How to bypass the Microsoft Account requirement during Windows setup

Martin Brinkmann
May 13, 2022
Windows 11 Help
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44

Every few years, Microsoft is making it more difficult to create a local account during setup of the Windows operating system.

windows-11-local-account-create

The company announced in February 2022 that new setups and first runs of Pro versions of Windows 11 would require a Microsoft account. It did not take long for workarounds to become available, but many users may be unaware of these bypass options.

Some users may prefer Microsoft accounts, as they offer some advantages, including data syncing through the OneDrive service, remote password restoration options, and other features.

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Others may prefer local accounts as they reveal less to Microsoft account and are not attackable if the device is not turned on. Computer techs may also need to setup accounts for customers, who may not be available or able to provide a Microsoft account.

How to avoid using Microsoft accounts in Windows 11

There are several methods to bypass the Microsoft account requirement during setup on Windows devices.

I described one option in How to use local accounts on Windows 11 version 22H2 devices. While written for that specific version, the described method works in other versions of Windows 11 as well.

To describe it in a sentence, it is creating a Microsoft account during setup and creating a local account after setup ended. It is not elegant and requires that an email address is used initially for the account creation.

The following two methods do not require a Microsoft account at all.

Bypass 1: OOBE\BYPASSNRO

This bypass is the easiest option right now, as it requires just a few steps during setup to skip the Microsoft account creation.

Here is how it works:

  1. Disable the Internet connection before starting setup, e.g., by disconnecting the LAN cable or disabling Wi-Fi.
  2. Windows will display a "Let's connect you to a network" or similar screen. The upcoming Windows 11 version 22H2 does not allow you to skip this anymore to create a local account.
  3. On the screen, use Shift-F10 to open a command prompt window.
  4. Type OOBE\BYPASSNRO and hit the Enter-key.
  5. Windows will reboot and return to the "Let's connect you to a network" screen. Only this time, you may select "I don't have Internet" to skip this.
  6. Then you select "Continue with limited setup" to then create a local account during setup.

Bypass 2: Use a banned email address

Microsoft has banned email addresses that were used too often in the account creation process. You may use this to your advantage, as it allows you to skip the Microsoft account creation or sign-in phase during setup.

Here is how this method works (thanks Neowin):

  1. Select Sign-In when asked to create or sign-in to a Microsoft account during setup.
  2. Use the email address [email protected]
  3. Type any password on the next screen.
  4. Windows will display "Oops, something went wrong" on the next screen.
  5. Clicking Next opens a screen that allows you to create a local account.
  6. You can assign a password to the account, or leave it empty.

Closing Words

There is a chance that Microsoft is removing the bypass options in future versions of Windows. New bypasses may be found, which we will add to this guide.

For now, users have several options to skip using a Microsoft account during setup.

Now You: local or Microsoft account, what is your preference?

Summary
How to bypass the Microsoft Account requirement during Windows setup
Article Name
How to bypass the Microsoft Account requirement during Windows setup
Description
Find out how to skip a Microsoft account during setup or first run on Windows 11 devices, to use local accounts instead.
Author
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Tachy said on May 13, 2022 at 4:37 pm
    Reply

    Irony at it’s best ;)

    “The website from which you got to this page is protected by Cloudflare. Email addresses on that page have been hidden in order to keep them from being accessed by malicious bots. You must enable Javascript in your browser in order to decode the e-mail address.”

  2. just an Ed said on May 13, 2022 at 4:53 pm
    Reply

    Local account, always a local account. Interestingly. Given the nonsense MS puts you through, I’ll keep Win 7. No, it’s not internet facing. I did install Win10 on one HDD, but never activated it. I’m using Mint right now. For the curious, I don’t sync anything, actually; and use my phone as a phone. Yes, I’m old. :-)

    1. kalmly said on May 13, 2022 at 5:52 pm
      Reply

      Love my Win 7 machines. They are my work horses and my fun places. I have a Win 10 laptop. It’s ugly, used only when absolutely necessary for (some) online sites. I don’t sync either. BUT, I do use my phone for more interesting thing than phoning people. Guess I’m not quite as old as you :)

      1. just an Ed said on May 13, 2022 at 11:13 pm
        Reply

        Thanks for the laugh. Much appreciated. :-)))

    2. Mike J. said on May 13, 2022 at 6:27 pm
      Reply

      Ditto.

    3. Tom Hawack said on May 13, 2022 at 9:45 pm
      Reply

      Win7 here as well. Besides the fact that I’m used to Win7, that this OS has never encountered the myriad of Win10/11 issues, the required Microsoft account is certainly one of the major reasons among many others that make me recalcitrant to the very idea of adopting Win11. This article appears as fresh air, an oasis, light in the darkness, the return of your beloved… you get the idea?!

    4. Eddie said on May 14, 2022 at 1:17 am
      Reply

      I don’t understand the objections to Win 10…
      My Win10 build looks IDENTICAL to my previous Win 7 builds by using one of the free shell rollback apps.
      However, for that slight inconvenience of a one time setup of the shell app, I now get windows updates and the gaming performance is far superior to Win 7.

      1. Mitchum Burns said on May 14, 2022 at 1:38 am
        Reply

        Agree 100% 7 has become just as buggy. 10 actually runs better on all my machines

      2. Hot Rods said on May 14, 2022 at 2:34 am
        Reply

        @Eddie

        Looks IDENTICAL..Yeah, sure. Kinda like Madonna 2022 looks identical to Madonna 1984. I see no difference.
        Windows 7 ESU patch still works, until early next year so no worries. After that it’s linux for me, which BTW can also be made look IDENTICAL to Windows 7 (at least Madonna level 1999, and you get a OS that is YOURS and a million times safer.

      3. sTaYmAd said on May 14, 2022 at 9:02 am
        Reply

        @Hot Rods

        “…Windows 7 ESU patch still works, until early next year so no worries”

        For the Windows Embedded POSReady 7 tho the ESU program will be available until late 2024 ;-)

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/faq/extended-security-updates

    5. Tanya D. said on June 30, 2022 at 2:07 pm
      Reply

      Thank you soo much for sharing this! Worked on brand new Dell Inspiron 16 on June 30, 2022.

  3. Tony said on May 13, 2022 at 5:24 pm
    Reply

    KDE Linux works very well these days. Though I have two drives, one with Windows, I find KDE Neon to be much more reliable.

  4. riri0 said on May 13, 2022 at 5:29 pm
    Reply

    Is this something that happened only today? (the day the article was posted)
    I just fresh installed Windows 11 yesterday(the day before this article). I had to reinstall Windows because I broke it too much beyond repair that a format reinstall was the only option so heck why not try Windows 11.
    And it allowed me to create a local account. I used the media creation tool from microsoft just a few hours before that to create my installer. Maybe this is a region thing? Less developed countries get to create a local account since our internet access is very limited? Maybe its just my timing. And yes I connected to my WiFI at the start of Windows before the account creation part.

    1. Don Juan DeMarco said on May 13, 2022 at 7:00 pm
      Reply

      @riri0 Maybe you should read the article “The company announced in February 2022 that new setups and first runs of Pro versions of Windows 11 would require a Microsoft account.”

      This is for Windows 11 Pro because Windows 11 Home versions already have this in place where you are kind of forced to create the Microsoft account, so these workarounds have been known since release because Win11 home users who already used them.

      Pro version today can still create the Local account easily, but that will change on next version of win11. So that’s why this tutorial is all about, Pro users will be forced without a way to easily create local accounts. Do you even use Win11 or you have a Pro version of Win11?

      But anyway, I am sorry but if you can’t even understand the purpose of this tutorial, maybe you should not try to touch so much your computer and play the smart person when you are just ‘breaking’ your computer beyond repair for no reason. At least you could learn how to repair it without clean installing, I mean, there is still in-place upgrades that pretty much fix anything, the best and easiest way to repair a windows is by rebuilding your profile anyway because you can use regedit in the recovery environment which means you can load your registry and let windows rebuild the profile.
      I mean, it is just not smart to clean install Windows in 2022, when you are just rewriting and wasting your ssd or hdd life by adding stuff that is already there, unless you are lazy and don’t care about that, but why do you try to break your computer if you don’t try to fix it without laziness? your problem was the registry got corrupted your messed with stuff that corrupted your registry, I mean, unless you really did a stupid broke beyond repair and you affected system files and folders that obviously you shouldn’t touch if you are just obviously going to break it beyond repair.
      Clean install should be only done once when you get a new computer, and never again, especially when windows 10 and 11 has ways to reset your device for you and keep files and all that automatically which is a little better than clean installing manually.

      1. e79XXL said on May 15, 2022 at 6:58 am
        Reply

        “it is just not smart to clean install Windows in 2022”
        “Clean install should be only done once when you get a new computer, and never again”

        your first three sentences were spot on, then you went off the rails with dreivel 10x more ridiculous than the Win7 nutjobs ???

      2. LOLOLOLOLOL said on May 24, 2022 at 9:41 pm
        Reply

        “the Win7 nutjobs”
        Who are capable of proper English and operating their computers competently unlike you. ??

  5. Iam said on May 13, 2022 at 6:18 pm
    Reply

    article on Neowin says: simply add a fake email address not a banned email

    1. John B said on May 24, 2022 at 9:41 pm
      Reply

      …and you still get tracked and they still find out who you are through other means.

  6. SilverHawk said on May 13, 2022 at 6:40 pm
    Reply

    I like how you assume your readers are literate enough to even clean install Windows.
    Your readers only complain about anything, they won’t clean install to be ‘aware’ of ways to bypass it, I mean, if they were so worried about the Microsoft account requirement they wouldn’t even worry they would either clean install windows 11 today or the most probable option which would be just upgrading windows 10 to win11 which would not require any bypassing.

    Anyway, I know your readers will complain and say privacy blabla… Most people don’t have a problem with Microsoft accounts, the problem is the automatic name that is created for users folder which is automatic 5 characters taken from your email, if your email is less than 5 characters it will look bad, if your email is longer than 5 characters it will be bad as well, if your email is a weird name you don’t want as your user folder you will also hate it.

    Some people just set up local accounts to personalize the users folder name, and then add the Microsoft account like they do with Edge and others.

    I remember when I logged the first time with a Microsoft account that was the problem so all I could so was to create the local account with proper name then delete the Microsoft account and get your local account set up, but that means in your registry, the user’s would be S-1-5-21-111111111-111111111-1111111111-1002 instead of 1001.
    For people who doesn’t like that crap in the registry, then people want their main account to remain in 1001, like it should be.

    I never tried it but I am sure you can modify the registry and change the folder’s name and then reset the account and get the proper folder set up for you. it just require more work.

    But anyway, the point is people wouldn’t complain about Microsoft account if you could create the folder with whatever name you want instead of being automatic, this is not android or apple where you don’t care about where your roaming or local data is, in windows it is important, so having to replace your usual username with some weird name because your email is just not good enough for the 5 characters automatic name then that’s what sucks about forcing the Microsoft account.

    But stop pretending people will even clean install windows 11, it’s actually stupid to clean install windows 11 in 2022, you don’t need to clean install when you switch motherboard or anything, of course the license will not be valid anymore, but with a 2nd drive anyone can get a legit license thanks to the win7 upgrading process so from 7 to 10, not legal, not too illegal either.
    You don’t need to clean install to repair windows because windows offer ways to do that and people can do an in-place upgrade if something is failing.
    Windows works, even if people complain about their fairy tale of privacy, about how ‘close source’ it is, and proprietary stuff, it works.
    People who clean install because ‘they broke it beyond repair’ are stupid, they are the same ones who install a bunch of crap, then blame a windows update or upgrade braking their computer.

    Why aren’t people who complain about windows using Linux by now and ignoring this type of articles? Why are people who don’t even use or plan to use win11 complaining about it? lol
    I know we live in a clown world, where people complain about a horse in the search bar on win10 but yeah, some people are just beyond clown when it comes to Microsoft and Windows.
    This is not hard to bypass as you showed, there are other million ways to do it, but lazy clowns will complain about it and pretend they are cool because they either use win7 or linux so this article doesn’t even apply to them.

    And I mean, it is sad, your article will help the people who need this eventually, but not today, today you will only get clown readers who are illiterate and don’t even plan on using the information your provided, that’s the sad part when most of your reader base is such pathetic humans who barely understand technology but they feel so entitled, the same ones who scream privacy while having accounts in every possible website, social media and videogame company.

    Thanks for the information, I already knew about those methods but if I ever need it, I will come here and check it out if I need to, I use win11, I bypassed the TPM stupid requirement, win11 works better than win10 and win7. And I have win11 pro, so this will affect me eventually… maybe, I don’t know if I will have to ever install win11 again in this computer.

    1. Hitomi said on May 14, 2022 at 12:17 am
      Reply

      You are overthinking it and Windows 10 has support till 2025.

  7. Anonymous said on May 14, 2022 at 12:20 am
    Reply

    Glad I still use Windows 7. Everything after it is crapware.

    1. tayt said on May 14, 2022 at 1:48 pm
      Reply

      I agree, but you won’t be able to use Windows 7 much longer. When programs get updated and stop support for Windows 7 or stop receiving updates on your system, it will eventually become a pain in the neck.

      I have an old laptop from the XP era that runs Windows XP and uses the latest versions of browsers available and even so, their compatibility with today’s websites just doesn’t cut it. My PC has the latest Windows 11 and the only thing I like about 11 is that it went back to rounded corners and gradients, so it’s not as ugly as Windows 8 or Windows 10.

      I also miss XP, Vista and 7 a lot, but that’s how things are. If nVidia drivers on Linux become better and Proton matures, I might move to Linux, but so far it’s not good enough.

      1. dreaper said on May 16, 2022 at 2:52 am
        Reply

        It will never be good enough for you as you have certain expectations.

    2. Anonymous said on May 14, 2022 at 11:14 pm
      Reply

      All Windows Products have been Crapware. But working in IT, you need to know how to use Windows Products. If you want to be CompTIA Certified.

  8. Kapow said on May 14, 2022 at 2:49 am
    Reply

    @SilverHawk

    “Most people don’t have a problem with Microsoft accounts, the problem is the automatic name that is created for users folder which is automatic 5 characters taken from your email, if your email is less than 5 characters it will look bad, if your email is longer than 5 characters it will be bad as well, if your email is a weird name you don’t want as your user folder you will also hate it.”

    This had me in stitches.

    So, basically you are saying that most people care zero about reinstalling or clean installing or user accounts. Most people, according to your Royal Highness, care about how the name looks afterwards =) MUUUUUUAAAAHHHHAAAAHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    People don’t care one tiny little bit about that since they have no clue about anything either way you damn twinkiebrain.

    Oh you have Windows 11 Pro and you bypassed TPM restrictions, wooooooooow you must be really good at everything in life. Let me guess, overweight, virgin, lives in his mothers house spending all his days eating and playing games. Occasionally tells everyone how dumb their are online. You are one of those Mike Tyson should smack in the face.

  9. pie in the face said on May 14, 2022 at 9:31 am
    Reply

    Just another reason why Windows is not ready for the desktop.

    @SilverHawk

    You sound like such a sweet Microsoft shill. I hope you’re well paid.

  10. semce said on May 14, 2022 at 1:25 pm
    Reply

    I use a local account on Windows 11 home.

    1. Ja said on May 16, 2022 at 7:13 pm
      Reply

      they removed any bypass for the home as well as pro. eventually when you do a clean install or get a new pc,etc you will need internet and a MS account.

    2. Rhonda said on July 10, 2022 at 11:18 pm
      Reply

      I am not a techie IT/IS user like you all, just a regular end-user who has a question I hope you can help me with. Just bought a new laptop with Windows 11. It is forcing me to create a Microsoft account, as you are all discussing. I don’t like to be forced to do anything and it annoys me that Microsoft is trying to force this. I can try your work-around as you suggested, but in the end, does it really matter if I create a Microsoft account? I can do that if it’s just easiest as I’m uncomfortable trying work around that techies know more about. Only using laptop for simple home stuff like emails, paying bills, printing things out. I don’t even understand what it means by Microsoft account versus local account. Why do I even need any kind of account? I’m already logged into my wi-fi, so really don’t know what the account would be for. As you can see, I’m just a simple end-user, don’t feel entitled like some have commented above, so please go easy on me :)

  11. dmacleo said on May 14, 2022 at 6:00 pm
    Reply

    some (eg nn profits like churches) run generic windows pro units on domains. this is a PITA

  12. Adelaide said on May 15, 2022 at 5:40 am
    Reply

    As others have stated, there are operating systems that are less intrusive and require no PII. Ubuntu, for example, comes with a complete, free, office suite, and installs in less than 1/2 hour. If I’d be forced to create a MS account to upgrade from Windows 10, I’ll just switch from dual-boot to Linux-only.

  13. Andrew Tupper said on May 15, 2022 at 2:22 pm
    Reply

    Why do all these complicated steps.

    1. Username enter: Admin
    2. Password enter: Admin
    3. Windows will go oops something went wrong and now ask you to make a local account.

  14. Anonymous said on May 15, 2022 at 11:36 pm
    Reply

    Local account as long as possible.

  15. joe said on May 16, 2022 at 7:12 pm
    Reply

    Eventually Microsoft will remove this bypass like they did with the other two.

  16. Anonymous said on May 17, 2022 at 1:32 pm
    Reply

    This is some kind of DRM stuff now??

  17. Ano said on May 17, 2022 at 6:24 pm
    Reply

    Always “Local Account”
    Always disable/uninstall “OneDrive” bullshit

    Being forced to synco files while in Windows Setup?! WTF is MS doing with 22H2…..!!

    Need to edit and create own and clean WIM/ESD images in future, once more.. without that “being forced” bullshit assfuck….

    Or I simply use my Enterprise Key….

  18. vmario12345 said on July 8, 2022 at 10:09 pm
    Reply

    They should leave the set up with the choose to connect or not to the network and if we choose not to connect let us continue like in Win 10. Is our choice. We that need to put computers on display we cant set up them because that work around work sometimes and other times not.

  19. Anonymous said on July 11, 2022 at 10:25 pm
    Reply

    Thank you!

  20. Jacob Bracken said on July 15, 2022 at 7:32 pm
    Reply

    Using a Wired Internet connection through a UTP to USB C connector up until the machine looks for updates. Remove this then and it will skip to the section where you can just put your name in.

  21. Anonymous said on July 21, 2022 at 12:27 am
    Reply

    2022-JUL 20th: purchased 1TB Dell Inspiron 16 laptop Windows 11, hold the dressing (no MS OFFICE etc), i need to back up iPhone/iTunes because it hogs all hard drive space on my other device.

    During set up, i had already connected to Wi-Fi and the back-arrow only refreshed the page to sign-in with MS account; leaving me stuck on this dreaded sign-in with MS account. I don’t want this device linked as it will only be used as a back up device for my iPhone. mostly, if not all the time, offline.

    This option worked like a charm for me … “Bypass 2: Use a banned email address” … i was able to complete local account set up.

    Thank you so much!

  22. joe said on July 30, 2022 at 2:17 am
    Reply

    At the user account screen, press SHIFT-F10 and run the command below or issue REGEDIT to modify the registry to create BypassNRO with value 1

    The bypassnro.cmd is a script which contains:
    @echo off
    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OOBE /v BypassNRO /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
    shutdown /r /t 0

  23. Anonymous said on July 30, 2022 at 2:18 am
    Reply

    During the Win 11 installation, do not connect to your network.

    At the user account screen, press SHIFT-F10 and run the command below or issue REGEDIT to modify the registry to create BypassNRO with value 1

    The bypassnro.cmd is a script which contains:
    @echo off
    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OOBE /v BypassNRO /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
    shutdown /r /t 0

  24. joe said on July 30, 2022 at 2:19 am
    Reply

    During the Win 11 instatllation, do not connect to the network.

    At the user account screen, press SHIFT-F10 and run the command below or issue REGEDIT to modify the registry to create BypassNRO with value 1

    The bypassnro.cmd is a script which contains:
    @echo off
    reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OOBE /v BypassNRO /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
    shutdown /r /t 0

  25. Anon said on August 5, 2022 at 1:59 am
    Reply

    None of this seems neccesary. I’ve just received a new laptop with windows 11, during the installation process it was asking me for a microsoft account, I just unplugged the ethernet cable and clicked back, I was then just met with a local account creation screen.

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