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Learn How To Avoid Requiring a Microsoft Account During Windows Setup

Image Source: Volodymyr Kyrylyuk / Shutterstock

Every now and then, Microsoft is making it more challenging to set up a local account within the Windows operating system during setup.

In February 2022, the company announced that new setups and initial runs of Pro versions of Windows 11 would mandate a Microsoft account. Fortunately, workarounds quickly emerged, but many users may not be aware of these bypass methods.

While some users appreciate Microsoft accounts for their benefits such as data syncing via OneDrive, remote password recovery options, and other functionalities, others prefer local accounts for minimizing data sharing and security reasons. IT professionals may also need to create accounts for clients who cannot or do not wish to provide a Microsoft account.

How to Skip Using Microsoft Accounts in Windows 11

There are various approaches to circumvent the requirement of a Microsoft account during setup on Windows devices.

I outlined one method in “How to Utilize Local Accounts on Windows 11 Version 22H2 Devices,” which, although tailored to that specific version, is compatible with other iterations of Windows 11.

In summary, the method involves creating a Microsoft account during setup and subsequently generating a local account after setup completion. Although not the most seamless method and necessitates an email address initially for account creation.

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The subsequent two methods eliminate the need for a Microsoft account entirely.

Bypass 1: OOBEBYPASSNRO

This bypass is the simplest option currently available, requiring only a few steps during setup to bypass the creation of a Microsoft account.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Disable internet connectivity before initiating setup by disconnecting the LAN cable or deactivating Wi-Fi.
  2. During setup, Windows will present a “Let’s connect you to a network” or a similar screen. The forthcoming Windows 11 version 22H2 doesn’t permit skipping this to set up a local account.
  3. On the displayed screen, use Shift-F10 to launch a command prompt window.
  4. Enter OOBEBYPASSNRO and press Enter.
  5. Windows will restart and return to the “Let’s connect you to a network” screen. This time, opt for “I don’t have internet” to bypass this step.
  6. Proceed by selecting “Continue with limited setup” to create a local account during setup.

Bypass 2: Utilize a Banned Email Address

Microsoft has prohibited email addresses frequently employed during the account creation process. You can leverage this to your advantage, enabling you to skip the Microsoft account creation or sign-in phase during setup.

Here’s how this method operates (courtesy of Neowin):

  1. When prompted to create or sign in to a Microsoft account during setup, choose Sign-In.
  2. Input the email address [email protected]
  3. On the subsequent screen, enter any password.
  4. Windows will exhibit “Oops, something went wrong” on the ensuing screen.
  5. Clicking Next will open a window enabling you to establish a local account.
  6. You have the option to set a password for the account or leave it blank.

Final Thoughts

There’s a possibility that Microsoft may eliminate these bypass options in subsequent Windows versions. New workarounds may emerge, which will be incorporated into this manual.

For now, users have multiple avenues to bypass the use of a Microsoft account during setup.

Now Over to You: Do you prefer a local or Microsoft account? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Image Source: Volodymyr Kyrylyuk / Shutterstock

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