft account in the "Let's add your Microsoft account" page (via @coreymccowan). When you do this, the "Oops, something went wrong" error will appear, and the system will fall back to the local account creation interface whether you are in Windows 11 Home or Pro.

To set up a Windows 11 device without a Microsoft account by typing a local account, use these steps:

  1. Select your region.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select your keyboard layout setting.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Yes button.
  2. Click the Skip button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, you can continue with the steps below to configure a local account.

Solution 4: Disable internet requirements

In the "Let's add your Microsoft account" page, use these steps:

  1. Confirm a local account username in the "Sign in" field.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Confirm a random password for the account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Sign in button.
  2. Click the Next button on the "Oops, something went wrong" error page.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Create a name for the local account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Create a password for the account.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Complete the three security questions to recover the account (if applicable).
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Choose your privacy settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Next button again.
  3. Click the Accept button.

Once you complete the steps, you will be able to continue the setup of Windows 11 without a Microsoft account.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

19 Comments
  • The problem with Microsoft accounts is you need to be online just to log in because the authentication will fail. I do use a Microsoft account and don't have a problem with it specifically, just forcing it can be an inconvenience at times. Like when you are using a laptop and don't have access to WiFi on the go and using your phone as a hotspot could be inconvenient depending on cellular signal strength due to location or the building you are in.
  • You can still log into the computer when offline, be a bit silly if you can't, certainly with laptops.
  • That's never happened to me, you can still login even if you're offline/not connected to the internet
  • This is wrong. You can still login and use your computer without an internet connection.
  • At the end of the day people should not have to go through all of that, they should be an option for a local account the same as with Windows 10, even Apple don't go as far as MS, it is pathetic, But that is the problem when you have a monopoly , they think they can do what they want.
    Also, what happens when all of the above stops working?
    i am staying with Windows 10, even if I update to a machine that meet Windows 11 specs, that is if I stay with Windows, getting very close to getting a Mac.
  • The common thought is that every new version of a software solves the problems of the previous version. Not with Windows though! And then they wonder why Windows 11 adoption rate is so slow.
  • No one is wondering. The market for new PCs is doing very well, and Windows 11 is primarily a new-PC OS. If Microsoft only cared about adoption and not security, it would have just allowed all Windows 10 PCs to get Windows 11. Problem solved. This isn't compliated. Or do you think that Microsoft had no idea cutting off PCs with older CPUs would artificially limit adoption? But this is the issue with consumers and tech novices: You think business is only about one number and not a larger plan. I mean, serious question: How does it affect Microsoft financially if you're on Windows 10 or 11? Does Microsoft need people on Windows 11 for developers? No. Did they charge you for the upgrade and are missing out on money? No. So, why are adoption rates important then? When you buy a new PC, you're going to get Windows 11 whether you like it or not.
  • > So, why are adoption rates important then? When you buy a new PC, you're going to get Windows 11 whether you like it or not. You’ve answered your own question. Windows licenses are purchased from Microsoft by vendors only when users purchase new hardware from vendors - new self-imposed and arbitrary deadline, October 2025.
  • I know a couple who have got new machines with Windows 11 on and they have installed Windows 10 on them. so you do have a choice
  • New Dell Business PCs come with Windows 10 Pro, not 11 Pro...and will continue this way for awhile because 11 is a free upgrade. No need to downgrade.
  • My android phone requires a Google account. My iphone requires an apple account. My Samsung tablet requires a Samsung account.
  • No Samsung tablet or phone doesn't require a Samsung account only Google for apps unless you side load everything.
  • Try setting up chromeos without a goggle account.
    You cannot even setup a google account without a phone number either these days.
  • chromeOs is a different thing, it was made to work online, that is the whole point of Chrome OS.
  • You are wrong on all of that, Android phone don't need an account to work, my brother used an Android phone without an account for a few years, you can't use the play store or google services, but if you really want to you can side load apps. Iphone will work without an account, and I doubt you need a Samsung account to use a samsung phone.
    My phone has something called Hey tap, no idea what it is, never even bothered to sign into it.
    anyway, you are not doing like for like, you are talking about phones, which are different to a computer, certainly since for most people a MS account will give them nothing.
    There is certainly nothing I want for a MS account, I have used windows since windows 95 and have had no desire to link my computer with MS servers all the time. Even when Windows 8 tried to force people into it, i avoided it. I really thought MS would have learnt something, but it seems like they really don't care about customer s and think they can do what they want. Even Apople is not that bad.
    MS is pushing me more towards apple all the time.
  • My only question I cannot fathom concerning this article, and I hope someone can answer this, even the author, is this...
    Why would anyone want to install Windows 11 in the first place..?
    It equivalent to Vista at this point, nearly a year after launch, not everything works, missing functions and more updates than Windows 10...Why any one thinks it's a step forward is beyond me.
  • Don’t listen to whiners on the Internet.
    Windows 11 works perfectly for me. For work, gaming. All of my apps work.
    It looks prettier. Settings are almost all out of cPanel now. The emotional whining about it is completely overblown.
  • it is not as bad as Vista was, but to be fair to Vista, the main problem with that was the hardware, Vista just used too many resources.
    There are problems with Windows 11 and some of them are a pain in the neck, I used it for a while on my machine and while it seemed to run smoother than Windows 10, Problems with explorer and the taskbar put me off. Microsoft not wanting people to stick the taskbar where ever they want, was another problem, but I did use a reg edit to get it at the top of the screen. At the end of the day, it is still Windows with all the problems that windows brings. MS restricting it to certain hardware will stunt Windows 11 growth and also forcing people to have qa MS account may be another thing that stops people updating. Windows 11 is like Windows 10 in that it is not finished, seems like Ms can't finish one thing before they start another.
  • There's a much easier way than anything in this article.
    Doesn't matter which version you're installing. Just kill the network process in the task manager:
    In the Processes tab, locate Network Connection Flow.
    Select Network Connection Flow and then click the End task button.
    Wait for the process to end and then close the Task Manager. Got a brand new HP omen, which unfortunately came with windows 11,
    first thing i did was create a local account. reactivated internet briefly,
    and downloaded windows 10. (which still isnt that great compared to 7). i would've gone back to windows 7. but the i9 processor wouldn't work with
    it unless its in a VM. later
    -1