How to use local accounts on Windows 11 version 22H2 devices
Microsoft announced that it would extend the Windows 11 Home requirement of a Microsoft Account and Internet connection during setup to Windows 11 Pro in early 2022.
The upcoming Windows 11 version 22H2 will enforce the requirement for all devices on which Pro is installed on. The change won't affect existing devices that are upgraded to the new version. These will work as before when local accounts are used, and even if no Microsoft Account exists.
Windows customers who install Windows 11 Pro from scratch on a device, and customers who bought a device with Windows 11, will need a Microsoft Account to complete the initial setup.
There have been workarounds in the past to bypass the requirement. One involved disconnecting the Internet connection during setup, another to run commands or kill specific tasks. It is unclear whether any of these will continue to work, as Microsoft has clamped down on these bypasses in recent builds.
Most Windows customers may have no objections when it comes to the requirement. Using a Microsoft Account has advantages, including that the license is attached to the account, that syncing of data may be used between devices, and that account access may be restored even without access to one of a user's devices.
Microsoft has been criticized for the move. Installation can't be completed anymore without Internet connection, which means that it will become a frustrating experience in certain environments. Others have objected to the change because they want to use local accounts, for instance, for privacy reasons.
Microsoft made it more difficult to create local accounts in its Windows 10 operating system in 2019. Back then, it was possible to disconnect the Internet connection to get the local account setup option.
Create a local account after Windows 11 Setup
While Microsoft has tightened the screws during setup, the company has not limited the use of local accounts after setup, yet. One of the better options for Windows users who want to use local accounts is to complete the setup using the Microsoft Account, create a local account with administrative privileges on first run, and delete the Microsoft Account.
Tip: You may achieve the same with two commands from an elevated command prompt using the "net" command.
- net user /add martin secretpassword
- net localgroup administrators martin /add
The first command creates the user martin with the password secretpassword. The second command adds the user martin to the group of administrators.
This is done in the following way on Windows 11 devices:
Step 1: Select Start and then Settings, or use the Windows-I shortcut to open the Settings.
Step 2: Go to Accounts. Select Other users on the page that opens.
Step 3: Activate the "add account" button next to "add other user".
Step 4: Select "I don't have this person's sign-in information".
Step 5: Select "Add a user without a Microsoft account".
Step 6: Type the username and select a password. Use of a password is optional. Select Next to complete the process.
Step 7: Expand the new user on the Other Users page and activate "change account type".
Step 8: Switch it from the "Standard User" account type to "administrator", and select ok.
You may now sign-in with the new user account using the selected username and password. Once done, you may delete the Microsoft Account or ignore it.
The focus on Microsoft Accounts gives Microsoft more control over the userbase. The company has no control over local accounts, but it has lots of power over Microsoft Accounts. It gets information about Microsoft Account users, e.g., the email address that has been used, but often also other information that users provide to Microsoft.
Now You: do you use local or Microsoft accounts on your Windows machines?
This article will be very helpful and will probably be used by myself in a few years, since I plan to stay on Windows 10 until EOL (and if there is ESU even longer). Hopefully significant changes in life (and software forced upon me for work) will allow me to use Linux as a daily driver and not just for fun as of now. I’m sure the loophole will exist for some time, as certain systems will be airgapped by default. I can see though it being curbed in Home Edition.
>Now You: do you use local or Microsoft accounts on your Windows machines?
Absolutely only local ones, they syphon already more data than I’d like. Why would I make it even easier for them? Say no to office 365 too and onedrive. Always local, firewalled off, DNS blocked and have *NIX servers as NAS and cloud replacements.
Never had a Microsoft account. For various Windows versions, always used local accounts only. Have not installed a Win11 system for myself yet. When it needs to come to that, may very well (like described in this post) create some bogus account and delete it right after completing install. So in all, just like commenter @Frankel above.
AveYo’s (also created MediaCreationTool.bat) method is much cleaner. No Microsoft Account required.
” At the Oops, you’ve lost connection screen (or as early as language selection),
press Shift + F10 then enter in the cmd window: OOBE\BYPASSNRO ”
this is absurd, is end of freedom, linux mint will my first distro after more 10 years using m$ windows
The more requirements the more useless it becomes. Thanks for the article! :]
Sad we even have to do this. Microsoft needs to be broken up. Everything after Windows 7 has been total garbage and useless.
I only use local accounts, so I found this article helpful
I expressly use Linux because Microsoft is trying to monetize me by using ads in the start menu
which takes time and effort to remove.
I PAID for MY COMPUTER and my Internet NOT Mic$soft
You will not believe which particular SKU doesn’t have this problem ¯\_(?)_/¯
Yes and I hope it continues to be that way but the way MS is going who knows.
The solution is not to use this horrible OS. Stick with Windows 10 till 2029. Hopefully who is making these dumb decisions is fired and never allowed back into tech industry ever again.
I believe Windows 10 support expires in 2025, not 2029.
However, 0Patch supports Windows 10 already and presumably that will also be the case with the final version: https://0patch.com/
I recently reinstalled W10 because SSD change, I need to create a throwaway Microsoft account just to sign in to my pc.
The problem is the password need to be long and need to include stupid numbers, capital letters, and symbols. I can’t remove the password so that my parents can turn on the pc and just use it like the old days without hassle.
Too bad I didn’t read that I can just disconnect the internet when installing. Shitty Microsoft don’t even allow me to use local account.
Right. It is easily missed, but they do prompt one asking if there is an internet connection. Took me a couple attempts to realize that on a recent Reset (I had forgotten, since it had been a while when I installed Win 10). There is also a lot more “garbage” to wade through if the answer is “yes” before install is complete.
So is the screenshot shown on this Github page to create an offline account during the setup phase no longer visible?
Excellent article Martin, but doesn’t this mean that if you delete the Microsoft account after creating a local one you won’t be able to upgrade to a new version without it at a later date?
Hi, no it should not affect upgrades (unless Microsoft is making it mandatory for updates in future releases).
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if M$ does make it mandatory to use one when upgrading, but we shall see.
Thanks anyway for your replay Martin.
I prefer Local account than Microsoft account. It’s basically bone headed move on microshaft part to enforce Microsoft account. To mooch off user information.
The era of local accounts is coming to a close.
I have a Microsoft account, but I rarely use it. I only have it because I may need it.
I have two systems with Windows 10. Windows 11 cannot be installed on them. I have one system with Linux Mint, and it works well. When the two Windows 10 systems can no long be updated, I will install Linux Mint on them.